Art-el Gallery is delighted to announce the first solo London exhibition from one of Bristol’s most exciting young visual artists to have emerged from the street art scene, Acerone (Luke Palmer).
Entitled ‘Where is Iron John?‘, Palmer’s new body of work depicts images from his exploration of masculinity and the transition into manhood, inspired, informed and twisted from the iconic Grimm Brothers ‘Der Eisenhans’ fairy tale and it’s unique review through folklore and mythology by Robert Bly.
From innovative photo-shoots Palmer reveals some of London’s most classical statues and sculptures that evoke personal representations of the fragility, serenity and the complexity of modern masculinity and its links to the male of yesteryear. Blended with images depicting the pace and expectation of inner-city modernity, double exposure images are replayed in paint and print creating works that are anchored in history whilst emphasising the pressure on the modern male.
“Art-el Gallery is proud to represent Luke’s work in his principal London exhibition. His shows in Bristol have attracted a diverse range of admirers and collectors and we are delighted to have the pleasure to bring this work to the capital”.
The Scottish writer and activist Alistair McIntosh once told me ‘It’s tough to be a young man in this world’ and he was right.
Images of adult manhood given to us by popular culture and mass media appear worn out. The right man, the tough man, the true man, all of which have been force fed to us since birth and are neither accurate nor relevant to the real life of a modern male.
When I recently became a father, my preconceptions of what it meant to be a man were flipped upside down. I found that the irreversible transition between boyhood and manhood had begun and with guidance from a long forgotten fairy tale, my most recent work explores key moments from what is perhaps the most challenging and turbulent time in any man’s life.
The collection of work comprises paintings that juxtapose imagery of London streets and statues of immortalised heroes, double exposure photography and installations that use images of light and death as an allegory for change. ‘Where is Iron John?’ is a visual representation of a young man dissecting masculinity whilst negotiating the complexities of modern life in the inner city.
Acerone’s (Luke Palmer) paintings have been exhibited in a number of group and solo shows in his hometown of Bristol, as well as on streets and abandoned buildings in the UK and beyond since the mid 90’s. His recent gallery works are an accumulation of 17 years’ operating as a graffiti artist with the internationally recognised TCF Crew, whilst working as a freelance photographer and lecturer at the City of Bristol College. Blending together experimental photographic techniques, bursts of light and paint, Palmer’s innovative paintings capture the energy and vibrancy of his street based murals directly onto canvas.
Palmer’s mural work can be seen adorning walls in and around the streets of Bristol as well as in many esteemed public institutions and private collections such as the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery, the Tobacco Factory Theatre and the new M-Shed Museum in the regenerated docks area of Bristol.
He has exhibited in two solo shows; ‘Call to Adventure’ at the Colston Hall, Bristol (2010) and ‘Photographiti’ at Friend & Co Gallery (2009) as well as numerous group shows including ‘See no Evil’ the ‘Weapon of Choice’ pop-up gallery (2011), ‘Crimes of Passion’ at the Royal West of England Academy (2009), and he also co-curated ‘Distance Travelled’ & ‘Triple Drop’ at the Centrespace Gallery in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
In 2009 Palmer was the recipient of the first prize award in the ‘Bristol: A Second Look’ photography competition for his unique take on portraying the atmosphere of the city in a single image.
Palmer’s 2011 joint commission with illustrator Andy Council, for the City of Bristol’s flagship ‘People’s Museum’ M-Shed, was critically acclaimed by James Lachno in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, who commented:
‘If a centerpiece exists then it is ‘Window on Bristol’, a huge graffiti-esque picture of Bristol’s buildings as a looming, luminous dinosaur arching over the M-Shed itself, by artists Andy Council and Luke Palmer.’
With thanks to Bristol Beer Factory who will be providing the opening night refreshments.