Jon Raf­man, artist, Montreal

ELLE Man (Canada) - - CULTURE -

So many con­tem­po­rary artists seem fix­ated on ex­plor­ing the full po­ten­tial of cut­tingedge tech­nol­ogy. But for 33-year-old Mon­trealer Jon Raf­man, it’s dig­i­tal me­dia’s low­brow cul­ture and how it shapes mod­ern so­cial in­ter­ac­tions that ap­peal most. His re­cent ret­ro­spec­tive at the Musée d’art Con­tem­po­rain de Mon­tréal was at once up­roar­i­ous, sick­en­ing and nos­tal­gia in­duc­ing: weirdly fas­ci­nat­ing In­ter­net memes, NSFW images from Google Street View and KoolAid Man avatars on Sec­ond Life. “The things that in­ter­est him are not nec­es­sar­ily the bread and but­ter of most artists,” ex­plains Mark Lanc­tôt, the mu­seum’s cu­ra­tor. “He finds a way to make th­ese into com­pelling art­works. It’s kind of a per­fect storm.” Be­sides be­ing short­listed for the 2015 Sobey Art Award and nom­i­nated for the Pinchukart­cen­tre’s 2014 Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tion Art Prize, Raf­man is cur­rently prep­ping for his first ma­jor solo show in the U.K., set to launch at Lon­don’s es­teemed

Zablu­dow­icz Col­lec­tion in Oc­to­ber.

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