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LESS IS LESS - MORE OR LESS
Duggie Fields's dayglo post-pop paintings are instantly recognizable. Despite his concern with the identity-dissolving impact of mass media on the contemporary psyche, Fields manages to sustain a coherent signature style that is as flamboyantly dysfunctional as it is cool and simple. Applying overdriven colour and stripped down cartoon-ish drawing to produce mutant variations on classical poses and genres, Fields' work scrambles categories, freaked out and flatline, delirious and deadpan all at once.
Combining elements from disparate cultural and historical vocabularies, Fields' paintings look like stained glass windows for some cathedral of modern Media. The artist's manic imagination throws up deranged icon paintings, casual violence erupting out of ritual and kitsch. Promiscuous and dangerously volatile, Field's multiverse is a place where ballroom dancing and comic book mutilation intersect. Nothing in Western culture is safe from Fields, for as the artist argues in his 'MAXIMALism' manifesto of 1995, digital media has rendered history part of a continuous present.
Fields confronts us with the (sur)reality of an infinitely malleable, perpetually mediated world. The new media of the digital age allow 'infinite opportunities for new synthetic constructs', writes Fields. 'We are of necessity the Primitives of a New Sensibility, born in the Virtual Age.' Fields graduated from Chelsea School of Art in London in 1968. After Minimal, Conceptual and Constructivist phases he arrived at a more hard-edge post-Pop figuration. In 1983 the Shiseido Corporation in Tokyo created a gallery specially for his show, and Fields and his work were featured in a simultaneous national television, magazine, billboard and subway advertising campaign. He started working with digital media in the late 1990's describing his work in progress as Maximalist.