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Carl Hopgood's takes us through his pieces featured in the 'Fragile World' exhibition

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The renowned British artist, Carl Hopgood’s latest exhibition opens this weekend in Los Angeles at the UTA Artist Space as part of their Fragile World exhibition. The exhibit will be viewable until September

Carl takes Flaunt Magazine’s Rhiyen Sharp through four of these powerful pieces.

Looking For Love In All The wrong Places. Image provided by Carl Hopgood

Looking For Love In All The wrong Places

“I came up with the idea for this artwork when I first moved to LA. I saw so many mattresses, beds and chairs that were just discarded on the streets. These everyday domestic objects all had a story to tell. I remembered how Derek Jarman had used mattresses as Canvases which were on display at the Serpentine Gallery in his exhibition called Brutal Beauty. So much of our life is spent in our beds. We are born, in a bed, we sleep, fuck and die in a bed. A bed is like the circle of life! I was thinking about the subconscious and the thoughts, dreams and fantasies that we have racing around our minds when we are sleeping or trying to sleep. Thoughts of past guilt, fun, happiness, darkness and love lost and found. In my private place made public, the actual mattress has gone and we are left with the metal box spring skeleton and the neon words which are memories of a hedonistic past or a fantasized future. The transformers and electricity become the beds new life support system.

Can Can Dancers. Image provided by Carl Hopgood

Can Can Dancers
A pair of night club dancers are projected onto two black painted beer cans. They are a memory of a hedonistic past life. The nocturnal world of London night life where I had a job as a nightclub photographer for a Gay Magazine. I would visit 3 or 4 night clubs every weekend taking pictures and films of the sexy go go dancers and intoxicated partiers dancing the night away. Many of these nights out became a blur for me but I would always have the digital memories the next day! The title Can Can Dancers is a play on the Folies-Bergère and the beer drinking culture of the UK. The work which was originally made in 2008 was probably the first 3 D Digital NFT. One of the dancers was from the famous table dancing club Stringfellows and the other from the infamous Gay night club called Crash where Tom Stephan and Princess Julia, Jeffry Hinton were often found spinning their Vinyl.

My Pain Today Is My Strength tomorrow. Image provided by Carl Hopgood

My Pain Today Is My Strength tomorrow
“I remember driving past stores that caught fire in North Hollywood during the pandemic. Everything burned to the ground. The only things that survived were these burned chairs.
I wasn’t sure if it was an accident or a deliberate act of desperation. I thought about using them for a sculpture but one crumbled when I went to pick it up and they were really smelly too, they smelt like death. I was thinking about the story of the phoenix rising from the ashes and wanted to make something that offered hope in dark times. So I painted the folding chairs black that I had at my studio this made them look burned. I realized the power of creating art had given me the ability to heal.” The message My Pain Today Is My Strength tomorrow is an affirmation to myself and others to stay hopeful in challenging times

Twelve Steps. Image provided by Carl Hopgood

Twelve Steps
This piece was inspired by a line from Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos. a small couplet, which was included in the collection The Body and the Wormwood. The powerful couplet reads: ‘What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed.”
“Christianopoulos was sidelined by the Greek literary community in the 1970s because he was gay . Being Welsh, Greek and Gay the fight against bullying, repression, injustice and discrimination are things that I have experienced. One of my earliest memories at school was being bullied. They were screaming ‘Queer Boy Queer Boy over and over again, I ran and didn’t stop running until I found a place of sanctuary - a pile of stacked up chairs and ladders in the back of the school canteen. This place became my sanctuary.