Curator Catrin Catrin Podgorski with guests. Copyright: Máté Ternyik

Review: Norman Rea Gallery’s Free Beer

The Norman Rea Gallery began 2015 with a ‘bang’, a pop-art one at that, with their first exhibition of the year: Free Beer.

Copyright: Máté Ternyik
Copyright: Máté Ternyik

On Monday 12th January 2015 the gallery presented multi-media artist Benjamin Brown’s debut exhibition: Free Beer. Brown, who studies at Slade School of Fine Art (University College London), is clearly a very talented artist. Free Beer transformed the Norman Rea Gallery into a playground, allowing the viewer to walk through the fun imagination of a contemporary artist. Featuring sculptures, paintings and collages, Brown’s art played around ideas of post-modernist cynicism and British Neo-Pop and satire. At times his work caused me to both laugh and frown, as he drew influences from artists such as Meret Oppenheim and Melanie Mosat.

Copyright: Máté Ternyik
Copyright: Máté Ternyik

The range of media not only gave the exhibition an interactive feel but also demonstrated the artist’s diverse abilities. In particular I found the paintings of birds with comic book writing both humorous and thought provoking. At the exhibition were also limited edition magazines by the artist and my personal favourite was titled ‘Manifesto: Why I Make Art From Now, Now? Now! And How To Live With Myself As An Artist’. Inside the magazine were satirical instructions on ‘How to Live as an Artist’.

Artist Benjamin Brown (right) with his father Chris Brown (left). Copyright: Máté Ternyik
Artist Benjamin Brown (right) with his father Chris Brown (left). Copyright: Máté Ternyik

Overall, Free Beer was wonderfully presented exhibition. It is obvious that Brown has a bright future ahead of him and I can’t wait to see where his artwork goes from here. If you have a moment to spare pop into the Norman Rea Gallery in Derwent to view Brown’s art.

Visit the Norman Rea Gallery to view the exhibition until February 6 2015. 

Exhibition curated by Catrin Podgorski.

Photography by Máté Ternyik.

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Alex Smith

Literature and Original Work Editor.