Jamie Hewlett announces first art exhibition ‘The Suggestionists’

18.09.15

Gorillaz founder Jamie Hewlett has announced details of his first art exhibition, taking place between November 18th to 2nd December.

Titled The Suggestionists, Hewlett's new body of work at the Saatchi Gallery has been curated by Christopher Westbrook and produced in conjunction by Eleven Mgmt. A press release details the experience as follows:

"In the first gallery is “Tarot”, Hewlett’s idiosyncratic, breathtaking interpretation of the world of tarotica. Extrapolating from magic realist Chilean art film auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky’s reconstruction of the original Tarot de Marseille – which he considers the one true Tarot – Hewlett has produced 22 larger than life Tarot cards, reconciling Jodorowsky’s uniquely psycho shamanic sensibilities with his own distinct stylistic signature. In Hewlett’s playful, beautifully rendered appropriation, familiar looking creatures clamber over “La Roue De Fortune”, the finely detailed expressions of the characters in “L’Amoureux” belie the romantic dilemma the young man faces, a trademark monkey even replaces the traditional dog in “Le Mat”; it’s a welcome intrusion of sly absurdity into the arcane and divine.
 
The viewer is then enveloped in thrilling darkness for “Honey”, the next segment of the exhibition, as Hewlett reveals his frisky homage to the exploitation movies of the 60s and 70s. With a series of giant lightboxes providing the only source of illumination, the space evokes the deliciously sleazy ambiance of an adult cinema lobby, with Hewlett completing the atmospheric hat trick by creating fake vintage movie posters that use gloriously trashy directors such as Russ Meyer and Terry Southern as an irreverent jumping off point before careering recklessly in his own direction. Revolving around the fictional character of “Honey”, Hewlett draws deeply from the lexicon of B-movie language to create posters which are bold, audacious, saucy and, at the same time, deeply authentic – right down to the affectionately rude credits.
 
From the nocturnal to diurnal then, as Hewlett brings the viewer blinking into the daylight with “Pines”, the final, most lyrical section. Featuring extraordinarily detailed illustrations of trees Hewlett observed while in the south of France, these large-scale drawings may look simple but are in actual fact astonishingly meticulous – almost photo-realist – in execution and highly evocative, conjuring a heady, magical, bucolic landscape with all the wide-eyed innocence of a fairytale. It is a fitting finale to a show in which heterogeneous images of the conscious and unconscious, every day and fantastical, all occupy the same space, emphasising how strictures can be undermined or heightened simply by the power of suggestion."

Pre-exhibition prints and further details can be found on Jamie Hewlett's official website.