For his fifth solo show, Blondey drew a parallel between art and therapy, in response to his own experience of mental illness: ‘A product of disaster. Anti-drugs and pro-art… the fruits of a project fuelled by hyper-productivity as a means of combatting depression, rather than burying it the easy way’.
On account of his favourite magazine shop waving farewell to Soho’s square mile, Blondey was forced to move away from his signature cut-and-stick photomontages to UV printing images onto mirrors and windows – alluding to the joys and pains of interior and exterior London life. The show also featured Blondey’s debut collaborative piece – a five-foot-tall Spin Painting by Damien Hirst, embellished with found images from Blondey’s archive printed directly onto its painted surface.
‘In feeling blue, tragically, the natural thing to do is stay blue. The creating of these new works has affirmed my belief that expressionism and making artwork is a way of temporarily exorcising that feeling. The show was created out of a compulsion to create. The show’s making has been a revelation in accepting the need to treat bipolar as a blessing rather than a curse, and that from long, hum-drum periods of heightened sensitivity, authentic artwork can be born.’
‘Us & Chem.’ was exhibited at the HENI Gallery in Soho from 27th July to 27th August 2017. The exhibition then travelled to the Stephen Webster Gallery on Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles, from 27th September to 27th November 2017.
Photography: Prudence Cuming Associates