An Inside Eye: The Genesis of Young Masters

As we eagerly anticipate an announcement from our judging panel, revealing which artists have been shortlisted for the Fourth edition of the Young Masters Prize, I reflect back to where it all began.

I first encountered the Young Masters Art Prize in 2009, when I was offered the chance to produce some film-footage covering the exhibition setup and prize opening in the Old Truman Brewery. At the time, aged 17 and studying for my impending A-level Exams, I was delighted to break routine and immerse myself in the excitement surrounding the talent of Young Masters Artists. I had the privilege of filming the vacant venue space as it came to life, filled with colourful and vibrant artwork. My fondest memory was watching Ghost of a Dream cast their magic to fulfil their extraordinary vision of a lottery ticket installation in the space, ‘Dream Home,’ 2009. I can clearly recall the quiet whispering of decision-making between the pair as they discussed and fine-tuned their ticket placements between bouts of frenzied activity. The space had been filled with such heights of metallic, bright colour, and yet carried the eeriness of something more ominous – the tangible weight of broken dreams. The art duo proceeded to win the Prize and contribute to the following 2012 Young Masters Art Prize as judges.

Other highlights have included David Roche and his Pillar of Society, beautiful hair sculptures with decadent wooden vessels by Antonia Tibble, hidden jewels protruding from Maisie Broadhead’s photographs and missing characters from iconic scenes in Charlotte Bracegirdle’s paintings.

From the genesis of Young Masters in 2009, to the Fourth edition of the Prize today, I have witnessed a growing scope and talent of artists. The previous Young Masters and new applicants continue to prove strong that the concerns, ideals and truths pursued the Old Masters run parallel through the practices of artists today. The reverence and irreverence to artistic forbearers, shared concerns and artistic challenges carry as much significance today as they have ever before.

Image Credits: Dream Home, 2009, 102″ high x variable dimensions, $70,000 worth of discarded lottery tickets, cardboard, foam, wood, and steel. Courtesy of Ghost of a Dream.

By Phoebe Walsh, Young Masters Art Prize 2009 – present.

Michal Fargo

Michal Fargo’s work explores materiality and the contrast between urban lifestyle and natural inclinations. Her ceramics defy binary oppositions: abstract/ figurative, organic/ artificial, imitation/ interpretation. Deploying subject matter from “cave-man-esque” meat trophies to natural sea coral and sponges, Fargo toys with the human senses. Born in Israel in 1984, Fargo studied ceramic design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem between 2007 and 2011. Since 2011, she has written for the Israeli design blog Redesign and worked as a ceramic sculpting instructor at several arts centres around Israel, while making her own work from a small studio in Tel Aviv’s Noga neighbourhood. Fargo’s work is included in private collections and institutions such as the Design Museum Holon, the Materials Library Holon (both in Israel), the Jingdezhen Ceramic Museum in China, and the Shepparton Art Museum in Australia. Fargo completed her Master’s degree in design at the Royal College of Art in London, as the recipient of an RCA/Clore-Bezalel scholarship (2014).

Her work was recently acquired by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm through the Bengt Julin Foundation.

In 2012 Michal Fargo was the recipient of the International Artist in the 2012 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, click to view a short film about practice.

We are delighted to announce that that we will be exhibiting Michal Fargo’s work at Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects.

Young Masters Is Pleased To Present ‘Veil’, 2016

Young Masters is delighted to present “Veil” (2016), an installation based on virtual reality (VR) technologies to transport visitors into an alternate gallery space. In an evocative way, the piece invites the visitor to experience the gallery in a new perspective as the technology subverts the traditional gallery experience.

“Veil” is the result of the unique collaboration between fine and visual artist Iain Nicholls and digital designer Tom Szirtes. The site-specific installation allows participants to experience an actual gallery space virtually.

The installation is comprised of a physical model of a humble cardboard house placed on a white plinth, and viewers are invited to look through an attached VR headset. Once wearing the headset, visitors will see the model house and plinth as placed in situ, followed by a surreal semi-narrative sequence. In this digital reality, the model house is subtly different and begins to transform and take on special properties. Participants are able to further explore the miniature house, and through the act of examining, they can pass between the model’s interior and exterior of the structure. In effect, the virtual reality takes over the physical reality.

The piece explores the concepts of recursion, alternate realities, and space referencing the works of Diego Velazquez, Casper David Fredrich, and Hans Holbein. “Veil” was presented with great interest and success in August 2015 at the Barbican Centre and subsequently at the Herrick Gallery in Mayfair and Zealous X Festival. This version is presented courtesy of Gazelli Art House, London.

Exhibition runs from 2 – 8 October 2016

Private View: Tuesday 4 October 2016 | 18.30 – 21.30 | RSVP

Royal Opera Arcade Gallery
5B Pall Mall, St. James’s | London, SW1Y 4UY
Nearest Tubes: Green Park & Piccadilly Circus (St. Jamess Exit)
Hours: Daily 11am – 7pm or by appointment +44 (0)7939 085 076