In the crudely painted text that comprises each of these drawings, Etchells makes the bold and unsubstantiated claim that the work is a private joke between him and a named celebrity of one kind or another. Positioning the work as a simple statement about its own status, the drawings all tap the same tension between public and private, flaunting the supposedly privacy of the joke by declaring it in public. As in Etchells’ much earlier video work Starfucker (2001), the celebrities whose names are invoked in the project are a mix of A and B listers, some from music, others from movies and even current affairs. The transparently absurd claim hovering across the whole series is that the artist is on intimate, private joke terms with every single one of the persons named, from James Franco to Ban Ki-moon and Cara Delevingne.
About Tim Etchells’ Drawings and Prints
As in his neon and LED pieces, Etchells’ drawings and prints often draw on his broader fascinations as an artist, writer and performance maker, exploring contradictory aspects of language – the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.