About the work
Untitled constructs an alternate fantasy world from digitally manipulated images that playfully present contemporary detritus as natural forms. A young boy (the artist’s son) holds up a half-cut Ribena juice box and clutches a teddy bear against an intergalactic backdrop of dark sky and constellations. Suspended around him is an array of silver crisp packets, fluttering like butterflies. Mat Collishaw’s image also alludes to different temporalities, referencing the past, present and future. His son, an entity from the present, is dressed in historic clothing resembling a character from a Charles Dickens novel, while the timeless and future-gazing galaxy unfolds behind him. Untitled is part of the Screen portfolio consisting of eleven screenprints by 12 artists living and working in London, produced by the Paragon Press in 1997.This print is an example of Collishaw’s early career from the 1990s, a period during which he became acutely aware of media interest in sex, violence and depravity. One of his best-known works of the period, Bullet Hole, a photographic close-up of a gunshot wound, was included in the controversial 1997 Sensation exhibition held at the Royal Academy and later at the Brooklyn Museum, New York.
About the artist
Mat Collishaw (b. 1966) is a key figure in the generation of British artists who emerged from Goldsmiths’ College in the late 1980s known as the YBAs (Young British Artists). He participated in the seminal group exhibition Freeze (1988) and since his first solo exhibition in 1990, has exhibited widely internationally. His practice encompasses photography, film, sculpture and installation. Collishaw lives and works in London.