Drawing from a rich history of painting, sculpture, popular culture, folklore and fairy tales, the artwork mixes everyday objects with high art, fashion, and aspects of popular culture from Japan, Europe, and the US. 

 

Combinations of objects and images manifest in absurd, idiosyncratic ways, setting up problematic relationships between disparate elements of pop and folk culture.

 

These artworks host complex themes of personal, cultural identity, fantasy and our collective relationship with commerce. Particularly, the work looks to make a sense of the idea of national and regional identity, given we are increasingly exposed to a shared global pop culture, and prompts audiences to reflect on their own cultural experience. 

 

Treating historical sculpture and cartoon characters as equally important the artwork highlights the understated poetry of everyday objects. As a continuation of the tradition of pop art, it elevates seemingly ordinary things to the level of art.

 

New meanings can be derived from incongruous combinations of objects, creating new associations, and provoking more questions about our relationships with the material world.  

 

His inter-disciplinary practice, combines performance, painting, clothing, social media, video games, curating and a multitude of collaborations. 

 

Bruce Asbestos earned a degree in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University, winning a scholarship at Musashino University, Tokyo, and went on to the Hive business school. He obtained a Master’s Degree at Nottingham Trent, during which he was awarded a scholarship at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. 

 

Recent projects and exhibitions include, S/S 2020 Bonington Gallery, Bruce Asbestos X Juliana Sissons, Primary, A/W Collection, Kunstraum, London, A/W 2018 Nottingham Contemporary, Arts Council International Fund project to NYC and Philadelphia, Bruce Asbestos A-B Testing, Concrete, Hayward Gallery, London. MTN DEW, Commission by EM15 for ‘Sunscreen’, Venice Biennale. Ivan Poe / Reactor, Plymouth Art Weekender. He was nominated for the £300,000 Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2013/4.

"This is Art for the social media age" The Stylist

"Maybe Asbestos is playing the role of spectator and is waiting to see what the Internet will make of the extreme quantity of work" VICE

b.1982, Brighton, England

Books

Wild, BL., 2020. 'Carnival to Catwalk Global Reflections on Fancy Dress Costume', Bloomsbury Visual Arts. ISBN:9781350024694 p.153 -p.155

2020

S/S 2020, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham

2019

A/W Collection, Bacchanal, Kunstraum, London

Ningbo Cultural Expo, Ningbo, China

2018

Isadora Curated by Susan Finlay, MoHA, Austin Texas

Bruce Asbestos A/W Collection 2018, Nottingham Contemporary

2017

A/W Collection, Research, New York and Philadelphia 

Bonington Film Night #7, curated by ANNEXINEMA

 

2016

Bloc Billboard, Bloc Projects, Sheffield 
Plymouth Art Weekender, Main commission (As Reactor)

Weekend of Weird, Radar, Loughborough (As Reactor)

Mask - with Andrea Bergart, Jonathan Baldock, Frances Disley, Dave Evans, Justin Fitzpatrick, Hannah Knox, Plus Space, Coventry

IF A PAIR IS TWO, WHAT IS THREE? Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire

SUNSCREEN - New Art Exchange, Nottingham

Of The Sea, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent

 

2015

Bruce Asbestos A/B Testing, Concrete, Hayward Gallery, London (solo)

British Moving Image in México, Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, Mexico City 

'The one where we wonder what Friends did', Oliver Braid, Wasps Studio, Glasgow

National Videogame Arcade / Game City - Minekraftwerk with Simon Raven, Beth Kettel and Tom Coogan 

MTN DEW, Commission by EM15 for ‘Sunscreen’, Venice Biennale

Faux Sho, curated by It’s All Tropical, Assembly House, Leeds

FR€€ THING$, curated by Jack Fisher at STCFTHOTS, Leeds

Dear Thoughtful, Charming Reader n0.4, HOAX Publication

 

2014

Social Media Takeaway Series Two, Bangkok, online

Is There WIFI? Cedar Lewisohn’s project space, London (solo)

A Union of Voices, curated by Tim Ellis, Horatio Junior, London

Sailor King, The King William IV, Nottingham

OTS/BLK, New College, Nottingham / Bergen

Mexico Members Exhibition, Leeds

Wysing Art Centre 25 Years, Publication

 

2013

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Nottingham Contemporary (Performance)

Social Media Takeaway (13 Episodes) Derby Museum and Gallery, Derby

Out of this World, Syson Gallery, Nottingham

Embassy Annuale, Telfer Gallery, Edinburgh

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

LANparty,Two Queens, Leicester

 

2012

Reactor’s Function 6, Primary, Nottingham

Circle of Transcendence, Derby Museum and Gallery, Derby

Nottingham Trent MA Degree Show, Nottingham

Circle of Transcendence, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

Open Ended Ending, Death Trap, Reactor Towers, Nottingham

Bruce Asbestos and John Harris, OTS, Nottingham

 

2011

An action, event or other thing that occurs or happens again, Nottingham

Quick Fox Jumps Over ­ EMVAN, Primary, Nottingham

Green Man & Regular Fellows, Trade, Nottingham

Agitprop! Project Space 11, Plymouth

YH485, Outpost's Summer Fayre, Norwich

2010 Sideshow, Black Swan 1#, 2#, 3# Gameshow, Tether, Nottingham

Big Lizards Big Idea, Reactor, Frankfurt and Newcastle

 

2005­-08

Ayling and Conroy, Collaboration

 

Commissions and Residencies

E­Flux cover design, for Nottingham Contemporary, Art Basel

Biocity Design Commission, Nottingham

Neils Post / Kunst en Complex, Rotterdam

 

Articles and Media

"This is Art for the social media age" The Stylist, Emerald Street

"Maybe Asbestos is playing the role of spectator and is waiting to see what the Internet will make of the extreme quantity of work"  VICE, The Creators Project

"The Asbestos website promises that the displays will be changed to reflect the public response to the show. If so, how will he deal with people behaving as if the café telly is

on the blink? " Mark Lawson, New Statesman

"Bruce Asbestos experiments with internet presence and social media to explore ideas of marketing and monitoring" Aesthetica Magazine

"it's like, about the internet and shit. Such modern" Crack Magazine

"...we were now firmly of the opinion that all art is tremendous...I watched, with creeping nausea, Mr Asbestos’ piece" Deserter

"Asbestos' love of pop culture has been evident throughout all of his recent work" Ouch Magazine

"Cheeky Digital Artist Bruce Asbestos" Double Negative

"Colourful bursts of internet carnage" FAD Website

 

Curating

Moot Gallery 2005-­6

My House Gallery 2005-­8

Trade Gallery 2010 -

 

Education

2011-­2 MFA Fine Art, RMIT Melbourne, Australia (2 Month Scholarship)

2012 MA, Distinction, Nottingham Trent University

2002 Arts Policy and Management : Musashino University, Tokyo (4 Month Scholarship)

2001­-4 Art BA Hons : Nottingham Trent University

 © 2020 Bruce Asbestos / website by Install Studio