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Pakpoom Silaphan’s solo show, featuring new works from his Coca-cola series.
Using vintage Coca-cola and Pepsi advertising signs as his canvas, Silaphan creates portraits of influential people using collage and illustration with marker pen and emulsion. High-profile figures including John Lennon, Che Guevera and The Queen populate the signs, making a clear connection between icons and the advertising industry. Silaphan takes Warhol’s elevation of everyday brands to high art, and combines it with his adoration of famous figures. The power of advertising and corporate branding is demonstrated by the infiltration of Coca-Cola, Pepsi etc. to countries outside Western culture.
As a child in rural Thailand, Silaphan amassed a collection of advertising signs, which he found in the street. The rediscovery of the collection as an adult was the seed of this new collection. During his childhood, Silaphan came across Western icons such as Elvis Presley, Andy Warhol and Muhammad Ali, but had little knowledge of them, initially thinking Warhol was a scientist because of his messy hair.
In a world obsessed with superficial looks, where Warhol’s prophecy of ’15 minutes of fame’ has become a reality to millions of YouTube ‘stars’ and X Factor contestants, Silaphan’s emphasis is firmly on the true contemporary icons, the people who made a significant impact on our culture.
“Celebrity is really just a word. The people who not only find fame, but also learn the power of influence, and in doing so, make a huge impact on our culture – these are the icons to me.” Pakpoom Silaphan, July 2010
Silaphan studied fine art at Silpakorm University in Thailand, and worked in advertising for a period, before moving to London to continue his studies. He took a Post-graduate course in print making at Camberwell College of Art, and an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art. Silaphan has exhibited internationally with shows in the USA, France and Italy, and featured in ‘My Private Collection’ with Grayson Perry, David Hockney, Shephard Fairey and Banksy, at the Paul Smith Gallery in Tokyo in 2009. He has had three solo shows at the Apart Gallery, and an exhibition ‘Establishing Establishment’ at Salon Gallery in 2009.
Scream Gallery, 34 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QX