Dean ‘ZEUS’ Colman Opens ‘PILLS’ Exhibition
Launching Friday 13th March at Prescription Art, Brighton (UK)
– Featuring a wall of 60 oversized ecstasy tablets each with authentic branding
– Each pill available in an edition of 10, framed & fully hand-made & hand-painted for £150
– Art Collectors, DJS, Record Labels & Clubbers
Friday 13th March sees the opening of Dean ‘Zeus’ Colman’s highly anticipated exhibition ‘PILLS’ at Prescription Art in Brighton, England.
Following on from recent ‘sweet art’ works, ‘Pills’ will consist of a wall of oversized ecstasy tablets, each with their own distinctive – and authentic – branding. ‘Pills’ explores how adults continue to eat branded sweets – however this time they are looking for a stronger rush than sugar.
The artwork is available to view/buy online here.
Growing up in the 80’s, I was there at the explosion of club culture in the UK. I worked with most of the major clubs at the time, painting backdrops and making props. I was one of the few people in these clubs who hadn’t taken ecstasy… however I saw the drug bring people from all walks of life together – from football hooligans to rastas to rich kids from the King’s Road.
I was fascinated by how despite being illegal, branded culture was so integral to this scene – with logos of every type identifying the different pills available. In the same way that people have favourite sweets growing up, people looked for their preferred brand of tablets for their night out.
The impact of ecstasy on the United Kingdom is undeniable. Other than the obvious cultural impact on music, television and fashion; the influence of this drug has seeped into the social fabric of the country – and in my opinion has had a hugely positive impact in creating a more tolerant and understanding society.
Now, more than 25 years since it arrived on these shores, this exhibition gives an opportunity to reflect on the effects of this drug. Each oversized pill represents a set of memories – long-lasting (and fleeting) friendships, musical epiphanies, sex, love, DJs, sunrises and comedowns.
ABOUT THE WORK
The exhibition consists of 60 oversized hand-made ecstasy pills, each hand sculpted, then cast in plaster and painted. Each pill is carved with the a different authentic branded logo, which will be familiar to anyone who’s been out clubbing in the last 25 years – Doves, Mitsubishis, 007, Rolex, Smileys, Playboys, Bart Simpsons and so on.
Each pill is available in an edition of 10, and comes framed and fully hand-made and hand-painted for only £150.
Since a pre-release of selected designed a fortnight ago, they have already proved hugely popular, and several motifs are already sold out. They seem to have been particularly appealing to DJs, Record Labels and Clubbers worldwide.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
For the past 30 years, London artist Zeus has been drawing inspiration from urban culture to create dynamic, experimental compositions that have re-defined graffiti art. His latest works represents an innovative fusion of graffiti techniques and typography, fine art and sculpture and reflect both his background on the streets and his formal training at Chelsea College of Art.
Born Dean Zeus Colman, his middle name naturally became his tag. It could be seen across London throughout the 80s and, still in his teens, Zeus earned the reputation of being a prolific writer. His work caught the attention of many of the influential faces of hip-hop at the time, figures like Tim Westwood who commissioned him to create designs for one of the first hip-hop clubs, Spatz, in 1984.
Through Westwood, Zeus also had the opportunity to work with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, making backdrops and posters for artists signed to his Def Jam label, including Dougie Freshand Whizz Kid. When house music took off Zeus also received commissions from the warehouse clubs that sprung up around the capital, such as West World at the Brixton Academy. All these contacts served as an effective catalyst for his career, encouraging him to think beyond the limitations of spray paint and walls.
Zeus has worked with numerous community centres throughout London, teaching young offenders graffiti techniques, and helping to establish the art form as an effective, positive outlet for the energies and creativity of teenagers. He was even invited to teach Prince Charles how to spray paint as part of a Princes Trust initiative.
Zeus returned to college and secured a place at Chelsea College of Art to study for a degree in Fine Art, majoring in sculpture. This took his art into three-dimensional form, creating graffiti sculptures out of light wooden sheets.
Over the next decade interest in Zeus intensified. He was described as a 3D graffiti pioneer by The Face magazine and his work appeared at a variety of venues throughout the UK, including the Victoria & Albert museum as part of its StreetStyle exhibition.
ABOUT THE GALLERY
Since 2007, Prescription Art has been seeking out and exhibiting the best in street art, graffiti and contemporary art.
They have forged a reputation for discovering and promoting new artists – many of whom have gone onto huge international success.
Following a string of pop-up events in spaces in London and Brighton, Prescription Art now has a permanent gallery space at 1 Beaconsfield Parade, Brighton, BN1 6DN.
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @prescriptionart
DEAN ZEUS COLMAN: