Purple Art

[September 10 2023]

Penny and the Dimes : Dimes 4Ever World Tour, an exhibition by Emma Stern at the Almine Rech Gallery, London

The young artist sets fire to the walls of the gallery with spellbinding paintings where neon lights reflect on chromed bodies that almost seem to scream in our ears and invite us into their static dynamism, urging us to unleash with them. This is the fictional group “Penny & the Dimes,” an all-girl rock band created by female Pygmalion, Emma Stern, born from a sublime apparition at the ABBA Museum in Stockholm, where the holographic appearances of the perpetually young and perpetually moving group inspired her. These virtual beings of sound and image served as inspiration for Emma Stern and fueled the creation of the fictional rock group for two years: she crafted their backstories, forged connections, and broke free from the limitations of visual arts by creating entities that transcended mere imagery and seemed animated.

This is likely the case because Emma Stern truly finds her inspiration both from external and internal sources. She herself says, “What is an avatar if not a muse? What is an avatar if not a self-portrait?” The members of “Penny and the Dimes” thus represent a multitude of facets of herself that multiply and transform.The exhibition offers a genuine artistic revolution that plays with a double fourth wall: that of the painting and that of the stage, providing the audience with an artistic revolution, part-drag, part-cosplay, that transforms the self to better represent it.

On view until September 30th, 2023 at the Almine Rech London Gallery.

Text by Ewen Giunta


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