What is art but to be but provocative? Who, more than artists, can be trusted to stick two fingers up at the Establishment and the petit bourgeois commonalities that have little to do with our daily lives but surround us at every turn? John Stezaker was an unpopular artist for quite some time but has been enjoying a well-deserved renaissance in recent years (perhaps 'enjoying' may be the wrong word). Whitechapel Gallery, in collaboration with Mudam, Luxembourg, have given in and present a large-scale exhibition of the artist's works.
The image is central to the work of Stezaker, and the allure of the image beyond that. Stezaker takes classic movie stills, vintage portraits and postcards, book illustrations and moulds, melds, cuts and shapes them together into grotesquely funny collage.
It's not just that Stezaker's work is funny, and it's not just that it inverts cultural stereotypes. If a picture, especially a still from a Hollywood movie, is a window to another world, Stezaker asks that you stop, before presenting you with an alternative. Remember, you do have a choice, you know.