JOHN REYNOLDS

Road Signs - Funky Capitalism #1-3, Utopia #4-6
2014
Reflective signs, vinyl and steel
H.1500mm X W.500mm
$3,750 Each

Garden of Earthly Delights
2014
Reflective signs, vinyl and steel
H.350mm X W.500mm
$2,900

John Reynolds’ road signs might cause you to do a double take. Fluorescent and incongruous to the landscape, they appear almost functional: will we heed their warnings? It’s only when we read their puzzling text and see their placement along the sculpture trail that we can understand it as Reynolds’ art practice in a nutshell. The enduring qualities of his work that continue to draw viewers in to his sphere - his wit, restless energy, conceptual streak and agitation of culture - also confound us. Road signs are easily read by everyone, yet these are disconcerting with their off-centre warnings: ’Yeah Nah Yeah’, 'Funky Capitalism’, 'Global Weirding’, ‘Utopia’, 'Garden of Earthy Delights’.

There is no sense to be made in these works. Reynolds seems to enjoy disrupting our search for coherency. Deadpan humour, juxtapositions and a liking of ‘artless’ objects recalls early modernist explorations in to the reverence of ‘high’ art and the subversion of this with found objects. Certainly, Reynolds’ roadsigns are placed in the midst of a dynamic sculpture trail that often undermine the materiality and mundanity of his works with their scale and price-tag. His interest in this juxtaposition of ‘art’ and the ‘familiar’, the hybridity of material or idea (or both), acts as a surprise to us - it poses a problem, a complication, to how we usually view art. Reynolds says of this effect: “It’s a mixture of collude and collide”. (1)