Simon Bejer

My practice is steeped in the traditions of Western art history, with an emphasis on craftsmanship and seductive materials. Born in Melbourne and based in London, I work across a broad range of media to explore and subvert past and present ideas of beauty, taste and the picturesque. I bring my training and extensive experience in theatre design to bear on many aspects of my artistic practice; in the construction of spatial and material illusions and the creation of a sense of drama and suggested narratives. Play, wonder and absurdity are also central to my approach, which also prizes the development of skills, material experimentation and decorative spectacle which is why the position of decorative surfaces fellow appealed so much.

As decorative surfaces fellow I am eagerly learning historical techniques that I can integrate into my practice, broadening its visual scope and conceptual possibilities. Taking cues from historical styles, especially the Baroque and Rococo, and distorted through time and the geographical distance of my origin, I freely mash-up the languages of decorative arts of earlier periods with contemporary references from popular culture such as Disney films and ready-made toys, embodying the saturated intensity of life in the 21st century. To me there are no distinctions; all is material for the plunder.

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