Artist RP Browne imagines frightening cities with a wild atmosphere to represent power in its most bestial dimension.
Crocodiles, snakes, and sharks milling about outside their cages in the middle of skycrapers, bridges and roads... Not exactly a new nightmarish blockbuster but what you could see at exhibition « Apex », by Argentinean artist RP Browne, last June in London, in the Crypt Gallery of St Pancras Church.
Living in Dublin for 10 years now, artist and architect RP Browne, born Rodrigo Pérez Browne, worked for three years on this exhibition which combines painting, photography, scultpture, fabric, videos and texts. « I started these works of art in the years following the great financial crisis which violently shook our societies and threatened the system with a form of extinction , Browne explains. My purpose was to explore the connections between animality and humanity, nature and the city, and the original driving forces of power, domination, and social order hidden underneath an urban civilised varnish »
The exhibition offers three series. In « The Elements », reptiles support the cities of London and New York in four paintings representing the 4 classical elements of earth, air, water and fire. A fifth element, « Money », was added by RP Browne. « The Swamp » takes the crocodile pattern again and integrates it into a swampy city. The last series, « The Boardroom », shows predators wearing human suits.
« I find the suits interesting because of the power you immediately attach to them », the artist explains. « The recent Air France episode violently revealed that in our daily life, we cannot imagine a shirt to be so easily ripped open because of the power we assign to it. »
For those who missed the first edition, the exhibition will be shown from 1st to 18 december at the library of the Consulate General of Argentina in New York, before being exposed in a private art gallery. « I am very anxious because if the Crypt Gallery with its arched corridors was literally located underneath the urban crust, the New York setting is the exact opposite, RP Browne says enthusiastically. Big and formal... Like a meeting-room !» An animal and urban quality even in the choice of places where he exposes his works of art.