RUN TO ME brings together the work of painter Sam Jackson and photographer Derek Ridgers. Curated by Faye Dowling, the exhibition celebrates the sacred ceremonies of excess, desire and experimentation which intoxicate our youth.
British artists Ridgers and Jackson are united by an instinct to document the characters and compulsions that have driven the heart of our youth culture. Their photographs and paintings lead us into the nocturnal romances of passion and performance which ignite our passage of youth. The ceremonies of dressing up and dancing, the seduction of exposed flesh and of kissing in dark doorways. The melancholy and mischief, the ecstasy and heart break.
Over four decades Derek Ridgers has been photographing the beautiful and the damned in his ongoing portrayal of youth culture and identity. Photographed in iconic clubs such as Blitz, Billy’s and Skin II, his portraits capture the subterranean club-life of the 1980s and 90s, conveying a dark carnival of music and fashion, love and lust. Caught in the flashlights, we see ourselves reflected in the faces of his photographs; and witness the tensions between power and vulnerability, questioning who is in control - the observer or observed?
Sam Jackson’s compulsive oil paintings explore themes of transgression and power in intimate portraits of youth culture and desire. Jackson’s text appears propelled to new, heightened voices. Symbols and statements speak of inner dialogues and desires, driving us to question the tensions between our public and private identities; and to navigate truths about intimacy, fantasy, and will. With gravity and compassion, Jackson’s paintings walk the line between violence and vulnerability, regret and desire, kissing and fucking.
Both provocative and touching, their intimate portrayals embrace the questions and compulsions that unite us. Disarmed by our desire to explore who we are, and who we can be. Transcending generations, time and place, through their work we discover that these compulsions, these transgressions, lie at the heart of what makes us human. A sacred passage through which we can engage with the Gods and ghosts within ourselves. Illuminated in the spotlight, for a moment, forever.
RUN TO ME is curated by Faye Dowling, UK, in association with CHARLIE SMITH LONDON and GALERIE HEIKE STRELOW, Frankfurt. The exhibition opens a two-part show which will tour to Frankfurt in 2018.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited-edition catalogue featuring a further exploration of Ridgers’ and Jackson’s work, and a conversation with the artists recorded in London, 2017.