MAY 12 - JUNE 23

Now some of you who might wonder. Who is Jack, and what is it that Jack does? Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body! Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake! Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly world!
Jack is the one who learns you how to walk your body! Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all Jackers together under one house!

TACO! presents an exhibition of a new body of work by young British artist Joe Cheetham . Cheetham employs gestural mark making, spray painting and an exotic colour palate in the production of abstract and figurative paintings that draw heavily on a range of influences from rave flyers, club culture, cartoons, graffiti, pop, and art history.

Can You Feel It? is Cheetham’s largest and most ambitious exhibition to date. Lifesized caricatured figures of gurning revellers made from cutout painted canvas are collaged and pasted directly on the wall to form a running frieze running around the gallery walls.

These comedic ravers, replete with party detritus and dress, dance and march arm in arm towards a future promised land, warmed by a benign acid smiley sun.

The tongue-in-cheek bravado of these figures and their trompe l’oeil quips form a mise-en -scene that holds a tangible sense of capriccio*. The promise of the night meets the hedonism of the dancefloor and the inevitable desolation of the morning after.

Dribbling mouths, printed textiles, popped champagne corks, pills, stray hairs, nipples and bloodshot eyes are executed by Cheetham with painted exuberance.

Cheetham’s comedic figures have a distinctly British visual vernacular, resembling the crass cartooning of Viz Magazine merged with the tacky positivity of club culture and the gestural rhythm of spray paint to create vibrant, energised painting that sincerely celebrates its own tastelessness and the romansticism of the big night out.

In his exploration of contemporary culture and consumption Cheetham’s installed figures can perhaps be read as an allegory for our troubled times of political unrest and unleashed dark social forces. Cheetham’s figures unabashedly offer up an antidote, but one we know will leave them spent and wasted in the morning.  

Can You Feel It? borrows its title from the bouncy House classic by Larry Heard.  In Cheetham’s title there is a nod to his continued interest in the legacy of rave culture, its promise and  positivity, but also a wink to its comedown and the inevitable feelings of cultural exhaustion and loss. Can you feel it even though the music has stopped?

*Italian, literally ‘head with the hair standing on end’ meaning both a lively piece of short music and a painting with fantasy and realist elements

Joe Cheetham (1992) lives and works in Glasgow. Graduating from the MFA at Edinburgh College of Art in 2017 previous exhibitions include Trade Gallery, Nottingham , Jackob Kroon Galeri, Slugtown, Newcastle and Voidoid, Glasgow.

30 Poplar Place
SE28 8BA                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ︎      ︎       ︎       ︎