Artist — Obituaries & World News

Waking the dead

‘Death from Above’ Sartorial Contemporary Art

Extra, extra! Read all about it. There’s nothing like the sensationalism of the news. This exhibition brings together clippings from old broadsheets and incredibly detailed paintings of these snippets. And the thing that ties them all together, apart from that contemporaneousness, is that they’re all about death.

The obituary pages get special attention in this visual graveyard. (And Mendes in particular has a thing for the layout and imagery in The Independent.) There are many images of the famous – Saddam Hussein, Kurt Vonnegut, Anna Nicole Smith, James Brown – all touching on the strange relationship between history and death. There are also pieces from other news fragments. In particular, a rather interesting painting of an artwork (Mark Wallinger’s current Tate installation) of a painting by Banksy. It’s like a visual tongue-twister.

What doesn’t quite come across in reproduction is the skill in the paintings
themselves. Mendes is good with a brush and death becomes him.

Francesca Gavin, BBC Collective, 26 April 07

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