Bollocks! It isn’t just “that part” of a man’s anatomy but is a testament to the grin-and-bear-it spirit of British culture that has spawned some of the best-loved bands, films, and artists. And with Virgin Records celebrating their 40th Anniversary this month in London, this week we salute our friends across the pond.
In 2011, I went to see a restrospective of the British conceptual artist, John Stezaker at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. It was the first time I had seen or heard of Stezaker but I was more than pleasantly surprised. His work is mostly collage and photo-montage and very surreal in nature. In the early 70s, Stezaker was part of the a young group of artists from the Slade School in London who’s work reacted against the popular Pop Art movement of the time. Taking images from popular media, landscape photographs, postcards, and iconic movie stills, Stezaker elegantly combines images to create immense depth with the simplest of forms; slicing up and merging together fragments of portraits and landscapes to the create the illusion of a new portait-scape. His art fits well within the era of post-punk rock and Joy Division would be a fitting soundtrack for the minimalistic and eerily beautiful portraits of John Stezaker.