I GO ALONE – BY THE KID – 2016 – OIL PAINT AND EGG TEMPERA ON CANVAS – 212 x 354 x 6 cm ©2016 THE KID ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – COURTESY GALERIE ALB
“…But the civilization of the spectacle is cruel, because the spectators have no memory. Because of that, they also lack remorse and true conscience.”
This quote comes from the Mexican poet, Octavio Paz, during a conference and later on his compilation book Chiapas: hechos, dichos y gestos. However, the Mexican Nobel Prize Winner was mistaken and so is Mario Vargas Llosa who quoted him in his essay Civilization of the Spectacle, along with a handful of critics, for we do not suffer from amnesia but rather from hyperthymesia.
The_Kid’s work embodies Aby Warburg’s Mnémosyne Atlas, a project where the philosopher tries to find coherence in forms and gestures rather than in the work of art context. Hence, The Kid’s iconography navigates through time and elderly images of emotional power, such as the Laöcoon that then cohabits with modern symbols of youth. For instance, his sculpture Rise and rise again until lambs become lions, which works as a mnemonic trigger, as the spectator recognizes Michelangelo’s Pietà in the position of the boy’s body, hand gesture and his gaze. Blessed Is The Lamb Whose Blood Flows, is a sculpture where a modern ephebe is being carried out by an eagle and reminds us of the ancient myth of Icare. All this “ancient” iconography is relocated and transformed rendering his sculptures and drawings timeless pieces of art where all sorts of temporalities meet.
DYLAN – BY THE_KID – 2013 – BIC DRAWING ON PAPER – 265 x 195 x 6 CM
PRIVATE COLLECTION ©2013 THE_KID ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – COURTESY ALB GALLERY
Moreover, the despair in the teenagers’ faces reveals something deeply rooted in this generation. Again, in his sculpture Rise and rise until lambs become lions, the Virgin Mary figure is replaced by an animal, a fierce lion who stands next to the adolescent. As a Flower Chooses Its Color is another sculpture where a woman is giving birth to a baby who has tattoos all over his head. This represents social determinism and presumably intends to dismantle the so called “American dream” where supposedly everything is possible through hard work and perseverance.
RISE AND RISE AGAIN UNTIL LAMBS BECOME LIONS – BY THE_KID – 2016 – SCULPTURE IN OIL-PAINTED PLATINUM SILICONE AND VARIOUS MATERIALS NO ANIMAL WAS HURT
87 x 210 x 128 cm ©2016 THE_KID ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – COURTESY GALERIE ALB
The_Kid adheres to the ideology of American writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and even Philip Roth, who question this image of perfection in American society that has now been adopted all over the world. His interest in the younger generation finds an echo in independent filmmakers such as Larry Clark, Gus Van Sant and Harmony Korine where they portray an adolescence marked by rebellion and angst against their elders and authority. The artist doesn’t hesitate to show his disapproval and disdain for the educational system and compares it to a totalitarian regime where individuals are forced to act and think alike. Anti- heroes and lost souls are the central subject of this young artist’s works, young teenagers discouraged by the world are forgotten. To some viewers his work aesthetics can be disturbing and provocative; like those of the video artist Chris Cunningham.
Although all these references emerge from The_Kid’s sculptures and drawings, a less informed spectator can still feel drawn to his work by the masterfulness of his technique in both art forms, a masterfulness that amazes every viewer. I Go Alone, a huge canvas depicting two young boys, was painted using egg tempera, which has the effect of making it look more like a photograph than a painting. In one of the paintings in his series I Go Alone, the young men’s’ faces and range of colours remind us of the brushstrokes used by Egon Schiele in his work Seated Woman with Bent Knee.
Despite The_Kid’s seemingly gloomy vision, “death shall have no dominion” for art shall save us all, art is more than just a mere visual exercise. It becomes an activity enabling action and change. This is illustrated by the fact that most of the money earned from The _Kid’s art is given to Humans Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization helping young children in prisons and thereby challenging the current social standards.
Through The_Kid’s work, a generation, for a long time neglected and despised, finds at last a thunderous voice. The_Kid is capable of seizing our dreams and shaping them. In every piece of his art, the artist reveals a powerful masterfulness that will create an entire universe according to his wishes. Like the great couture designer Alexander McQueen, he intends to build a whole universe in every exhibition or show, into which the spectator will be dragged and almost forced to experience art differently. By combining all epochs and categories, The Kid appears determined to produce and all-embracing art form or a modern “gesamtkunstwerk”, where music, sculpture and video will come together as a whole.
The works of the British photographer, Marcus Lyon, alter the spectator’s visual experience by constantly raising questions about environment, globalization and the human condition.