Joyce is well known for his bright and colorful—but always reductive—graphic and typographic artwork. He’s a regular contributor to publications such as the New York Times, Wallpaper*, The Guardian and Time. Colette’s feature of Joyce’s Likes series draws parallels to today’s youth culture and that from the late 20th century.
If the youth of the 1960’s and early 70’s owned ‘Love’ as a word that summed up their generation, then perhaps it could be said that ‘Like’ is the internet generation’s equivalent defining word of their time.
‘Like’ has become ubiquitous in recent years thanks to its use as the currency of popularity within social media platforms. In fact, it has become more than just a word; it has become an action, a reward, and an icon of sorts where status and ego are bolstered by the number of interactions or ‘likes’ earned by social media users.
James Joyce’s Like paintings take a neutral and ambiguous position. They can be read as both a reflection of a vacuous culture defined by a word that has lost it’s meaning, endlessly and mechanically repeated, or as a celebration of ‘Like’ as a positive expression, transformed from its former passive status by its modern active context.
The title of the exhibition, ‘100 Likes’, reflects the total number of pieces included in the show which comprises works arranged in various iterations and number groupings, appearing both as large-scale paintings and silkscreen prints.
‘100 Likes’ will occupy the gallery and first floor of the store, while, on the ground floor, other works will be exhibited – including five artist’s proofs of the sold-out screen printed edition Joyce created for Banksy’s contemporary art show Dismaland.
@jamesmjoyce / www.jamesjoyce.co.uk