17 May
Echo & the Bunnymen's founding guitar player gets abstract

Echo & the Bunnymen’s founding guitar player Will Sergeant is set to open his art exhibition My Own Worst Enemy at Substrate Gallery in Los Angeles tomorrow (May 18th), where it will be on display until June 16th. Substrate is a Los Angeles gallery exclusively devoted to the presentation and interpretation of contemporary fine art associated with music, so the pairing is natural. Its current exhibition depicts a series of audio waveforms transposed onto clear bulletproof acrylic, for instance. As the only constant member of Echo & the Bunnymen, Sergeant didn’t change his creative approach when he switched from audio endeavors to visual. “It has always been a mystical process and I still don’t understand where it comes from,” he says of creating. “As with the music, the paintings create their own path and they just lead me down it.”

Although the influence of the New York school of Abstract Impressionism is alluded to in his more abstract pieces, with titles like “Chocolate Orange” Will Sergeant could just as easily be influenced by Economy Candy as Barnett Newman. The more you read about Sergeant, the less you feel like you know where he is located in culture. And now, his abstract art. With its pretty colors and pretty reflections, the art is reminiscent of the Barrow Downs. There’s no danger here of the plagiarism that scorned Bob Dylan’s photo exhibit last year. Sergeant’s theme of “I am the brightest light in your eternal state of starry night,” still sings through in his eternally original cadre. Though a tad pretentious, his lack of knowledge about the purpose of his art is actually refreshing; Sergeant’s work seems more about the pleasure of creation than its retinue. The figurative work looks like a Whitney gift store item — successfully referencing art history while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic. If he’s not painting abstract, he’s depicting figures, insects or knives. His knives are stained with day glo un-oxygenated blood (that is, blue). With qualities of fire and taste buds, bubble forms and fading out, his art doesn’t seem to be breaking any new ground but is executed with an original aesthetic. If you’re in LA, make your way down to the opening.

SUBSTRATE
709 North Ridgewood Place
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323.833.6459

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One Response to ““I Am My Own Worst Enemy” Will Sergeant’s First Major U.S. Exhibition In L.A.”

  1. Lisa Kensington says:

    After reading this article, I felt a little lost from the reviewer as they tried to pinpoint the artist’s influences as ranging from Economy Candy to Barnett Newman to Barrow Downs to even exercising a real stretch when referencing plagiarism from Bob Dylan’s exhibition. Also, there are a lot of sentences with contradicting ideas: the ‘pretentious’ line as well as the art not breaking new ground yet the works are still credited as being original to the artist. What I found refreshing about Will Sergeant’s art is that it’s all autobiographical so there is a meaning behind all of the pieces – not sure where the ‘his lack of knowledge about the purpose of his art’ statement derives from. The beauty is in the mystery of the painting or painting style with any piece of abstract art which can be seen here and also dates back to the founders like Newman to De Kooning to Still to Kline. Add in a pop art vibe on some of this particular artist’s creations, and once again we have the pleasure of seeing eccentric and lively art again. Glad to see Sergeant is picking up the pieces where some of our favorites left off.

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