b.1967, Guildford, UK
lives and works in London
Turk’s installations and sculptures deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work, Turk’s engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp. His characteristic works include the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of rubbish in art.
– Nomad (2003)
– Prone (2003)
Gavin Turk takes his inspiration from the streets. He makes sculptures in bronze from ordinary, everyday objects such as garbage bags, sleeping bags or disposable coffee cups. These are then painted. The works are hyper-realistic. Rather, the atmosphere is wry and ironic. The artist gives a canonical status to something that is literally trash and usually overlooked.
‘Nomad’ is a bronze cast of a figure lying curled up in a sleeping bag. At first glance, this really looks like a sleeping homeless person wrapped up in his cocoon of a sleeping bag. The title refers to a wandering existence outside our system of cultural norms and values. The seemingly soft folds of the sleeping bag turn out to be hard metal. It is a cast of a sad social phenomenon. The pillow brings no solace.