Triumph of the Sign by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

published in: Exhibitions, Art By Yatzer, 07 April 2009

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Arminius Armagnus, 2009 by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Oil on canvas
16.94 x 12.61 inches, 43 x 32 cms
Image copyright Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Courtesy Paradise Row


3rd Apr - 2nd May 2009
Paradise Row
/ 17 Hereford St, London, E2 6EX

Paradise Row proudly presents the first solo show of Jean Charles de Castelbajac. Throughout his ground breaking career as a fashion designer, Castelbajac has employed a strategy of ‘cultural hijacking’ - the appropriation, recycling and synthesis of images, signs, symbols and styles from both popular culture and high art to create still newer designs and visions. In keeping with his openness to the ever-shifting world of contemporary visual culture, Castelbajac has collaborated with artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Bettina Rheims and Loulou Picasso.

In Triumph of the Sign, Castelbajac presents a series of paintings that articulate his fascination with, broadly, the tensions and synergies between high art and consumer culture, and most specifically that defining element of contemporary visual culture – the brand logo. In a process that mirrors the production of mass-consumer goods, Castelbajac commissioned painters in China to perfectly reproduce a series of Western masterpieces, from Bronzino to Manet, and another group to paint logos on the surfaces of the copied masterpieces. The resulting works ironically embrace a flattening of hierarchies, a breakdown of distinctions and an evacuation of content.

The works, therefore, are themselves perfect signs of the present moment

Yves Droite Yves Gauche, Diptych, 2008, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Oil on canvas
18.52 X 13 inches each one, (47 X 33 cms) each one
Image copyright Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Courtesy Paradise Row

The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition...

always new books, new programs,

new films, news items,

but always the same meaning.Roland Barthes

Post Krieg, 2009 by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Oil on canvas
37.43 x 29.55 inches, 95 x 75 cms
Image copyright Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Courtesy Paradise Row

Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Topkapital, 2008 by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Oil on canvas, serigraphy
35.85 x 63.83 inches, (91 x 162 cms)
Image copyright Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Courtesy Paradise Row

Agnés Macternity 2008 by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Oil on canvas
31.91 x 35.85 inches (81 x 91 cms)
Image copyright Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Courtesy Paradise Row

sources:

Paradise Row , Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

  • friend
    sheila whittam | 2009-04-08 02:21:56

    Jean-Charles di Castelbajac.. The concept of triumph of the sign- by superimposing sign over classical art but I cannot see the sign connects with the chosen art. Eg.MacDonalds over the mother and child.. what then is the sign saying. Or Dior over the man.. what is the connection with the man?

  • friend
    janez vlachy | 2011-06-30 09:35:59

    How much efforts and knowledge of the artists painters involved.....for something that Andy W. did ages ago, ha. Would appreciate more if Jean-C.C. was the one artist doing it himself, that would make a stronger case. But it is a very good PR for his work, not fair.

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