Curated by Laura Grant, Joe Grillo, Brandon Joyce
The Image has a life of its own. A very real and insolent autonomy. There are images, and entire symbologies, that are as real and weird as our own mothers and fathers. They are not just copies of the world; but squiggly, faithful parts of the whole. A daimonic, demonic influence.
The image, the symbol, the icon, and the whole plane of pop-mythos, have power, dignity, and even a biology of sorts. Cartoons, afterall, have cells. Scrawls and sketches serve as little anatomies and dissections of the living image. And like human and animal life, the image can even experience a kind of image-death. Or an afterlife; a creepy kind of undeath as zombie symbols, afterimages, or free-floating spiritual beings.
Mutant Pop occurs whenever these symbols and symbologies outgrow their sources. When they take root and incubate in impressionable minds. When they turn weird and grow tails and even get worked into a full-blown mythos at the hands of the giddy. Happy, harmless spokes-things assume self-consciousness. Fleeting-or-forgotten cultural moments, like Max Headroom, like Count Duckula, like O.J. Simpson, live on and haunt us through an infectious and hysterical freak culture. And the life-feeling within these images will, at times, even take on mystic or animistic dimensions; as a way of seeing God in the television, so to speak. A new, though somewhat noisier, mythos.
For this, the inaugural show of Loyal Gallery’s new harborside space in Malmö, Sweden, we’ve gathered up fifty some artists under the heading of Mutant Pop, many of them great influences on Dearraindrop, to display a sort of visual genealogy between older Pop-masters and their newer mutant progeny. Offered as more than just innocent fun or frivolity, this exhibition will underscore the very deep commitment to meaning-making running within the Pop sensibility.
This is the premise; this is the show. Both of which will be wrapped up beautifully in a full-color book by the people at Loyal, and distributed as gospel among guardians of the Living Image.
— Brandon Joyce, Philadelphia, PA, May 2010