Jon Rafman, artist, Montreal
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.