JOYCE CENTRAL HOSTS GAZELLI ART HOUSE FOR ART BASEL HONG KONG 2017
At the heart of Hong Kong, the JOYCE flagship store on Queen’s Road Central will play host to London’s Gazelli Art House in the lead up to Art Basel 2017. With select artists from Gazelli’s eclectic offering of international talents, the space will be transformed to showcase pop-up exhibitions throughout the iconic store.
As visitors enter the store, a swarm of 26 giant translucent Japanese paper Bees by Kalliopi Lemos hovers overhead in the JOYCE Central window. Commenting on Lemos’ work Navigating in the Dark, Jim Fitzgerald writes, “In the organised structure of the hive, the bees truly offer an image of the precision at the heart of nature, and of the creative process itself, which orders and nourishes the human soul.”
Moving deeper in to the store, a whimsical signature ‘fried egg’ patterned wall acts as the backdrop for paintings by Scottish pop-artist and designer Phillip Colbert. Taking cartoon ‘celebrities’ Mickey Mouse and Snoopy, playfully obscuring them with everyday items, allowing the viewer to gauge their symbolic power. “They are easily accessible and humorous yet profound” says Colbert.
JOYCE Cabinet will exhibit the works of the other half of this husband - wife duo: Charlotte Colbert. With her screenwriter background, the photographer often begins first with a story that her eerie monochromatic stills go on to depict scene by scene. Exploring themes of space, time and reality examples from Colbert’s bodies of work In & Out of Space, A Day at Home, Ordinary Madness and Studies will be on display.
The entrance to the Lower Ground Floor continues with another playful statement wall - this time a giant Wotsit print as the backdrop for a series of works by James Ostrer. His latest photographic studies entitled Wotsit All About? depict the artist and his subjects plastered in layers of sweets, cakes, icing, junk food and gloopy cheese. Exploring the issue of addiction, “I wanted to engulf myself in sugary foods hoping that by doing this, I wouldn’t be attracted to them anymore,” says Ostrer. With an eye-catching tribal ritualistic theme running through many of the photographs, these colourful pieces will also be featured on light boxes in the windows of JOYCE Harbour City and JOYCE Pacific Place.
Gazelli Art House’s takeover of the JOYCE Central store begins on 17 March and will continue throughout the Art Basel Hong Kong Festival 2017. JOYCE will also welcome founder of Gazelli Art House Mila Askarova and the artists Charlotte Colbert and Philip Colbert. All pieces by the featured artists are available for purchase.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE COLBERT
Charlotte Colbert is a Franco/British artist and filmmaker who lives and works in London. She is best known for her surreal and dark imagery. Her work has been likened to the surreal work of Toomer, Breton and Dali (Phaeton), described as “surreal and delicate” and "a gateway into dreams"(Huffington Post),an “exploration of the human mind” (Vogue)and as “existing in that space dreams and nightmares” (Las Ultimas Notices) .
Colbert’s artistic work is strongly anchored within the language of film and storytelling. Her pictures are mostly conceived as a series, a sequence developed in script format before being shot. More recently she has developed large-scale cortene metal sculptures displaying moving image. Her work has strong philosophical undertones, and often plays on questions of time, space and identity. "Richly evocative and cinematic, her black-and-white work delves into interior experiences of the mind.
She explores the inner and outer spaces our minds occupy and transform, either by fear or fantasy. The subjects of isolation, the self and gender also drive her imagination." Ultravie
ABOUT PHILIP COLBERT
Philip Colbert’s strong use of colour and abstraction of iconic imagery place his work within a dialogue with contemporary artists. Like his Pop Art predecessors, he employs aspects of mass culture and removes them from their context to create a provocative, satirical language of his own. Colbert conceives the 1950s American kitchen aesthetic as the foundation of ‘Pop’ and layers it with his own playful response to icons and symbols associated with fine art, such as meat imagery, prominent in the work of Soutine and Bacon. In doing so, he creates a dialogue with established ideas and works of the past. He ironically pastiches this imagery, playing on the notion that their repetition and overuse over the years have rendered them symbols of popular culture.
Known for his outlandish designs adored by Lady Gaga and Cara Delevingne, Colbert promotes the concept of ‘wearable art’, a synthesis of fashion and art that is explored in his first gallery show at Gazelli Art House, London in September 2014.
ABOUT KALLIOPI LEMOS
Kalliopi Lemos is a Greek-born, London-based sculptor, painter and installation artist. She studied painting and printing at Byam Shaw School of Art, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, where she also pursued post-graduate studies. For 15 years, she studied the art of Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement, steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature.
Over the past decade, her paintings, sculpture, and installations have explored the narrative of existential journeys, displacement and the politics of forced migration. During the last decade Lemos has exhibited extensively in various international venues.
ABOUT JAMES OSTRER
James Ostrer’s work often tests the limits of the body politics in the ever evolving analysis of the western body, sexuality, and society. In 2009, Ostrer staged “Customer Container”; an installation in which the artist used photographs of himself taken by six different prostitutes under which the only condition was that they order him to perform as they wished. In 2011, his portrait of Nicky Haslam in Lucien Freud’s chair was “Curator’s choice” for the Taylor Wessing exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Ostrer’s series Wotsit All About 2014 form a bizarre pattern of tribalism or cartoon-like absurdity. They are rife with a sense of ritual endeavor and colour-saturated sensitivity; while palpitating with a nostalgia for sweets they present themselves with an emphasis on the potential havoc these items also wreak within our collective life experiences. His works are often a catalogue of self- destructive behaviors, and are also managed in such a way that while transgressing themselves as odes to great works of historical art practice, they become re-packaged eye candy for uncomfortable consumption. The artist lives and works in London.
ABOUT GAZELLI ART HOUSE
Contemporary gallery Gazelli Art House supports a wide range of international artists, presenting a broad and critically acclaimed programme of exhibitions to a diverse audience through global public projects and exhibition spaces in London and Baku.
Gazelli Art House was founded in 2003 in Baku, Azerbaijan where it held exhibitions with Azeri artists. From 2010, having hosted conceptually interlinked off-site exhibitions across London, Founder and Director Mila Askarova opened a permanent space on Dover Street, London in March 2012. The same year, the Window Project was launched utilising the frontage of the gallery as additional display platform.
In 2015, the initiative was remodeled to solely accommodate art school graduates through open call competitions three times a year. As part of the gallery’s on-going commitment to art education, a series of events and talks are organised to run alongside each exhibition. Also in 2015, the gallery launched its Digital Art House www.gazell.io, an online residency for artists working in the digital realm.