Arriving at Paradise Row to see the new show by the iconoclastic Eric Yahnker provides a spectacular antidote to the madness of Oxford Street experienced only moments before. Greeted by a sign that reads “We the Peephole,” Eric’s solo UK debut and exhibition of new work boldly critiques the plasticity of pop and the contemporary political landscape: a wonderful relief after walking through a street rife with neon shops like Anne Summers and places that sell plastic fridge magnets of Diana and Robbie Williams.
Eric’s precise pencil drawings and witty, visual puns find the connections and collisions that exist between pop and politics: Putin sheds a tear in Crimea River, and Obama and Miley Cyrus exchange heated glances as Miley sweeps past on her wrecking ball.
The moment when you register a pun is fantastic and it’s impossible to suppress your giggles, but the work also resonates with meaning in an extremely nuanced and thought-provoking way. Eric is an extremely talented artist with a sharp and astute mind, and his large scale satirical commentaries on contemporary America are a joy to see and experience. So next time you find yourself on Oxford Street, Sticks & Drones is definitely worth ditching the shops for.