Less than two weeks before the UK announced a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Willy Vanderperre opened his new exhibition at 180 Strand’s The Store X space. While it is currently physically closed, The Store X has moved it in its entirety online.
hurt, burn, ruin and more is a departure from what many would recognise as Vanderperre’s work, such as his Frank Ocean Dazed cover shoot or Raf Simons campaign. The exhibition features both photographs and illustration – collectively titled “flower sculptures” – which centre around series of flowers in various stages of life and decay, some encased in smashed glass cases.
Dazed founder Jefferson Hack provided the show’s text, which was also published on AnOther magazine. Meshing references such as Andy Warhol’s art, JG Ballard’s Crash, and harakiri – a Japanese Samurai tradition of ritual suicide – amongst others, Hack muses on the ability of “beauty to emerge from darkess”, as exemplified by Vanderperre’s striking work. He writes, “Willy Vanderperre’s work as a photographer has been a study of the energy of beauty, the interior and exterior magic and a search for its soul.”
All of the art in the show is available for purchase, with Vanderperre also creating merchandise, including one-off t-shirts, badges, stickers, and postcards.