tagged (2015 - 2017) 

This series is an exploration of the charged relationship between an artist and the art world. Modupeola elaborates on her own experience of this environment: 

“In the art world, the elusive “red dot” represents the sale of an artwork and is part of a complex system of approval, status and taste to collectors, dealers and artists alike."

 The artist explains: “An artist’s creation is an extension of themselves, thus their artworks mirror their inner workings, desires and fears. In this series, I explore the idea of visibility, exclusivity, ownership and selling artwork as competing interests. The decision to use the pool, as the context for play is very deliberate, as feelings about it differ vastly. The pendulum swings from feelings of calm, luxury, and ease to fatigue, risk, and death. Large bodies of water, like art, represent our internal capacity to be deeply moved by something. When someone commits money to buy art, it is an indication, that they were moved by an aspect of the work.”

The use of the red circle points to a less esoteric mode of validation, the exchange or purchase of artwork and its official stamp of approval.In addition to recognizing the commercial mode of validation that exists in the art world, this way of looking assumes an aesthetic experience or even a theoretical appreciation. And yet, she reasons that because artwork is so often an intense expression of the creator’s most profound feelings, then the artist’s need for the external validation “is perhaps the most dangerous game of all.”

There are many players determining this symbolic value - both active participants and observers. Blissfully unaware of the gatekeepers that govern this space, they swim, float, and coast along in the water. In the game, there are only two rules:

1.  Stay in the pool.

2. (Pretend to) ignore the red ball


Rosa J.H. Berland and Modupeola Fadugba