Beauty Blocked My View: Zhivago Duncan

7 November 2018 - 15 January 2019

Meem Gallery presents Beauty Blocked My View, a new series of work by multi-media artist Zhivago Duncan.


Using batik, the ancient technique of wax resistant dyeing, the artist has created a series of large-scale works that address his complex identity by layering his fascination with ancient Near and Middle Eastern creation stories with cutting edge science, and existential musings about modern life. Explosive, abstract compositions with evocative titles such as Astral Bodies and Celestial Cells are made up of floating, circular forms. Recalling planetary rotations and moon phases, these spheres also hint at the science and spirituality behind our own genesis, evolution and DNA.


As a part of a larger body of work that examines physical and metaphysical perception relating to the two distinctive hemispheres of the brain, these batik works draw on references from a wide variety of scientific and literary sources. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell to Zecharia Sitchin’s The 12th Planet, Duncan has assembled his own hybridised mythology in order to make sense of both the physical and spiritual world around him.


Created at his Mexico City studio, the series, Beauty Blocked My View marks the artist’s second solo exhibition at Meem Gallery. Known for his inventive use of unexpected materials, Zhivago Duncan’s artistic practice has been shaped by his unusual background and upbringing. A multi-linguist who has lived throughout Europe and the Middle East, the self proclaimed ‘perpetual foreigner’, is half Syrian and half Danish, was born in the USA and educated in the UK.