Deus Gallery Opening… “Radical Departures” the most recent work by Ornamental Conifer
Place your tray table in an upright position and belt yourself in as you jump aboard the Deus Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Radical Departures” the work by Nicolai Sclater aka Ornamental Conifer. The gallery was full to the brim with fans and curious taking in the sublime and subversive work served up.
To the uninitiated it might seem that this is just another show by the artist whose become synonymous with helmet and jacket art but scratch the surface and you find something totally different.
The name of the show grew out of a conversation Nico had with his partner and muse Stephanie. Radical; a nod to his past, the skate iconography of his youth he’d collected. He had curated many the bottom of a skateboard with items that fit together. Then he’d hung them in pride of place in his room, in contrast to the David Hockney his parent hung in pride of place in the family home.
Departures; the future, the possibilities. The point where one leaves. Moves on. It’s also a reference to the many lounges that helped him formulate the content and direction of the show. Dare Jennings first invited Ornamental to exhibit while he was working in New York. He’d then flown home for a week before going to Milan for another job. Then back home to LA for another week and some different commissions before finally out here to Bali. This might not seem much but all of this, including the week and a half he’s been here to produce the work has all taken place in the last month. He’s definitely no slouch.
Another departure is the medium. Gone are the helmet’s and jackets we’ve all grown use to. There’s no silkscreen prints either. All the new works are one off’s..
In Radical Departures the works are all gouche. When starting out Nico had cut his teeth first using house paint before moving onto acrylics then onto using spray paints and enamels. He had always seen this medium as quite daggy, old peoples did water colours but he had misunderstood it’s potential. Another thing he had to leave was his painting techniques. Nico had to change his whole hand position and manner to get the results he coveted. Before he’d drag the brush to him with these new pots of colour he had to push the paint away from him.
Foremost though was a feeling that through the plentitude of commercial work he’d produced to his recognised formula there was a point where the switch would flip and market saturation was met. It’s always good to reinvent one’s self. For an artist such as the Ornamental Conifer it’s amazing and we are so happy he did it over at our house.