David Buchan

On the Rocks

1984
Category: 
“Tell them who you are. When you’ve got something to say, don’t just say it – wear it!” So proclaimed the late David Buchan, who, like Susan Britton and General Idea, often used himself within his work, for example as a male model in numerous mock-advertisements based around ironic personas and extreme stereotypes, which he created until his untimely death in 1994. Buchan strongly influenced those artists in the early 1980s that also found subversive potential in art that appropriated the look and feel of marketing, pop culture and media clichés. In On the Rocks, Buchan adheres to the production values of a commercial sign. The slick light-box photograph juxtaposes two alternative lifestyles, staged with overt classical references in mind. A privileged “golden boy” lounging by a suburban pool on the left conjures a reclining Bacchus, while on the right, the artist lies, bleeding and “black and blue” on the floor of a dingy bar, aided by a friend and ennobled through the Pietà-like montage of the overall scene.
Artist
Title
On the Rocks
Date
1984
Medium
Photograph
Materials
Cibachrome transparency in fluorescent light box
Dimensions
130 x 241 x 21 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1987
Accession number
EX-87-152