Matt Ellwood

Citizen K

These works were created and exhibited during a 3-month artist residency (April to July 2012) at the Altes Spital Centre for Kultur and Kongresse in Solothurn, Switzerland. The idea for the work came from a stack of random and eclectic magazines that had accumulated over the years in the provided apartment for artists. One such magazine – ‘Citizen K’, Winter 07/08, International edition (Paris), drew specific attention as it had been scrawled in (allegedly) by a previous artists’ young daughter. Her perhaps unwitting creation of readymade social critiques on fashion, beauty and consumerism were the inspiration in producing this series of couture advertising based realist charcoal drawings. Another aspect of the work is that as a 5 year old magazine in this day and age, the images are outdated and virtually redundant as relevant fashion and the effect of this may highlight similar trends in contemporary art. Furthermore the child responsible for the originals is also increasingly distanced from her creations as she grows up, making many aspects of this work increasingly irrelevant as time goes by. Most of the works are faithful copies of the originals, enlarged through the use of a grid, and de-saturated through the medium of charcoal, but as the series took shape it some of the conceptual parameters shifted to include strategies of hiding, revealing, and manipulating the subject.