Stephen Rumney coined the phrase 'Consumer Realism' to describe his one man show 'Vision 2000' at the 1 Off gallery in Soho, central London in 1999. Consumer Realism is best described by Rumney himself. The following extract is taken from the artist notes of the Vision 2000 show:
Consumer Realism: In Rumney's own words
ART FOR THE SOUNDBITE GENERATION
Consumer Realism is art for the Soundbite Generation. To create works that are relevant to today's world I paint with the artifacts of modern consumerism. My canvas is recycled urban junk. I am surrounded by the madness of modern commercialism and a civilisation based on materialism.
REALITY AND REALISM
As an artist who wants to record the unique world we live in there is no better medium than reality itself to capture the spirit of our time. Consumer Realism does not try to create another ‘ism’ for the sake of appearing to be clever. Its purpose is transparent. Consumer Realism packages itself to sell itself. Firstly it expresses the climate of our time and reflects how art has itself become a commodity governed by fads and market forces.
CONSUMERISM – THE COLLECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF MODERN CULTURE
The consumption and accumulation of products from the high street is the collective experience of the consumer generation. Most of us now live within a strange synthetic world that cocoons us from the natural universe.
REALISM v TRADITIONAL STYLE
We live in a time of such rapid change and diversity that traditional forms of art constrict our ability to see what is really going on. In the past art has shown a distorted reality, a world manipulated by the artist, further fenced in by the styles of the time.
USING REALISM TO REFLECT THE MADNESS OF MODERN CULTURE
Consumer realism makes no effort to manipulate the truth and attempts to reflect the paradoxes and madness that surrounds us as we move into a critical millennium where the consequence of society’s material development puts our very existence at risk.
THE VISION OF OUR FUTURE
The whole of the world is now delicately interlocked in pursuit of material wealth and my work tries to deconstruct the hypocrisy and web we are all caught up in. Although the raw materials that make up my work are borrowed from the past the story that unfolds is the vision of our future.”
Stephen Rumney's current work:
THE NEW WAVE OF MODERN ART
In the new modern world driven by digital technology and global communication the internet provides the world with a gallery open 24 hours a day. Rumney's Domain Art series transcends the traditional gallery environment. By using Domains as Art Installations Rumney fuses his art into the heart of global culture. Each piece can be accessed by typing in the name of the artwork in a browser window from anywhere in the world.
A NEW DOMAIN
'Domain Art' follows on from Rumney's Consumer Realism series and develop the theme of a world culture that is driven by market forces and commercialism in which art itself becomes a brand and commodity. Rumney's work captures the spirit of the consumer generation. He creates innovate works that push the boundaries of art and challenge the viewer to look at the rapidly changing values and dynamics of modern culture.
The buyer of each work in the Domain Art series becomes the legal owner of the web address and the global real estate that makes up the title and image of the art piece. As well as existing as a digital online installation each artwork has an accompanying gallery instalation which comprises of a digital image that is scaled to fit the buyer's exhibiting space. The final gallery piece is developed in consultation with the artist. The artist's visualisation of how the gallery installation can be exhibited is found by viewing the 'detail' photos, accompanying each artwork.
IN RUMNEY'S OWN WORDS:
"In a world that is now driven by consumer demand and the global marketing strategies that respond to that demand, the Domain Art series reflects the underlying dynamics of the modern world and the unstoppable trend towards commercial globalisation."
"From the cult of celebrity to the branding of ficticious characters we are bombarded with images and products that vie for our attention. Everything is branded and packaged to encourage us to consume. Everything that is made or done, whether it be creative or commercial, becomes a brandable product and in this age human creative energy has become a slave to the companies fighting for their share of the global market. As an artist working to reflect the culture I live in, Domain Art is the perfect medium to capture the spirit of the modern world. Domain Art is TheFutureOfArt.com."
www.Ma is the central piece in Stephen Rumney’s Domain Art series and the first piece of Modern Art that transcends the gallery to become a globally accessible art installation. The artwork is accessed by typing in www.MA in a browser window from anywhere in the world and embodies the new age of digital communication as a form of artistic expression.
Art.™, piece No. 2 in the Domain Art series reflects culture's evolution towards globalisation. Here Rumney creates a piece where art is encapsulated as a brand. To view the artwork type www.Art.tm. If you type in, www.Art.tm into your browser address bar”
Stephen Rumney is currently exhibiting at Buy Modern Art (online website: BuyModernArt.com )