LYNCHMOB Exhibition

LYNCHMOB brings together a group of 30 international contemporary artists, each of whom were asked to create and contribute work stemming from, inspired by or in direct response to the oeuvre of David Lynch.


“An academic definition of Lynchian might be that the term refers to a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter.” -David Foster Wallace

Having gained iconic status as a film director, David Lynch’s broad span of artistic influence has been largely overlooked, only recently being the subject of a survey exhibition at Fondation Cartier. LYNCHMOB proposes a first attempt to locate and trace the influence of David Lynch’s myriad contributions to contemporary art across a wide spectrum of media and artistic practices.

Curated by Emilie Trice & Christopher David, LYNCHMOB brings together a group of 30 international contemporary artists, each of whom were asked to create and contribute work stemming from, inspired by or in direct response to the oeuvre of David Lynch.

the art of david lynch

The world of David Lynch is by and large a complex one, in which the darker recesses of the human psyche reveal themselves and confront the audience with glimpses of their own subconscious desires, psychological abnormalities and sexual perversions. Lynch’s signature style oscillates between the banality of the everyday and the irrationality of dreams, while magnifying the depravity and absurdity often concealed behind the most tranquil and otherwise non-assuming facades. While cultural theorists and critics have made efforts to deconstruct the multi-faceted aspects of Lynch’s work, ranging from psychoanalytic interpretations to notions of the auteur, LYNCHMOB offers a visual exploration of these aspects and their manifestation in our collective consciousness, as embodied by the work of this group of contemporary artists, many of whom created original work specifically for the exhibition.

This exhibition presents itself as a constellation of environments that illuminate reoccurring elements in Lynch’s work, beginning on the ground floor gallery of HBC with David Nicholson’s photorealistic life-size oil portraits of fetish models, Zak Smith’s sexualized paintings, Gary Rough’s minimal abstractions of female genetalia, Christoph Steffner’s self-penetrating ‘Fuck Machine’ and Sandro Porcu’s beating heart sculpture, among others. These works all offer explicit references to pornography, intimacy and sadism ranging from the grotesque to the sublime and co-mingle in an erotic arena that pays homage to Lynch’s self-described perception of sex: “Sex was like a world so mysterious to me…it has all these different levels, from lust and fearful, violent sex to the real spiritual thing at the other end. It´s the key to some fantastic mystery of life.”

Utilizing the anachronistic architecture of HBC (the former Hungarian Cultural Center) as an integral part of the exhibition experience, with its veneer wood paneling, a labyrinth of rooms & hallways and an exquisitely Lynchian red-lit theater, LYNCHMOB recreates and refers to settings from Lynch’s best-known films using painting, sculpture, photography, live performances and video, such as an early “bootleg” work by Douglas Gordon and Oliver Pietsch’s montaged vingetts of Hollywood film footage, borrowed from movies like Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. Together, these works and their intertwined constructions further create a complete Lynchian environment that rapidly veers from fantasy to horror, from the mundane to the absurd

LYNCHMOB’s ultimate aim is to invoke in the viewer the same psychological and emotional response as Lynch’s films and other artistic endeavors. Stemming from the vast lexicon of compelling, if not unnerving, imagery amassed through Lynch’s diverse contributions to contemporary sub and mainstream culture, LYNCHMOB revels in the pornographic, the esoteric, the uncanny and the depraved. David Lynch, we salute you.

Featuring: Angel Eyedealism, Clayton Cubitt, Christoph Steffner, Douglas Gordon, Daniel Tagno, David Nicholson, Edmund Piper, Gary Rough, Gustaf von Arbin, Hannes Bend, Holger Jäger, Justin Adian, John Isaacs, Kenno Apatrida, Michael Cooke, Madeline Stillwell, Maxime Ballestros, Oliver Pietsch, Pete Wheeler, Ralf Gutsmann, Sergio Roger, Sean Cheetham, Stefan Saffer, Sandro Porcu, Torsten Solin, Tim Meehan, Tiphaine Shipman, Warren Neidich, Yoon Lee, Zak Smith, Zhivago Duncan