Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something

Darren SylvesterFrom a pulsating coloured dance floor based on an Yves Saint Laurent makeup range, to a chaise lounge upholstered in cheeseburger wrapping, more than 70 of Darren Sylvester’s works will be on display in Darren Sylvester: Carve A Future, Devour Everything, Become Something at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 1 March 2019.

In the artist’s first major Australian exhibition, Darren Sylvester: Carve A Future, Devour Everything, Become Something reveals the artist’s ongoing fascination with consumerism, the banality of everyday life, love and mortality, which he presents through a playful yet highly-stylised lens.

The exhibition features 43 of Sylvester’s acclaimed hyper-colourful photographs, which incorporates commentary on pop culture, music and advertising as a way of exploring the ways in which everyday life is shaped by branding, our relationships with each other and our place in the universe.

Each photograph created by the artist is the result of a detailed process of planning, research and meticulous set construction; many of which were produced in his Brunswick studio.

Showing the breadth of his practice, Darren’s large-scale installations and sculptures, including a celebrity acceptance-speech stage, adorned with a standing microphone and red carpet, reminiscent of a Hollywood awards ceremony, will also be on display.

The exhibition also features a reinterpretation of his popular dance floor installation For you, an iteration of which first appeared in Melbourne Now, a unique, immersive work which is based on a stylised YSL makeup compact. Using a colour scheme that is ‘proven’ by market research to appear flattering, it is a space to come together, dance, and enjoy yourself – as the artist says, it is, quite simply, ‘for you’.

Further demonstrating Darren’s multidisciplinary approach, audiences will be able to hear Darren’s original music. In 2008, Darren devoted 4 months to producing and performing an album of pop songs, teaching himself how to sing, play guitar and drums, record and mix.

His music reflects his signature stylised aesthetic, with a focus on a heavily layered and hyper-produced sound. Darren has since released a further two albums complete with video clips, which will be played within a dedicated ambient music alcove.

“Darren has been a consistent presence in the Australian contemporary art scene, developing a unique lens in presenting contemporary urban life,” said said Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV. “Sylvester, through the breadth of his practice, creates a stylised signature aesthetic that traverses art and design from furniture through to photography, performance and sculpture.”

Born in Sydney in 1974, Darren lives and works in Melbourne, gained his Bachelor of Fine Art Photography from Charles Sturt University in 1996 and earned a Master of Fine Arts from Monash University, Melbourne in 2010. His work has been exhibited internationally, across China, Singapore, The United States of America, Thailand and New Zealand and can also be found in Sir Elton John’s personal collection.


Darren Sylvester: Carve A Future, Devour Everything, Become Something
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 1 March – 30 June 2019
Free Entry

For more information, visit: www.ngv.melbourne for details.

Image: Darren Sylvester, Who you are or how I meet you, I don’t know, 2007 (detail). digital type C print 90.0 x 120.0 cm. Collection of the artist, Melbourne © Darren Sylvester

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