John Squire: Celebrity presents the new gods: celebrities, the famous and the infamous, the sublime and the ridiculous in an extraordinary solo exhibition hosted at the IG Gallery
John Squire: Celebrity will reveal an illuminating collection of completely new works examining how modern Western society’s idolisation of celebrity culture has devoured our traditional symbols of salvation and replaced them with new gods. The exhibition offers an opportunity to see these ”Ëmodern idols’ in a completely new light ”â as simply names and patterns in place of faces. All of the works have never previously been exhibited.
“It’s a brief respite from the endless bombardment of celebrity images. It asks: How often do we really need to see copies of complete strangers’ faces, and why do we collectively choose those particular people?”Â John Squire
Using patterns and symbols inspired by the ancient and mythical eight pointed star, John Squire has created a series of abstract artworks as reinterpretations of famous and recognisable subjects; from Keira Knightley (Attached), Lindsay Lohan and David Beckham to Joseph Fritzl and Harold Shipman.
The eight pointed star has straddled symbolism and religion for centuries; rooted in early astronomy it has represented the eight paths in Buddhism, the eight immortals in Chinese tradition as well as having symbolic pertinence in Babylonian Star Cults and signifying both god and star for the Ancient Sumerians. For traditional Islamic artists, this focus on pattern and geometry was a method of avoiding all forms of idol worship ”â since depictions of Allah and Mohammed are strictly forbidden in the Islamic faith.
For John Squire, it was this use of the eight-pointed star in traditional Islamic designs which spoke out most powerfully. The works he has created echo this historical pattern making and ornamentation, to represent those celebrities and infamous personalities whose narratives have been published so often as to immortalise the individuals themselves.
“I applied this concept to the gods chosen by modern Western culture; those whose stories have been told and retold and whose images have been mass produced to such an extent that they are granted a kind of immortality”Â John Squire
John Squire’s art work has a rich legacy dating back more than twenty five years, beginning with his sleeve designs for The Stone Roses. Though best known for his illustrious career as songwriter and lead guitarist for the band, the artist has never stopped painting.
The exhibition runs from 24th May – 18th June 2011
The Idea Generation Gallery
11 Chance Street
Open Mon-Fri 10-6pm, Sat & Sun 12- 5pm
Nearest Tube Shoreditch
Source – IG Gallery