Outsiders Newcastle, the North-East gallery of curator-director Steve Lazarides, presents Cluster 10, the debut solo UK exhibition by San Francisco-based artist Mario Wagner.

Wagner’s colourful and arresting style has been used to great effect in premium style titles like Esquire and Vanity Fair.

The paintings’ collage backgrounds harken back to the 50s and 60s when science fact raced to keep up with science fiction. It was an era when technology was embraced unthinkingly, and man was only a short step from realizing a total leisure culture or his destiny amongst the stars, depending on his adventurousness of spirit. The pictures’ protagonists however pursue a very different agenda. Slick moral relativists from a more recent age, they ride out with sinister intent, set traps, stew plots, and bury their dead clandestinely in compelling micro-narratives that trigger the less welcome elements of our imagination.

Closes on May 21, 2011.

The Outsiders
77 Quayside
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3DE
United Kingdom

More of Wagner’s work after the jump.

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