Magazine of art press and reviews from London
David Franchi – Wednesday, 9th September 2015.
The exhibition “I Think Therefore I #” by Celina Teague closed with great success, at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.
An interesting debate was raised by “I Think Therefore I #” exhibition and the closing party was enriched by a talk with artist Celina Teague, at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.
Really ascribed to South American style, Celina Teague proposed paintings of robust and vivid colours. The canvases are filled with diverse characters coming from various inspirations, reminding a sort of collage, but actually painted.
Strong is the brainwave that comes from the way (social) media are dealing with current news, as Teague herself said during the talk: “It’s about the social media and the way we collect information. It’s new, it’s changing. We didn’t even use Instagram 2 years ago. There’s a lot of power in collecting information. I feel disgusted by the way the news are coming to us. It’s not that we can control what we see. There is not filter.”
Nowadays, in fact, we are living in dual world. A schizophrenic environment, where the common person has two personalities: one that is physical, and the other to be used online. Supported by more and more refined devices, media are really intrusive into people’s private lives, imposing their ideas and items to buy, which possibly we do not need at all: “Nothing he’s got he really needs/ Twenty first century schizoid man.” the King Crimson were singing decades ago.
We live in a fragmented society, very much sophisticated, full of stimulus, not simply progressing, but literally hasting to a pace never before seen. Even the Futurists, who worshipped speed, were not able to conceive the contemporary situation.
Through social media, changes are quick and unexpected. People need to have many skills, to cope with different environments and situations. Therefore, to connect to the others a person is forced to ‘wear different masks’ one, or more, for each connection. But, in doing so, the person hide the real “Himself”, losing his individuality and thus becoming “No one”. A situation anticipated by the famous Italian Nobel writer Luigi Pirandello and his body of work about the mask – e.g. the novel “One, No one and One Hundred Thousand”.
The person is required to wear different masks to interact, hence, he is depersonalized, unable to react and to express his authentic opinions into the perfectly curated Internet identity he has designed, but that is subject to the chocking and annihilating power of the social media.
The exhibition at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery presented all these aspects, with paintings overcrowded of small hyper- stimulating icons concentrated, surrounded by one colour hatches. Works were interpreting the contemporary schizophrenia of using different imposed masks and the consequent depersonalization.
Celina Teague presented painting that collects different information by using iconic symbols and figures and mixing them together into a single canvas. Just like in real life, in the paintings of Teague there are many details that require different skills of interpretation.
It is a sort of convoluted voyeurism, imposed but that pampers us. We abuse of social media to our advantage, trying to tell our story to an instant audience, to define ourselves to find our personality.
A great source of inspiration for “I Think Therefore I #” was the manslaughter of twelve people in the offices of Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the immolation of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Isis militants, along with the daily news events of wars, cities razed, civilians, journalists and children slaughtered like sacrificial animals.
Celina Teague is born in London. She received an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College in 2007. Prior to this, she studied Fine Arts at the Universidad de Bellas Artes in Oaxaca, Mexico. Recent solo shows include ‘In Search of Lost Space’ at Kristin Hjellegjerde and ‘Brave New World Hits ca Glitch’ at Rook and Raven Gallery, both in 2013. Teague has taken part in numerous group shows in London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Spain Porto, and Vienna.
The exhibition “I Think Therefore I #” by Celina Teague was at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Wandsworth Town, London, from 6th August until 5th September 2015.