Opening reception for Noblesse Oblige in Los Angeles
New York based artist Scott Campbell celebrates his West Coast debut with the exhibition Noblesse Oblige. In his recent work Campbell uses copper, currency, graphite, ink, and neon, to transform tattoo subculture iconography into delicate and tempered work. He employs the familiar blue-collar vernacular of tattoo flash-boards – a skull smoking a cigarette, a skeleton’s hand in a provocative gesture, a single eye emitting a penetrating ray – and highlights the irony that exists within that imagery. Morbid images, rendered in graphite onto the fragile surfaces of ostrich eggshells that represent birth and transformation, point out the delicacy of opposition. The title Noblesse Oblige implies that whoever claims to be noble must conduct their life accordingly, and in a manner that conforms to one’s position. In Campbell’s case, his “nobility” is his tattoo-artist origin, and it is to that position and reputation his compliance is fashioned.