Marcelle Joseph Projects is thrilled to present and curate Pazar, British sculptor Jonathan Trayte’s first exhibition in Turkey. This exhibition will feature a seductive array of sculptures, paintings, and images inspired by the marketplace and specifically the sensuous bazaars of Istanbul. In this exciting new exhibition space, enormous concrete casts of pumpkins and marrows are presented amongst sugary aluminium paintings and exotic, meticulously painted bronze fruits mounted on towering cemented plinths. Trayte’s practice is concerned with the mimicry of foodstuffs and inspired by the language of colour used in food display and packaging. The exhibition has been titled PAZAR, the Turkish word for both market and bargain.
Excerpts of an interview of Jonathan Trayte by fellow British sculptor and Trayte’s former tutor at the Royal Academy Schools, Brian Griffiths:
Pazar for me sounds like a word announced by a magician – a nonsense spell word to supposedly change this into that and with “this” comes a type of showmanship… How are you thinking about PAZAR as a title for this wonderfully diverse set of works?
It came about through thinking of a marketplace as more of a description of culture, as an impression of how we go about things as humans. Sometimes I’m curious about what the world would look like if we all vanished and how humanity would be viewed by the traces left behind. The ordinary and the everyday would probably say the most. I’m kind of making what I see as a portrait of Istanbul, using the common language of food. These pieces are like tricks or balancing acts. It’s really not far from what you can find out on the street, in the grocers or down at the waterfront, and it has been going on for centuries.
Pazar is a word that dazzles and with this suggests light and, importantly, surface. Surface seems to be something you value and explore in these recent works?
Surface has long been of interest to me. These syrupy, sugary veneers are like mirrors, the light just bounces right back at you. It’s a façade for what hides beneath, the hard cold castings and aluminum cutouts are brought to life with skins of painted colours, like alluring outfits. I strive for perfection with the paint and am almost a slave to the finish, as layers are painstakingly built up, cut back and polished.
Pazar is a type of hybrid; you are mixing forms, languages, skins and display strategies? How do you describe this? How do you see this operating?
Yes, I thought that I’d really embrace this as an opportunity to mix things up: materials, forms, motifs etc. With the introduction of concrete I feel it heightens the superficial illusions that the painted layers conjure. The flat dry surfaces seem to make the bronzes dance a little. These towers and stacks of concrete also reflect the construction sites of the city. Concrete has such versatility, which is why it is used so extensively around the world. I’ve heard it said that it’s the second most consumed material by humans on the planet, second after water! The speed with which you can work with it is really liberating and it’s a welcome alternative to casting in bronze. I hope that all of these materials one on top of the other, the polished and pitted, dusty and glossy, candied and bare, present a provocative arrangement.
Jonathan Trayte (born in 1980 in Huddersfield) explores the boundary between food and sculpture. He lives and works in London after graduating with a PG Dip from the Royal Academy Schools, London in 2010 and having worked his way through university in Canterbury in one of the UK’s first daily farmers’ markets with an on-site food hall and restaurant using only local market produce. Among today’s most promising young talent, Trayte draws from his culinary background, creating beautifully made, often colourful casts of food in bronze, ceramic or concrete that comment on contemporary society’s production, marketing and consumption of food. Trayte is particularly fascinated by the global food packaging industry and its attempt to entice us, which results in his own work having a highly glossy finish, recreating the industry’s similar attempts to create a seductive appeal. Trayte's work is held in important collections around the world. His recent solo exhibitions include those at Identity Gallery, Hong Kong (2011); Simon Oldfield Gallery, London (2010); and Canterbury Cathedral, UK (2011). Group exhibitions include those at Sculpture Al Fresco III at Great Fosters, UK (2013); Josh Lilley Gallery, London (2012); Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2011 and 2009); Poppy Sebire Gallery, London (2011); Franks-Suss Collection, Saatchi Gallery, London (2010); and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2013, Trayte was shortlisted for the Stanley Picker Fellowship, and was awarded the Land Securities Award in 2011, the Dunoyer de Segonzac Prize and Jealous Graduate Print Prize in 2010 and the Landseer Prize in 2009.
Istanbul Art Project
Ajans Medya Ltd
Kuruçeşme Caddesi No. 3, Beşiktaş
Istanbul 34345 Turkey
Ph. +44 (0)13 44622064
Monday - Friday from 10am to 6pm
Saturday from 11am to 6pm