Combing the commercial landscape for product detritus and two-dimensional media, Copeland guts and recombines found materials into psychotropic Pop assemblages. His material gestures range from slight and clever manipulations of image or lettering to jarring repetition of pattern and hyper-saturated color. Leaving the skeletal remains of the commodity form, Copeland reclaims the “potential” of the object, showing it as if in a state of growth or flux.
Having founded the experimental noise-rock band, Black Dice, while studying at RISD almost two decades ago, Copeland’s artistic and musical careers have developed simultaneously. A crossing of audio and visual ways of thinking have become almost second nature to him; when conceiving of Pop, it is with Paolozzi-style collages, DIY record covers, 50’s rock-and-roll, and pop-electronic beats in mind. While occasionally pushing toward sensory overload in each genre, Copeland’s artwork also has an understated poignancy. The used-up musical equipment, discarded beach wear, re-stretched billboards that make up the exhibition may have lost their material edge, but are re-elevated through the artist’s use.
Copeland manages to repurpose objects that could be deemed unusable, scrap material, or even trash, to create media so compelling that it would make any bystander regret thinking these objects were anything less than art. The artist brings damaged goods back to life in a way that demonstrates both his artistic and musical abilities. The juxtaposition of Copeland’s audio and visual thought processes is apparent throughout the exhibition, and the show packs a punch with thoughtful selections of vibrant hues set amongst carefully chosen bits of pop culture.