By: Julissa Padilla
Chemical X’s art installation redefines what modern art can be and how it can be experienced. Chemical X is the pseudonym of someone that prefers the art to be the focus, not the artist. There was no mention of the artist’s name in any of his pieces. The British- based artist, who goes by the pseudonym “Chemical X,” made his US debut on November 8th at the iconic Tower Records building in West Hollywood. His art demonstrates Britain’s subculture of drugs and presents it in an artistic way. A fairly new artist, Chemical X would like to let society reflect back on itself and it’s drug culture with his art. Unlike in traditional galleries, the focus has been shifted completely away from the artist and towards the art itself. By distancing from the art, Chemical X is better able to convey his central message: to reflect society’s action onto itself to learn from negative actions. According to the artist’s website, “this set of work is about potential, suspended in an everlasting moment, allowing the viewer to see what has been, what is and what could be – all in the same instant. The work is only completed when the viewer stands in front of it and brings their own relationship to bear on the subject matter.”
What grabs the guest’s attention are the posters used to decorate the event. They were orange and being lit with a beautiful purple lighting. These posters had the hazardous waste symbol which symbolizes death yet having attention grabbing colors to hint at the different colors of drugs being used prominently. MDMA is heavily incorporated within Chemical X’s work. One sculpture is of a girl who seems to be trapped in what appears to be pills. The girl, who is thought to be Cara Delevingne, is supposed to represent what ecstasy does to you in life which one can interpret as entering another world in our subconscious. When you turn around, you start to realize that the pills are a theme that the artist wants to explain throughout his gallery. The pills are something MDMA is heavily incorporated used to not only be sculpted in a picture but in an ironic way to demonstrate the horror of the party drug.
The pill that the artist is using to construct his pieces are MDMA. The artist wants to explain the dangers of the drug to people who are addicted and open their eyes to experience what they are looking at. There was a wall of that had small framed heart shaped drugs. The pieces described emotions caused from taking these pills.
Another piece featured the all seeing eye. There was a mirror in the middle of the frame and the pills surrounding the opening. Guests can interpret the glass as to reflect on themselves what would happen when taking the drug. The pills make the image look like an iris as if it was opening up to the viewer. The next piece, the viewfinder was larger which indicates when a pupil is dilated. This is supposed to make the viewer feel how the picture was feeling: on edge and awakened.
DJ Fatboy Slim made his first appearance in LA in five years to perform at the art show. This was also to help allude to the prevalent drug culture in the EDM festival’s party scene. People were dancing to the music as if they were at a nightclub. With drinks in hand, people danced the night away to heavy techno.
Overall, this gallery brought such an inviting welcome to the emerging artist who only wants to bring attention to important causes he believes strongly in. Despite the anonymity, Chemical X is revolutionizing the art scene. His past exhibition has been in LA’s Skid Row which brought attention to the homelessness epidemic.