Who is artist John Keane?
Camberwell School of Art graduate John Keane was the official British war artist during the Gulf War, and is known for his more recent images of Guantanamo Bay, terrorist attacks in the UK and religiously inspired extremism. His work has taken him all over the world, and he has collaborated with organisations like Greenpeace and Christian Aid.
Flowers Gallery exhibition 2015
Keane's latest show at Flowers Gallery flips the phrase 'speaking truth to power' and questions how an artist can really affect change. He explains: “A free society places considerable importance on the contribution of artists and independent thinkers in upholding its freedoms and questioning its values, but how much influence does this really exert?”
Look out for portraits of tycoon Rupert Murdoch and his former right-hand at the News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, and Vladimir Putin with a smear of red paint is dragged across the surface of the Russian President's face to blur his identity. You'll want to see The Distillation of Terror where Keane uses abstract orange and black pixels to respond to the violent desert beheadings by extremists in the Middle East. A particular highlight is also a rare self-portrait or a fallible and reflective Keane.
Theatrical and intensely gruesome in their voyeurism, Keane's work carries a certain charged energy which will make you sit up and listen.
|What||John Keane: Speaking Power to Truth, Flowers Gallery|
|Where||Flowers gallery, 21 Cork Street, W1S3LZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
20 May 15 – 27 Jun 15, Monday - Saturday: 10 - 6pm
|Website||Click here for more details|