‘Breathe In, Breathe Out, Breathe In, Breathe Out, Breathe In, Breathe In; Breathe In: KA-BOOOOOOOOOM!!!!’ is part of a body of work by Jamie Fitzpatrick, across drawing, prints, 3D video works and sculpture, that focuses on the ubiquitousness of prominent images of symbolic power and hierarchy within the public environment. It is the artist's first work in bronze, produced as part of his 2022 Fellowship with London Bronze Casting.
Fitzpatrick’s sculptural works and images are built out of footprints, fists and deep finger gouges which come together to create lumpen monumental figures rife with the traces of their own making, recognisable for their visceral and energetic handling of materials normally associated with classical and modernist sculpture. Expressed through the symbolic bombast of the colonial statuary of 18th and 19th century Europe and iconic Pop figures of heroic masculinity, the works aim to represent the more grotesque aspects of human comedy.
By disrupting the ideal heroic form of these historic works, the sculptures mimic the inflated sense of rhetorical authority inherent to such objects, even incorporating elements of traditional materials such as marble and bronze that reinforce ideas of status, wealth and an arrogance of permanence. Instead of strengthening heroic ideals, they employ a fragmented and glitchy reworking of colonial statuary, honing in on the symbolic tropes and rhetoric employed to comically overemphasize the seductive politico-aesthetic strategies used in public historical monuments of that time. They echo the struggle between culture and conditioning, and its destructive manifestations in tyranny, trauma or brutality.
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