← James Ostrer

Spezifikation #30
James Ostrer, Finding Me Through You

February 15–March 30, 2019

Wenn James Ostrer seine Shows konzipiert, gibt es keine Grenzen. Keine medialen aber auch keine emotionalen. Seine Kunst ist unmittelbar mit seinem Leben verknüpft, lebt von dem, was ihn berührt, prägt, schockiert oder glücklich macht. Das ist genauso politisch wie persönlich, genauso sozial wie egozentrisch. Für diese erste Solo-Show des Briten bei FELD+HAUS sind die Besucher in einen Erfahrungsraum eingeladen, der an die Substanz geht. Ostrer gibt einen Blick auf etwas frei, das normalerweise im Verborgenen bleibt. Seine Performance am Eröffnungsabend, zum Valentinstag, bricht Tabus. Wer sind wir und was macht uns zu dem was wir sind? Wie kommen wir mit unserem Leben klar und was bedeuten wir für andere? Als eine personifizierte Zur-Schaustellung des alltäglichen Konfliktes mit dem Ich und dem Du, der Realität, in der wir leben und den Träumen, denen wir nachjagen, packt James Ostrer uns an der Seele. Was er uns zeigt, werden wir nicht vergessen.

There are no limits when James Ostrer conceptualizes his shows. No medial as well as emotional limits. His art is immediately tied to his life, lives of what touches him, shapes, shocks or makes him happy. It is as political as personal, just as social as egocentric. For this first solo-show at FELD+HAUS of this Briton the visitors are going to be invited to a space of experience, which really takes it out of you. Ostrer opens the view on something, which is normally hidden. His performance on the opening night, at Valentines Day, breaks taboos. Who are we and what makes us what we are? How do we get along in life and what do we mean to others? As a personified display of the everyday conflict with the I and the You, the reality we live in and the dreams we chase, James Ostrer grabs us by the soul. What he shows us, will not be forgotten.

James Ostrer’s work often tests the limits of body politics in the ever evolving analysis of the western body, sexuality, and society at large. Much like Paul McCarthy’s or George Condo’s seminal works, Ostrer’s work forms a bizarre pattern of post capitalist tribalism with cartoon-like absurdity. They are rife with a sense of ritual endeavor and colour-saturated sensitivity; while palpitating with a nostalgia for various ephemera including junk food and animal parts they present themselves with an emphasis on the potential havoc the over consumption of these things wreak within our collective life experience. His works are often a catalogue of self- destructive behaviors, and are also managed in such a way that while transgressing themselves as odes to great works of historical art practice, they become re-packaged eye candy for uncomfortable consumption.

Guru Jimmy has often played a large part in Ostrer’s creative process. James describes him as, “a life saving friend who is a spiritually connected amplifier of positive thinking and happiness that pushes me on a continuous journey of selfl-discovery and learning”
In 2009, Ostrer staged “Customer Container”; an installation in which the artist used photographs of himself taken by six different prostitutes under which the only condition was that they order him to perform as they wished. In 2011, his portrait of Nicky Haslam in Lucien Freud’s chair was “Curator’s choice” for the Taylor Wessing exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The artist lives and works between London, New York and LA.

James Ostrer, born 1979 in the UK, lives in London / UK

Selected Exhibitions
2018   “Johnny just came”, Spring Break – Armoury Week, New York, USA
2017   “The Opera House”, Bombay Beach Biennale, Bombay Beach, USA
2016   “I, Cyborg”, Gazelli Art House, London, UK
“Photo Junctions”, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
“Guru Jimmy”, in collaboration with Absolut and Zuma Restaurant, Hong Kong Art Week, Hong Kong, China
“On the Table” curated by Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek and Wendy Peart, Centra an Sherwood Galleries, Regina, Canada
2014   “Guru Jimmy”, Rob Pruitt’s Venice Flea Market, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
“Day of the Dead”, OXO Gallery, London, UK
“Wotsit All About”, Gazelli Art House, London, UK
“Illuminating the Future”, Christies, London, UK
“Aution for Oceana”, Phillips de Pury, London, UK
2013   “Beast in the Beauty”, Victoria House, London, UK
2012   “The Romance Of Perfection”, Merchant Archive, London, UK
2010   “The Journey”, Heldenplatz, Vienna, Austria
“The Journey”, Plein, The Hague, Netherlands
2009  “The Journey”, Washington Place, New York, USA
“The Journey”, Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain
“Death, Sex and Rebirth”, Coco de Mer Gallery, London UK

Art Fairs
2016   Gazelli Art House, Art Central, Hong Kong, China
2015   Gazelli Art House, Art51, London, UK

Awards / Festivals
2015   „Lagos Photo Festival“, Lagos, Nigeria
2012   „Bloom Festival Public Art Event“, Verona, Italy
2010   „Nicky Haslam“, Curator’s Choice, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2008 Award Winner, Association of Photography Award