No matter which corner of the world you have been raised is, chances are you have grown up in the shadow of American culture. A playground in which Mickey Mouse is King and MacDonalds is accepted as currency. For Boo Ritson, this obsession has lead to a long running theme within her art. In particular the lower end of American culture in which fast food and trailer trash are symbols of the USA.

Her current exhibition, Back-Roads Journeys centres on life in the small towns of the United States, in particular the diners and gas stations which act as the social hubs of the town. Picking up on the iconic symbols of these locations, Ritson creates a group of characters whose entire world revolves around the back roads of America.With this exhibition, Ritson has moved away from the colourful objects of her previous series. Crediting unfinished portraits as an inspiration, the artist has left huge sections of the characters unpainted, creating an emphasis on the painted sections and what they symbolise in American culture.

In order to create each image, Ritson creates a sculpture on a living model. She paints directly onto the skin and clothes of the model, then photographs the result, incorporating painting, sculpture, performance and photography. Due to the speed at which the paint dries, Ritson is forced to work quickly, meaning there is no time for mistakes. The two scenes in Back-Roads Journeys, The Diner and The Gas Station are currently on display at two separate locations in central London. The Diner at the Alan Cristea Gallery and The Gas Station at the Poppy Sebire gallery. The exhibitions continue until November 21st.

Check out the exhibition at the Alan Cristea Gallery at 31 & 34 Cork Street London W1S 3NU and the Poppy Sebire Gallery at 36 North Audley Street London W1K 6ZJ

Published by WAH

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