Vice Magazine’s Latest (and unexpected) Interest- Exhibition Curating
“You know how we sometimes accompany our articles with pictures people have drawn rather than photographs? Those pictures have a technical name that you probably won’t have heard before unless you went to some pompous Viennese art school: illustrations.” Its one of the oddest press releases for an art show ever to land itself in the Fawn Review inbox, but perhaps one of the most honest. The press release is an invite to VICE magazine‘s first foray into art exhibiting. Those who are familiar with the magazine will not be surprised by the unusual approach to the exhibition, if VICE were ever going to do something like this, it was always going to be on their own terms.
The publication is launching a new initiative to display its illustrations at a new show in London at Shoreditch’s Pure Evil Gallery which will run from 17th June to 2nd June.
“The illustrations on offer include depictions of satanic maple syrup or a gimp assassin in the desert”
The images on offer are thought provoking and well executed, many are testament to rich imagination and strong illustrative talent. Some illustrations are work that has been previously featured in VICE, others have been specially commissioned for the event. The illustrations on offer include depictions of satanic maple syrup or a gimp assassin in the desert.
VICE’s venture into gallery exhibiting is an unexpected one. The idea of a retrospective of illustrations from days gone by seems at odds with the magazine’s philosophy of being current to the minute, rather it suggests nostalgia and reflectiveness that isn’t apparent on the pages of the publication. VICE have always presented themselves as the embodiment and champion of the outsider, curating an exhibition to contemplate their own publication seems very much like insider back slapping and self congratulation. The Guardian suggests the move is VICE “seeking out yet more media domination”.
One of the illustrations in the exhibition catalogue encapsulates VICE’s move, perhaps more than they think. This one illustration depicts a bulky and sinister executioner indulging his soppy side in creating a watercolour seascape. This notion of the dark figure embracing its mainstream art inclinations, reflects VICE itself in curating this exhibition.