This summer, we’re outside. Whether it be sailing down the Serpentine on a plastic paddleboat or living our best lives in the club, we’re making the most of it. But when we need a chill day, the first place we’re venturing to is the Saatchi Gallery for Ben Turnbull’s American History RemiX exhibition. Looking back on America’s 150-year history, the artist unashamedly shines a lens on the country’s most defining moments, from Kennedy’s assassination to Trump’s inauguration. Captured via his love for retro comics and old school action figures, Turnbull intricately tells each story poetically and delivers powerful statements on the country’s unwavering dedication to patriotism and identity.
“It’s my business to expose myths, to not accept what’s force-fed to us by the mainstream and to shatter the idealised portrayal of the American dream,” Turnbull said when discussing the exhibition. “From referencing the ‘Wizard of Oz’ connection to the Native American massacres in ‘Manifest Decimation’ to the link between the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Timothy McVeigh’s t-shirt slogan in my most current piece, I’m repurposing kids sanitised PC comics and toys to create my hardcore version. There’s an extra layer of irony that you can add when the work dictates what medium I choose to use.”