Torch Gallery is pleased to present New Work of the Faith Culture Collection, the first solo show in the Netherlands by British artist Neal Rock (b. 1976).

Since he graduated from the MA in Fine Arts at Central St Martin in 2000, Neal Rock has been exhibiting in the UK and abroad with a frequency that bespeaks the quality and aesthetic force of a work that reads as a statement on contemporary culture. At barely 30 years of age, critics have already placed his work in the lineage of that of Janet Sobel and Jackson Pollock –and this is no doubt just an appetizer to what awaits him. In the face of a late capitalistic system that recycles and profits from every bit of what first appears as “counter-culture”, Neal Rock produces works which stand at the crossroad of multiple discourses and artistic traditions. Somewhere in between a sculpture, a painting and an installation, Rock hangs his flashy colored silicone dollops to the walls of the gallery, wittily inviting the viewer to wonder whether or not the works will keep on successfully winning over the earthly law of gravity. As much as Rock’s works seem to want to expand into the gallery room as many poltergeist excrescencies announcing the imminent victory of extraterrestrial forces, they simultaneously summon up apparently paradoxical feelings and references bringing out metaphoric associations between the ordinary “real” and the bizarre of nightmarish fantasies. In other words, they assure us that if we ever thought that the ill-shaped birthday cake of our dear aunt resembled that of a gremlins, we weren’t so wrong after all. According to the ordering logics of Rock’s artistic world, there is no essential difference between a creamy pie and a threatening monster: his own works seem to give proof of it. As Neal Rock comments “My work collides the worlds of filmic sci-fi prop/model effects with self-referential abstraction and pop culture. And this practice is, in many ways, symptomatic of the times in which we live. A time of mass amnesia and a ‘dumbed down’ awareness of the political realities that are unfolding in front of our barely open eyes.” And yet, Rock’s intentions are far from being moralistic as he says: “My works are informed by a kind of intentional fallacy or neo-Dada forms of language construction; if you can ‘get it’ then you’re not really getting it, as Groucho once famously said.” To say the least, though his works might indeed stand as visual and material metaphors for the ‘everything goes’ contemporary philosophy, they will also most certainly amuse anybody provided with a keen sense of humor.

The solo show, New Work from the Faith Culture Collection, presents new works by Neal Rock at Torch Gallery to be seen from 21 October till 25 November 2006.

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