Resurgence of retro hits

Energise, by Robert Mars, is featured in the Retroism exhibition, opening May 21.
Energise, by Robert Mars, is featured in the Retroism exhibition, opening May 21.

AN EXHIBITION will open in Byron Bay this week that chronicles the resurgence of interest in popular and nostalgic imagery from the 1900s.

The Retroism exhibition will feature 12 renowned artists from around the world who work with mixed media to create pieces that narrate the collective desire to live life at a slower pace.

Notable artists in the exhibition include renowned US artists Robert Mars and Cecil Touchon, HANDIEDAN from The Netherlands and Mario Wagner from Germany.

Australia’s own master of mixed media, Kareem Rizk, will not only exhibit in Retrosim, Rizk was also selected to co-curate the exhibition by Retrospect Galleries director Bree Delian.

“I wanted to put together an exhibition that documents the trend of collage in the 21st Century,” Rizk says.

“One of the most fascinating points of interest in this resurgence is the focus on retro and nostalgic images, in particular imagery from the 1920s to 1970s. All artists selected to exhibit are unique in their expression of the retro theme.”

Rizk argues the retro revival reflects a symbiotic relationship between society and art with the current worldwide movement to get back to basics.

“The world is so fast-paced today, everything is moving so quickly, people are starting to look for forms of creative expression that are more tactile,” he says.

“Art has always reflected the collective consciousness. The interest in collage echoes humanity’s desire to live life more simply. It’s reflected in the hands-on approach, with more and more people keeping chickens, the slow food trend, and choosing organic produce.”

Rizk’s involvement in the exhibition came out of the public response that was generated by his 2009 exhibition at Retrospect.

As a first-time curator, he was thrilled to select artists from among his contemporaries for Retroism, particularly Robert Mars.

“Its a bit of a dream, choosing from among the world’s best mixed media artists and to be able to show my work alongside them, especially Robert Mars,” he says. “His work is particularly gritty and reflective of the drive back to nostalgia.”

The Retroism exhibition opens at 6pm on Friday, May 21, at Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay and runs until June 7.

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