Second Floor Studios & Arts – [SFSA]

SFSA studio member Derek Curtis – New Exhibition – THE MAGIC KINGDOM ISN’T WORKING

Posted in Events, Featured Studio Member, New Works, SFSA Members by Second Floor Studios & Arts on September 16, 2011


Art Work Space is proud to present THE MAGIC KINGDOM ISN’T WORKING, an  exhibition of new work by DEREK CURTIS.

This show will feature a series of new, large scale paintings by British  artist, Derek Curtis. Curtis is known for playfully exploring contemporary  cultural, social and economic issues in his work and with this new exhibition  ‘The Magic Kingdom Isn’t Working’ he again invites the  viewer to examine the real world around him, through an imagined land.

Specific to the new collection of paintings is a consideration of the effects  of the current financial crisis. Acutely topical, the work uses the fantastical  inhabitants of this ‘Magic Kingdom’ to illustrate the desires,  disappointments and dichotomies of contemporary society: whether it be when  the artist, as an illusionary estate agent, advertises and beautifies the  most undesirable of properties – a Dragon’s cave or an ivory tower – in  the painting ‘The Huntress’ in which a goddess-like archer,  surrounded by nature’s bounties, chooses to target a shopping trolley,  or the exhibition’s title-piece, ‘The Magic Kingdom Isn’t  Working’, based on the infamous 1979 Saatchi & Saatchi advert which  bemoaned Labour’s efficacy.

To create his work Curtis initially assembles collages – incorporating images  and texts to give visual representation to his ideas. Once the basic  structure is formed, he begins the painting process, using gloss paint on  aluminium sheets to produce his striking images.  The reflective quality  of the surface exaggerates the impact of the bright, seductive colours  employed by the artist – inviting viewers to enter his playful realm,  where fictional characters act out contemporary narratives in glorious  Technicolor.

In ‘The Magic Kingdom Isn’t Working’, Curtis once more  succeeds in drawing in the viewer through his seemingly cheerful images, only  to cleverly reveal deep and resonant social insights.

For more information go to

Derek Curtis ‘The  Magic Kingdom isn’t working’
Monday 3rd October—Friday 18th November 2011

  • Art       Work Space
  • Lower Ground Floor, The Hempel Hotel,
  • 31—35 Craven Hill Gardens, London W2 3EA
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