Artist ‘Chemical X’unveils “The Ecstasy of Art” showcase at Art Republic Soho London from Thursday 05/16 – 5/24 .
The anonymous artist ‘Chemical X’ who developed the logo for the iconic Ministry of Sound Club/Label over 20 years ago has displayed two new pieces of art work at the Art Republic Gallery London that are made out of over 12,000 multi colored ecstasy pills. One of the pieces ranges up to six feet tall.
“Chemical X is not trying to challenge authority with his art, he challenges the perception that people have of social drug taking through the press propaganda that shapes the public’s attitude,” says Marc Woodhouse, a spokesman for the artist. “These need to be viewed as works of art as they stop being drugs from the point at which that are permanently sealed into the pieces.”
‘Love & Death’ is a six-foot tall black, white and grey skull-and-crossbones piece with an asking price of £100,000, while ‘Taste The Rainbow’ is a multi-colored piece priced at £75,000. Chemical X will be selling limited edition prints of other (Second) Summer of Love icons in addition to the two large pieces.
Since the exhibit was opened up Thursday May 16th at Art Republic Soho, 42 New Compton Street, London WC2H 8DA there have been 7 attempted break in’s of rave kids trying to get at the 12,000 pills (ok that part isn’t true).
UPDATE: Turns out the exhibit was dropped last minute by the art gallery after the gallery met with their lawyers and went over the legal implications. Managing director Lawrence Alkin said: “We were under the understanding that they were fake. He said this week that they’re not fake. We spoke to our solicitors and we can’t have anything illegal in our gallery.” Marc Woodhouse, a spokesman for the artist, defended the inclusion of drugs.
The artist said: “I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised because I wasn’t really sure that Art Republic were going to go through with it right to the very end, but I understand their position.
“The thing about them [the artworks] is that the way they’re constructed is that [the tablets] are sealed inside the artwork itself. You would have to destroy the piece itself to get them and you could go and buy those things for much less elsewhere.”
Mr Woodhouse said the purpose of the work was to challenge people’s perception of the drug. He added: “It’s your perception as how you value them. That’s why the drugs have to be real.” When asked where the ecstasy was acquired, he replied: “As if I’m going to tell you that.”
He said the prospective buyer would be given the option to replace the tablets with fake ones.
The artist is now looking for a new London venue to stage the exhibition, but says that if he is unable to find one he will look at holding it in either Bristol or Amsterdam.
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