Jarren Frame is one to watch. The young South African-born painter's first solo show in New York City – titled 'Bond, James Bond' – sold out thanks to subject matter we'd like to see more of in the art world.
Exhibited at a loft in Soho, the 'Playboy Paintings' as Frame refers to them consist of 33 acrylic on wood paintings featured the 'recontextualization' of vintage James Bond movie poster art of the sort seen in foreign countries, with an additional nod to the cool illustrations seen in Playboy in the 1960s and '70s
Frame first got the idea for them during a trip to Sardinia, where scenes from the 1977 classic The Spy Who Loved Me starring Roger Moore and a certain Lotus Esprit Turbo was shot. With iconic 007 imagery in mind, he created large scale reinterpretations in his own signature style.
“What I sought to do with the Playboy Paintings was neutralize some of the shame around sex and masculinity," Frame says. “As an artist, I render myself vulnerable to the risk of showing my impulses and being a channel for what I feel is going on in society at that moment, liberating myself from any self-judgement in what I’m creating.”
"'Bond, James Bond’ was created on such an impulse," he adds, noting that the key elements he had in mind were "fun, sex and champagne." A perfect formula as far as we're concerned, and the fun element is certainly something the modern-day brooding Bond could do with a bit more of.
Some of the paintings from the Bond series were acquired by boldface names such as Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers, socialite heir Barron Hilton, hip hotelier Jason Pomeranc and nightclub impresario Jason Strauss, and Frame's work is currently featured in high profile spots such as the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Casa Apicii and Casa Malca Tulum, The Gramercy Park Hotel, and The Bowery Hotel.
Having had his fill of Bond for now, Frame is currently working on an ambitious new series of paintings that aim to 'frame the human experience' through the deconstruction of portraiture and historical narrative into the abstraction of line graphs, inspired by the daily information and data overload we.
We realize these artist types have to follow their creative impulses and all, but here's hoping Frame will turn his hand to more Playboy-style paintings in the near future. Until then we're saving some wall space and working on our martini game.