How do you turn a wall into a door? It’s easy. If you are an artist – you just take a coloured crayon or pencil and draw a door on the wall. Job done!
The ground floor windows of the elegant 18th century townhouse in Mayfair are frosted over. Is it open? Look carefully and there are all sorts of patterns subtly visible from the outside, but enveloping you in a different, more private, world when you enter the door and venture inside and have limited visual connection with the street outside. You are trapped in this disconnected strange world where the artist Oliver Jeffers twists things round and turns things upside down, with his unique visual imagery, in the process often making serious political commentary
The United States of America becomes the Disunited States of America, the Self Driving Car is driven by a car gripping the steering wheel, passengers lost at sea in the Titanic become Lost at Tree, a microscope becomes a Macroscope, a map of land and sea become literally a map of Land and Sea and the map of the world is shown upside down, but why should we always show it with Europe, America and Russia at the top – why should it not be shown the other way up? The Gift of Bricks from Britain and the passport missing Northern Ireland reminds us of some of the real threats which have not been solved in Brexit, while the Earth and the Moon may be 238,855 miles apart but they are connected and provide opportunities to deal with population growth on Earth given that no one currently lives on the moon.
These are just a few of the many themes that Jeffers has explored. Lastly, in ‘He Was Only Trying to Help’, King Kong, with his yellow safety vest, takes on some of the attributes of demonstrators in Paris and those who, like King Kong, feel that they have been left high and dry by society.
Irish illustrative artist and author Oliver Jeffers now lives in New York. His exhibition ‘Observations on Modern Life’ at LazInc shows a decade of his humorous and politically-pointed work. Each of the 50 works is a unique story in its own right.