Grip Face (David Oliver) has been busy. At the start of the year, he presented his solo exhibition Masks of a Millennial Generation at Cerquone Projects in Madrid. At a glance, a Pingu-esque totem greets you. Upon closer inspection the pink head with a rosy button for lips is found perched abreast another yellow-eyed face with a USB-C shaped port for a mouth. The upper appears as a facade, breaching the parapet. A caustic reminder of our own social media simulacra.
The artist from Palma De Mallorca has recently unveiled Suadade 01//158, his second exhibition at SC Gallery provides more cloaked characters drowning in their own artifice. The fluffy pinkness of Novo athlete confined harks back to the Masks of a Millennial exhibition, making the lower half of the totem appear oil-slicked in comparison, a reminder of the blue collar preserving the white’s brightness. In Urvanity, Grip Face describes how 1,500 hairs were added, one at a time. The labour appears to be even greater, here, in the construction of the athlete.
A similar narrative thread to his prior exhibition can be found in the wool tapestry, The algorithm crushes the cybernaut. Here, reading the doom-scroller aspect within ourselves as the cybernaut, the information captured by our devices over the years has us pinned into submission. The crushed figure reminds me of a childhood caution, one of the likes of “if you stare at that screen any longer, your eyes will go square.”
The pupils of Cotco 89 #02 have already succumbed, as they cry tears of joy. Or do they? The balaclava’d figure is rendered incapable of laughing, out loud, as their mouth is plugged, and a blank cloud has gathered over their head. The Health Coach is found self-soothing in the foetal position. In this world, cutting uncomfortably close to home, there are only two options: Exercising meditation, or plugging in; and practicing oblivion. Grip Face’s Suadade 01//158 is a room full of mirrors, and they’re looking at you. This exhibition is set to be the first of a trilogy, alongside curator/collaborator Jordi Pallarès, next showcased at New York, and finally in Seoul.