Welcome to Two Peacocks!

Are you sitting comfortably?

The History of Two Peacocks dates back to 2007 when I was discussing Kippenberger and cake in Rome with a new friend. Our friendship developed into my first body of collaborative work; a series of paintings. This collaboration has led me to work with several others since including painters, sculptors, filmmakers, musicians, fashion designers and architects alongside my own solo projects. These collaborations allow me to extend my thinking and the range of things that I can make; I can learn rapidly from someone else and share with them in return. This displacement of self is the foundation of my syntax for working on Two Peacocks.

Two Peacocks is a team and has been built around a series of drinks, conversations and trips aimed at building new friendships, both personal and professional, which are intended to become the conjunctive for the works in the show.
The project has been an excuse to build on existing collaborations, begin new ones and create a group of people who have not previously worked together. As producer of the show I have devolved control, allowing new collaborations to develop between the artists.

Two Peacocks springs from my need to contextualize my own work alongside that of others. In my 2003 installation ‘Machiavelli’s Boudoir’ I used appropriation and pastiche as the twin indices of generation. Eight years later this model has been superseded by Two Peacocks, which uses collaboration as the methodology for creating a Metaphysics of the Maximal. Two Peacocks rejects the minimalist austere chic of much contemporary art and takes bombast as the baseline; in removing the white cube as a shared reference between artists in a group show it disrupts the logic enough to allow those involved to go beyond the isolation of their own works.

Dismissing the term curator I could be conservatively considered as a producer but most accurately
described as a meme machine. I have used my work, my personality and my thinking as a distorting
surface on which to riff the production of the exhibition. I have cast my practice as a net, capturing the
artists and allowing them to play with its structure. My role draws on both Les Dawson’s “bad” piano
playing and Julian Schnabel’s plate paintings.

Two Peacocks began as equivalent to ACME in the Warner Bros. cartoons; a logo
and a name; a globally recognizable brand without a purpose. The Two Peacocks
portfolio includes luxury goods, space exploration, property and everyday items
such as toilet roll. Two Peacocks has quickly grown a mythology of departments,
characters and products, which have been translated from my imagination into the
real world. At Gallery North Two Peacocks takes the form of a Department Store
showcasing our latest collection.

John Walter
CEO Two Peacocks

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