(Shoreditch, London) - D’Stassi Art is pleased to present Supersonic Jelly Babies, a new body of work by London-based British artist David King Reuben. For the artist’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery, a selection of over 50 uniquely-titled mixed-media works from the larger series of 148 will explore themes of childhood innocence and its subsequent loss. Reuben reflects upon his strict upbringing in an orthodox Jewish family and his rebellious adolescence, engaging in a physical practice of art-making through processes of creation, destruction, and transformation. Supersonic Jelly Babies will be on view at D’Stassi Art from April 8 through May 20, 2022.
For his new work, the artist has drawn inspiration from the visual aesthetics and sensory delight of childhood play - from the huge, dazzling eyes that adorn many toys, to the glossy, slick sheen of plastic, enchanting kids with a kaleidoscopic range of candy-colored cuteness. The captivating energy behind the eyes in each work bears a resemblance to the artist’s own intensity. As windows to the psyche, the eyes that distinguish each work of art vibrate with vitality, an electric aura emanating from within. Each Supersonic Jelly Baby combines the many tactile and visual elements that characterize the most sensational toys. The hypnotic appeal of Reuben’s series matches the enchantment of an over-stimulating toy store; the artist’s method of production, however, is intuitive and process-oriented, unlike the research-driven development of consumer products.
Reuben’s approach involves a physically and emotionally taxing sequence of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. The multifaceted cycle, tailored and tweaked for each piece, begins with an initial phase of painting on stretched canvas, forming and firing ceramic elements, and affixing those elements to the painted canvas. Following this first stage, Reuben employs all the destructive tools and techniques imaginable in order to answer a recurring question throughout his work: “How many ways can you smash it?” Trading his paintbrushes for hammers, blowtorches, fists, and guns, Reuben gives the work its “supersonic” name through acts of artistic violence. The final step in his process is repair; entirely new outcomes arise from the fragmented rubble of the artist’s own making, generating finished work that could only be realized from ruin. The finishing touch, a gelatinous coating of clear resin, cures and seals the work, preserving the many phases of its creation beneath a slick plastic veneer.
Each work in Supersonic Jelly Babies contains layers of powerful emotion, experience, and action, encompassing the joys and tragedies that mark a life well-lived. Reuben thrives in a state of excitement, relishing in the full spectrum of being, from one extreme to the next. Through this new body of work, viewers can join the artist in celebrating the multitudes of life and the depths of human expression.
About David King Reuben
David King Reuben is a London-based, British contemporary artist known for his highly textured painting style and compelling drawing of different characters and symbols. He works in a wide range of media including etching, lithograph, painting, drawing, and prints. His work has been featured in American Vogue, Italian Vogue, Cool Hunting, and more.
Born in 1988, Reuben was raised in an orthodox Jewish household with his six siblings in Northwest London. During his teens, the artist discovered his passion for color and texture as a way to explore the world without rules and boundaries outside of his radical Jewish upbringing.
About the Gallery
Since the brand's inception in 2017, D'Stassi Art has established a unique platform for the world's most inspiring emerging talent. In the traditionally exclusive art world, D'Stassi Art looks to discover, encourage and help introduce clients to works of art based purely on how passionate we are about them. The gallery has helped to introduce a variety of the art world's clientele to important contemporary artists through immersive and inclusive events.
D'Stassi Art's main goal is to be as open and transparent as possible with a clear purpose to diversify contemporary art audiences. In its reluctance to simply follow the traditional gallery formula, D'Stassi Art is quickly becoming a key player in a world where art doesn't have to be experienced in an elitist, sterile, and often silent white-walled room. The gallery and its staff act as storytellers: primarily introducing clients to the story of some of the world's most gifted artists.