Lockdown inspired works by Philip Colbert at Saatchi Gallery, with robot viewing option (29 October)
The modern pop world of Philip Colbert will go on display in a major show at Saatchi Gallery presented by Unit London. Opening on 29 October - 29 November, Lobsteropolis promises to transport visitors through an odyssey of unseen large-scale paintings and
sculptures. On 29 October the exhibition opening will be celebrated with a giant outdoor inflatable lobster.
Lobsteropolis will be the largest UK survey to date of Colbert’s universe, which has been designed to work both digitally and in situ by utilising robots that allow viewers to interactively engage with the exhibition. Guests can tour the gallery by registering online and booking a slot with their own automated machine, allowing digital users to navigate through the psychedelic lobster land. After the user has registered online, they will be able to move around the gallery via their smartphone or computer and zoom into the paintings,
large scale bronze and marble sculptures and lobster robots with unprecedented detail. The exhibition will also be hosting the world’s first robot private view on 29 October.
A one-way system will guide visitors through the exhibition, picking a route through Colbert’s works which interrogate mass consumerism and reference recent contemporary culture and history. Colbert has created a global following for his cartoon lobster persona and his
masterful hyper-pop history paintings. His work explores the patterns of contemporary digital culture and its relationship to a deeper historical dialogue. Colbert once said, “I became an artist when I became a Lobster”.
Under lockdown, Colbert’s shrunken horizons and own social media echo chamber prompted him to conceptualise Lobsteropolis as his response to the pandemic. Taking a walk to a gallery and seeing art in situ is an important part of society and a culture in which
people are free to do things for themselves. In his brash, splashy world of contemporary culture, Colbert explains the reasoning for his cartoon-like vision. “The lobster is my materialistic alter-ego. Lobsteropolis is a vision of a sci-fi future where, due to lockdowns, we
have robot selves who can go and explore the physical world, while we remain indoors.”
Colbert sees the lobster as embarking on a quest for romance and human connection, trying out different guises and new personas.
As collectively we find ourselves in a new and surreal world, with many isolated from families and friends, the lobster too is looking out to the horizon. “Our fear of solitude is not unique to the current pandemic, but ultimately, we are alone, which is part of the human
condition,” says Colbert.