Slyvester’s multi-disciplinary practice involves staged studio photography, sculpture, video, installation, performance and music.
Each photograph that Sylvester creates is the result of a detailed process of planning and research, with handmade sets, props and a wide range of pop culture moments and artefacts photographed in his Melbourne studio.
The works investigate the language between perceived high and low culture, the nature of authenticity, desirability and mortality.
“I’m trying to create a look that doesn’t exist here, but perhaps could in Hollywood or on TV – one where you’d have to build a set,” said Sylvester. “Things get reused and are often built roughly.”
“But two things that are important: one, I don’t use flash. I only use constant lights with gels, and that gives it a bit of a ‘TV look’. And the second, is that I’m always shooting in a studio, or in a room – rarely outside.”
The sets and props are then photographed with large-format film, resulting in a hyper-real saturated effect that is direct and to the point, however with inherent levels of great detail and complexity.
“We are delighted to bring the work of Darren Sylvester to the Gallery,” said Susi Muddiman OAM, Tweed Regional Gallery Director. “Darren is one of the most exciting contemporary artists today and has carved out for himself a unique practice that comfortably sits between high art and pop culture.”
Darren Sylvester was born in Sydney in 1974 and attended school in Byron Bay. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout Australia and internationally. His work is held in a range of public art collections include the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Charles Sturt University and the Sir Elton John Collection.
Darren Sylvester: Treasure Island
Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, 2 Mistral Road, Murwillumbah South
Exhibition: 14 May – 31 October 2021
For more information, visit: www.artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au for details.
Image: Darren Sylvester, Forever twenty one, 2019 (detail), 240 x 320 cm, lightjet prints. Image courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney and Neon Parc Melbourne