Heavy Metal and bubblegum, half serious and seriously ironic, the work of Christophe Lambert often presents itself in a costume of short fast songs and iconic economical imagery, appearing dressed in simplicity to the point of naivety. With this cloak, it sneaks inside a viewer’s heart in a strategy as reminiscent of Homer Simpson as it may be to the contemporary art canon. His work is at once always and never disguised, a distinct and stylized language emerging as a recognizable characteristic in Lambert’s ouvre.
His 2009 solo show (Gallery Daeppen /Basel CH, 2009), ‘Waiting for Better Times,’ was as much of a personal sentiment as it was a statement about society in general. While working to prepare the show, the reality of zero monetary returns kicked in and Lambert found himself playing a number of roles during his preparations. One of these was as a technician in a copy shop. We could take this as a point of departure for his signature nod to submission and spankings. Dreams may be put on hold, but life surely isn’t and while Teenage Black Heart may appear as a logical next step in a chronology of Lambert’s work its conception was more pragmatic than romantic, as an artist’s other labor provided fruit with its pennies. Romantic themes are not absent. Nietzsche and the dwarfs appear as ghosts Lambert cannot rid himself of. The artist attempts to escape metaphysics, by laying a lure, a frame for direct emotional response that may capture experience as Snow White is tenderly butchered by philosophy, psychoanalysis and of course POP.
Teenage Black Heart speaks of purity. From task to media, copy shop to print, the series presents 44 black and white posters … Cheap, Dirty and True … dirty and true … monarchists need only be a bit offended.
This is love, even when Lambert himself tries to convince you otherwise.
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