'Everything Must Go' is the first solo exhibition of Martin Draax at KochxBos Gallery. The opening is April 18 at 17.00.
'Everything Must Go' is a series of life-size pin up drawings, for which Draax uses the iconography of comic strips, pulp covers and B-filmposters as references. He studied the works of masters in high- and low brow art history (think Felicien Rops, Aubrey Beardsly, Alphonse Mucha, but just as well Charles Copeland, Bill Medcalf and Gil Elvgren) and then started his work with only a 4b pencil and the photos of his models. The works have a symbolism of their own: each girl presents a classic pin up type: a nun, a nurse, a space girl, and the like. A running gag is that all girls are smoking, even in situations where this would not be possible.
The series make statements about beauty, about the conception of it and about it’s shelf life. ‘Everything must go’ is comforting as wel as disturbing. It’s referring to a time that pin ups were ‘bad girls’ although we don’t think that anymore. The clothes the pin ups wear refer to professions and other identifiable groups that once indicated great changes in society, then broke loose from their origins to have a second life as sexualised pin up costumes. The work is reminding us that beauty, it’s conceptetion and it’s linked morality does not last forever. But then again, through art, in a frozen way, it does. But Draax’ drawings live, and therefore decay, albeit slowly.
The drawings are 2 meters high and 1 meter wide. Draax draws three months intensively on every drawing and in that period uses the paper as a table cloth. Invited friends come over to have colourful curries and red wine regularly. Spilling food, wine or coffee is adding to the final artwork. This way, each drawing is created and demolished at the same time.
When a drawing is finished, Draax invites the first four people who react to the invitation on Facebook and organises a 'last supper’.
After the stains dried up, the work is framed drilling screws through the paper, so mounting it to blackboard. The screws are not impregnated and therefore will rust over time.The stains and wrinkles suddenly get an unexpected beauty.
’Everything Must Go’ is a statement about beauty, about friendship, about morality and how these concepts may comfort us but only temporary.
'Alles van waarde is weerloos' as Lucebert said.