Carl Kostyal / Stockholm, Sweden

7 April - 30 May 2016


Michael Pybus' Karaoke plays with the idea of a copy and homage. With
an approach mirroring how people sing famous songs his paintings re-
work the imagery of pre-existing sources. Liberally sampling from art
history, global franchises and pop culture. Karaoke also connotes the
concept of fandom in the act of wanting to sing their songs. Pybus' work
imitates a form of icon worship through his obsessive nature of
repainting and repainting again. Brands such as Pokemon and IKEA
find themselves mashed up with Lichtenstein and Roger Rabbit creating
new narratives and readings of imagery which we are collectively
accustom to consuming.

The ground floor of the building is occupied by a series of bear
sculptures throughout. Ranging from small handheld size to giant
overgrown bears. They are part of an ongoing series where Pybus
makes bears made out of IKEA fabrics. When IKEA launches new
designs, new bears are made, creating a series of collectables, much like
the 90's Ty Beanie Babies fad. In this exhibition the bears have orchids
growing out of them, like parasites feeding off their hosts. The
combination of orchid-infested bears and neon paintings suggest a toxic
undercurrent throughout the installation.

Many of the paintings and sculptures are realized in UV reactive glow
paint, which illuminates brightly under blacklight. Giving the works an
active property, which pays reference to the glowing flat screens much
of our life and culture revolves around now. Through incorporating this
element Pybus both bridges and acknowledges the digital and virtual sources
his work emanates from.