This week London’s Flowers Gallery has been hosting the 22nd edition of Artist of the Day, a valuable platform for emerging artists since 1983. Showcasing the work of five artists, each has been nominated by a prominent figures within the world of contemporary art. Whilst previous selectors have included Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, Maggi Hambling, and Cornelia Parker, this year Jake and Dinos Chapman select Robert Mcnally, Jane Joseph selects Sheila Vollmer, Tom Hunter selects Juno Calypso, Chris Orr selects Alana Francis and Richard Smith selects Martin Potts. Whilst each artist has been individually profiled this week, this weekend sees all five artists work appear collectively at Flowers Gallery for the group exhibition.
Here at Wonderland we’re obsessing over Calypso’s work. A heady mix of pastel pink plastics, seedy mirrors, lacey undergarments, max-volume hair, heart-shaped hot tubs and fetish-meets-food – Calypso’s hyper-sexualised work explores the darker, seedier side of love. Embarking on a solo road trip to a honeymoon hotel, Calypso photographs herself as her alter-ego – Joyce. “I make self-portraits and I recently developed a character names Joyce,” says Calypso. “I build sets and create scenes for her; imaginary bedrooms in which I perform critical studies into modern rites of seduction and beauty, and the laboured construction of femininity.” Using props that range from electronic anti-wrinkle masks and 1980’s computer equipment, to baby oil and tins of cold meat, Joyce appears in heart-shaped hot tubs (legs spread), painted green surrounded by a wall of mirrors and as the centre of a buffet emerging from an oversized birthday cake.
With plans to visit hotels across the world in the coming months, Calypso is set to take her art global. You’ll be seeing more of Joyce, that’s for sure.
Words: Brooke McCord
Photographs: Juno Calypso