Elvis, Time Travel, Flora Borsi
The first I saw of Flora Borsi's work was a series of photographs of 20th century icons like Elvis, Warhol and the Beatles which Flora had photoshopped herself into. They were fun, they were funny, they were clever without being groundbreaking. I've done it myself. Not so well, but I've done it. Ok, nowhere near so well, but I understand the principle, if I was a bit more patient . . .
Woman with Green Hat, Picasso, Real Life Model, Flora Borsi
The Corn Poppy, Kees van Dongen, Real Life Model, Flora Borsi
The Time Travel series was a funny, punny commentary on modern media and the nature of instafame but The Real Life Models took things a stage further. Putting herself in the picture, Flora Borsi claims this art for herself, she's not the onlooker, the voyeur from Time Travel, she is the subject. But in disguise.
For me, The Corn Poppy suddenly made art interesting again. So much so that I started a blog, called it TheCornPoppy and began my search to find an answer to a question which I haven't quite formed yet (the question, not the answer). Something about when is art art and when is it not art. Or what is original thinking in art. Is it ever worth taking a photo (or painting a picture) of something that someone else has already taken a photograph of (or painted). I even started painting pictures. I even painted The Corn Poppy, multiple times.
Smudge tool, Photoshop in Real Life, Flora Borsi
Flora Borsi, born in 1993 in Budapest, was still a teenager when many/most of these images were created. These earlier works are about identity but they're also very much about the process. We know it is about clever photo manipulation. We're in on the joke when we see the Real Photoshop series.
Identity, Flora Borsi
Recent Artwork II, Flora Borsi
Recent Artwork 1, Flora Borsi
Des Monstres, Flora Borsi
Did I mention the Beatles? One of the astonishing things about the Beatles 1963 to 1967 is the incredible journey they made in a very short space of time, from Love Me Do to A Day in the Life, for example. When, in 1962, Lennon & Macca sat down in the McCartney's front parlour with a couple of guitars and a piano and wrote I Saw Her Standing There they were trying to emulate their heroes, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis. And why shouldn't they be able to? Berry, Holly and Presley were barely out of their teens themselves, kids from from St Louis, Lubbock and Tupelo. By Revolver and Rubber Soul they weren't trying to be anyone other than John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Time Travel is Flora Borsi's I Saw Her Standing There. It's a statement, a first assault. Since then she has rattled off a couple of solid albums. But I think now is where the fun begins. Flora is moving at a rate of knots towards something that is genuinely new, exciting and, yay, groundbreaking.
iReel, Flora Borsi
Flora Borsi will be in London this week for a gallery show at Leontia Gallery (Thursday 18th September 6-8pm). You should go. See what the fuss is going to be all about.
All of these images are copyright Flora Borsi. Most have been borrowed from www.floraborsi.com. I hope she doesn't mind me using them. I'll put them back when we've finished.