‘Better & Better’, Norman O’Flynn’s anticipated 2017 solo exhibition, opened at the Worldart gallery in Church Street earlier this month and is scheduled to run until May 31. The works, in the artist’s characteristic pop art style, explore popular culture and “our place in it while the world is changing faster than ever before.”
Titled ‘Better & Better’, the exhibition continues O’Flynn’s narrative of what pop art means today. “Modern consumerism is so rife that consumers have become the product – fuelled by the digital world, consumers aim to project themselves as the ultimate desirable entity,” state promotional materials surrounding the exhibition.
The human physique is both platform and subject in these portraits, which tell the story of chaos, time and self-obsession. “Our spirituality is now central to popular culture where humans play God and God is Superman. Confusion reigns, yet we are glorified,” continue the thinkers behind the exhibition.
O’Flynn’s subjects are covered in tattoos illustrating our want to explain who we are and our obsession to be different. The portraits are busy and crowded, showing the explosion of knowledge that the digital age brought. The exhibition posits a fundamental modern question: “Everything is easily accessible and easy to consume: life is better and better – or is it?”
Norman O’Flynn (b. 1971) lives and works in Cape Town as a painter, sculptor and all round constructor. He has a deep understanding of and love for the pop art tradition and explores what this genre means today. He refers to topics that have become relevant in the last decade and expresses it in a visual language ranging from familiar religious and pop iconography to celebrity culture and self-love.
He completed a BA in Fine Arts at UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art between 1988 and 1992.
Competitions and awards include:
- 2007 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 2006 Pro Helvetia Swiss Residency Fellowship
- 2005 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 2004 Brett Kebble Art Awards finalist
- 2004 ABSA L’Atelier finalist
- 1992 Irma Stern Award for Excellence in Printmaking
Notable solo exhibitions of O’Flynn’s so far include:
- ‘The good, the bad and the BOOM!’ – Worldart, Cape Town (2016)
- ‘BANG BANG BOOM’ – Diedericks Faber., Johannesburg (2015)
- ‘Deep Down we all want to rob a Bank’ – Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town (2010)
- The World Needs Me. Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
- ‘Never Too Late To Be A Man’ – Bell Roberts Contemporary, Cape Town (2007)
- ‘Behind The Tent’ – Thapong, Gabarone, Botswana (2004)
* The Worldart gallery is situated at 54 Church Street, Cape Town.
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