Banks Violette

Untitled (Disappear) 2004
Steel, hardware, plywood, tinted epoxy
244cm x 244cm x 87cm
96.1 x 96.1 x 34.3

Banks Violette

Born 1973 Ithaca , New York
Lives and works in New York

Banks Violette has created a visual language linked to his background and personal history that is derived from pop culture's aestheticisation of death. This highly personal language is intended to provide an account of the disturbing psychology that underlies attitudes and acts that have defined the frustrations and anger of a marginalised group of white American youth. Beneath the surface of Banks Violette’s pared down black sculptures, occasionally redeemed by the white of salt crystals, is a melancholy that sometimes sinks into sorrow. This sense of sadness with which all Banks Violette’s work is imbued is linked to a tragic dimension of pop culture. Goths and heavy metal have spawned a sub-culture of young people for whom extreme acts of violence are somehow more readily acceptable as part of the process of asserting identity than has been the case in a recent past that includes Banks Violette’s own somewhat troubled youth. Citing examples where musical lyrics become instigating factors to real-life violence, he refers to an over-identification with fiction where fantasy and reality are blurred. Banks Violette is interested in the moral ambiguities that result from this condition rather than seeking a catharsis. He works backwards from a site of tragedy, exploring the emotional and psychic energy that lies beneath the suburban angst of a group disengaged from mainstream American life. The tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain, an emblem of the nihilism implicit in this culture, is commemorated by Banks Violette by a black stage with destroyed drum kit in the works Hate Them (Single Stage) 2004 and Untitled (Disappear) 2004.