NYC: Lazerides, 2008
84 x 60cm, full colour offset lithograph with a full sheet reproduction of Yeo’s collage-portrait of the heiress and inadvertent star of an erotic film (made with her permission but intended for private use) by her former lover but later released as one of the first ever internet celebrity sex tapes.
Yeo’s portrait is made up of torn up parts of pornographic magazines (mostly genitals) and is an impressive likeness.
The posters were only available during the first organised exhibition of street art co-ordinated by the London gallery on the back of an over-hyped gold-rush for such art in the UK which had been in its turn fuelled by the astonishing financial and tabloid newspaper success of Banksy. The exhibition was held in Brooklyn in an empty shop and the locus deliberately left distressed and unfurnished to hint that the art was more authentic than a more usual white cube gallery show.
The (unstated) idea of the exhibition was to break America where the street artists had not had a similar commercial success to that in the UK. That success in itself caused a difficulty as the gallery had to face a significant problem as the works could not be reduced in price to encourage sales in the new market as easy and cheap flights toNYC and the pound to dollar exchange rate of the time meant British collectors could have simply flown over to buy works at an effective discount unless the US prices were kept high.
Anyway now that we have had our usual dig at the pretend dignity of a movement that would like to assume itself to be above the usual grubbiness of art dealing, we should also say that the work of some of the artists included in this show was far above the usual cartoony anti-establishment wall paintings and sculptures typically promoted by enthusiasts: Yeo’s work being skilful with some depth and while his establishment targets are easily lampooned there is more than the usual crass attack on privilege going on here. Very good condition with a couple of soft handling creases. Clearly scarce as the posters sold out quickly during the show.