‘Instead of cheap booze, J&B dishes up some disturbing political issues. Stickers, protest slogans and melted refuse bags, rendered painterly through folds and shades of colour, bring social unrest to the art space. What exactly are the refugees running away from? Is only a consumer-immigrant a good immigrant? To spot the dead fly in the soup is one of the artist’s most honorable roles.’ Swiss curator Annina Zimmermann
Is there beauty in decay, even in moral decay? Vanitas artists from the Dutch golden age showed still lifes with lemons, flies and skulls. They had their reservations about the hubris and the inevitable decline of their decadent society. The Rotterdam based J&B collective hijacks the Vanitas tradition and lets Western society comment on itself.
J&B uses the vocabulary of the street. Coloured bin bags are applied directly to the wall in compositions reminiscent of colour field painting and minimal art, with radical recent protest signs fading in. In combination with weathered drawings, glass flies, street soundscapes, lifelike figures and unique stickers, they form thought provoking installations. As in a broken mirror we see the complex zeitgeist and our own, contradictory, human nature.