Bruce Asbestos Art Fair Eye of Newt

"Through his shrewd use of social media, personal re-hashing of global pop culture and use of new digital technologies, he has established an unmistakable visual identity and unique brand (complete with logos) to almost become a living artwork."   Art Review

​Bruce Asbestos’ work draws from a rich history of painting, sculpture, popular culture, folklore and fairy tales. His work frequently mixes everyday objects with high art, fashion, and responds to global pop culture. His interdisciplinary practice combines performance, painting, clothing, social media, video games, curating and many collaborations.

 

Witty, seductive and extravagant; Bruce’s work feels at once both unique yet strangely familiar. His playful use of popular culture, commerce and high art puts his own personal brand firmly within the realm of participation, play and pop art. The work uses spaces such as social media, the catwalk and virtual realities to create an accessible path through contemporary art.

The works increasingly use play as a way of generating absurd, idiosyncratic combinations of objects and images, setting up problematic relationships between disparate elements 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. 

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, Eye of Newt 2.0 QUAD, Derby, New British Informal, Browns East, London, Burple Purple, Recent Activity, Birmingham, Ok! Cherub! Bluecoat, Liverpool (Solo exhibition), S/S 2021, Power, National Justice Museum, 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.

Bruce Asbestos S/S 2020 is part of the Government Art Collection.

"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

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

2022

Eye of Newt 2.0 QUAD, Derby

New British Informal, Browns East, London

Burple Purple, Recent Activity, Birmingham

Ok! Cherub! Solo Exhibition, Bluecoat, Liverpool

QUAD International Digital Fellow

S/S 2022 Holden Gallery, Manchester UK

Eye of Newt IOS game, Bluecoat Liverpool and QUAD Derby

Government Art Collection Acquisition of S/S 2020

2021

Pfälzer hof Residency, Idar-Oberstein, Germany

Fashion Dust Umami, CCA Glasgow, UK

Cruise 2021, Holden Gallery, Manchester, UK

Cruise 2021, Microneme, Wuhan, China

S/S 2021, STREAM, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK

Hot Air, Manor Place Warehouse, London

Eye of Newt Installation, Other Art Fair, Kings Cross, London

S/S 2021, Power, Curated by Andrea Hadley-Johnson, National Justice Museum

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 Kettle 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

Live Art Dogging, Reactor Halls, Curated by Daniel Oliver

 

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 - 2020

 

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

Talks, Lectures and Workshops

Academy of Fine Art in Helsinki

Fashion Art Direction and Graphic Design, Manchester Metropolitan University

Hoofd Master Kunsteducatie Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Netherlands

Royal College of Art, London, UK 

The Bad Vibes Club, Open School East, London (Elinor Carmi, Benedict Drew, Erica Scourti,)

The collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Particle, Kunst Vardo, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (Reactor, Anja Carr, Roderick Hietbrink)

Around and Around Discussion, New Art Exchange, Nottingham

Lincoln Fine Art BA/MA, Lincoln University

Loughborough University

Emvan, Annual Review, Derby

Beacon Bimonthlies 6, Wellingore, Lincolnshire

Guest Speaker, Futures, Nottingham Trent University

Spike Island, Bristol

Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds

Lincoln University, Lincoln

Cluj-Napoca University, Romania

Air: Open Dialogue, Angel Row Gallery

Hogeschool, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Enough Room for Space, Rotterdam, Netherlands

ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

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