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Monuments to the everyday – Kenny Pittock

Published on 24 May 2018
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  • Arts and culture
Kenny-Pittock-Monuments-of-the-Everyday-002.jpg Kenny Pittock shows off some of his artwork at Realm as part of the Monuments of the Everyday exhibition.

Maroondah local Kenny Pittock has an uncanny ability for tapping into the nostalgia of childhood memories.

Pittock is one of three artists featured as part of the Monuments to the everyday exhibition on display at Realm Artspace until 15 July.

His works draw upon Australian icons and culture – think Masterfoods sauce bottles, the humble meat pie and sausage roll, and Aussie summer staples like the Esky, Golden Gaytimes, Sunny-boy and Rainbow Paddlepop – to evoke a nostalgic familiarity with consumer products.

By remaking consumer objects such as ice-cream and chip packets as to appear deliberately handmade, the artist personalises what is otherwise regarded as a mass-produced object.  

“Rather than being about consumerism, to me the works play off the iconography of consumerism to talk in a fun way about more personal and social issues,” he says.

While we see the familiar in many of his sculptural replicas of Aussie contemporary products and objects, it’s upon closer inspection that reveals something else altogether.

Take, for example, his ceramic sculpture of the Golden Gaytime ice-cream which instead reads “It’s About Time”. Elsewhere, a Rainbow Paddlepop, 2018 extends literally into arc form – both a reference of his support for marriage equality.

“I made the Rainbow Paddlepop to show my support of equality and more specifically same-sex marriage, which is the same reason I made “It’s About Time”, another work in the exhibition from the same series. The Rainbow Paddlepop is also part of a ceramic sculptures series I’m working on of simple playful distortions and gestures, similar to another work in the exhibition; the Power Couple.

We see this again in his Sunny-boy sculpture, which been altered to read ‘Sulky-boy’.

“I made my first Sunny-boy sculpture as a commissioned tribute for the iconic Australian band The Sunny-boys. However, the Sunny-boy sculpture I made for this exhibition at Realm has the logo altered to read Sulky-boy, which I guess to me is a reflection on a lot of what I see on the internet. Plus it’s also my response to the fact that Sunny-boy ice treats are no longer being made,” he says.

Combining the mediums of sculpture, painting, drawing, linguistics and photography, Kenny Pittock uses humour and sentimentality to playfully respond to contemporary Australian culture, while simultaneously highlighting our very early attachments to entrapment within consumerism.

Kenny Pittock is a Melbourne-based artist who mixes painting, drawing and sculpture with words, play and wordplay, Pittock was the recipient of the 2016 Muriel McGivern Painting Prize People’s choice Award and the Redlands Konica Emerging Artist Award. He has participated in exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Artspace in Sydney and Galleria 291 in Rome, Italy. His work is held by City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, Monash University Museum of Art collection and the Deakin University Museum collection.

Exhibition opening

Monuments to the everyday is on until Sunday 15 July at ArtSpace at Realm, Ringwood Town Square, 179 Maroondah Highway.

For more information visit the Arts in Maroondah website

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