London-based creative collective New School Represents has built a cult following for its edgy fashion editorials, featuring a motorcycle-clad Harry Styles and Rihanna dressed as a giant joint. But there’s so much more to the group – as their debut London art show, MAJOR, attests.
The showcase features work by NSW members, including Dazed’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim Kamara (for Raw Materials) and art director Gareth Wrighton, Justin French, and Joseph Lokko, and a giant, cantilevering sculpture by set designer Ibby Njoya. Daubed in a spectrum of colour, the gravity-defying piece hovers above a zen pink sand pit (a nod to Yves Klein’s iconic mono-pink table?) and Japanese dry gardens, neatly raked with circles and fan motifs.
While its colour is disarming, the installation has a darker under theme as Njoya explains how the installation explores the unspoken politics of the playground. ‘A playground, a space for joy and discovery, a space where new friends and enemies are made… In recent years we have grown to understand the crazy injustice in holy places like the playground, where children mistreat other[s].’
Paintings and photography by Samuel des Saboia, Axel Drury, and Imruh Asha and figurative sculptures by set designer Lydia Chan and Samuel Overs round off the offering, while Raw Materials’ provocative figurative furniture sits beneath neon strip lights – their glow highlighting the counters and silhouette of the sexually provocative pieces.
Bonkers, intimate, imaginative and eclectic, MAJOR captures the individuality and joy at play in the collective.
New School Represents: MAJOR runs until 6 November 2022 at 180 The Strand