James Unsworth/Jonny Briggs
James Unsworth and Jonny Briggs
James Unsworth graduated from MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2006. Before this he studied printmaking AT Winchester School Of Art, he has had residencies at Cite International des Artes, in Paris and at the Brno Technological University, Czech Republic. In 2005 he won the Joseph Webb A.R.E Commemorative Fund Award, Awarded to an Outstanding Etcher Under the Age of 35 at The National Print Show. Unsworth was also awarded membership to The Royal Society of Painter Printmakers in this year. In 2006 he won the Tim Mara Award at the Royal College of Art as well as the Arches John Purcell Paper Award at the RE Student Elections.
James’ work presents a grotesque and precisely detailed picture of a dark world all of us have visited but are scared to dwell upon let alone talk about, in order to preserve our own sanity. Many of his works are centred on a sexually obsessive honesty that captivates the viewer in its brazen delivery.
Presenting transgessive views to the laymen by using techniques linked to childhood escapism is a motivation in James’ work. He uses humor as a method of bypassing peoples morals and gaining an instant reaction on the subject presented. His style is encouraged by his intention to reach an audience further than the upper echelon of the art world. The humoristic, narrative Illustrations show a world of deviance, greed and what is perceived as sinful. In this world elderly transsexuals, page three models, faded glamour and popular culture all share the same space.
James combines historical images of folk culture and contemporary references such as the tabloid press and his own experiences. His work is heavily influenced by Hogarth, Gillray, Cruikshank and Comic book artists that he sees as a continuation of the popular print such as Robert Crumb and Charles Burns. James has a great respect for the history of print especially the legacy of accessibility and democracy it gave to images and information. He has been transcribing a series of Hogarth paintings ‘The Election’. These drawings update Hogarth’s social commentary to address current concerns. Within these images James also question current ideas of taste,beauty, attractiveness, highness and lowness. The graphic media used helps convey an instantly received message in a shocking and unadulterated manner.
Vegas gallery is showing Unsworths’ original drawings as well as screenprints on a range of materials that have allusions to historic craft techniques or have an inherent sense of faded glamour.
Jonny Briggs will be showing his photographs at the exhibition. Jonnys’ work often circulates themes of the domestic relationship between his parents. Sparked off by negative emotional experience and fuelled by obsession, this work adopts a cathartic role. Jonny is fascinated by standardization, repetition,routine, and his own obsessive behaviour.