Swipe File: Gardar Eide Einarsson and Mike McMahon

Posted by April 29, 2010 Comment

This is a double page spread from 2000AD’s ABC Warriors by Pat Mills and Mike McMahon.

And this, The Virus Is Activated By Fear from a new exhibition by Gardar Eide Einarsson. The exhibition text says;

Reproduction as theft, and authorship as failed claim are the central conceits in this exhibition by Gardar Eide Einarsson. His concurrent fascinations with criminality and appropriation come together in an installation that appears to mark the jettisoning of his overt approach to political subject matter in favor of a formalist’s engagement with the legacy of modernism. Using the history of abstraction and pop as a readymade, Einarsson here distills a poetics of disruption, shifting between drippy hard edge abstraction, graphic renderings from mainstream sources, and the occasional deployment of the ben-day dot.

In preparation for this exhibition, Einarsson selected a number of images from the public domain that were of cursory interest to him: a book cover, the design on a napkin, a chain link fence, a section of the confederate flag, a comic book panel. He then set about transforming each of these pictures into an artwork. The stolen image became the property of the artist through gesture, labor, rendering. This project, however, has a secondary layer of appropriation for, after making each painting, Einarsson then immediately created another using the same image with a slight modification made through re-cropping or resizing. The “genuine” as embodied in the first painting is denied or, at the very least, called into question by the second. The drips, for example, become pastiche.

I’m not sure if 2000AD publisher Rebellion will have the same definition of public domain

In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself.  If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn’t judge, it’s interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.

(Last Updated April 29, 2010 9:58 am )