'Pet Shop Biyz'
The Debut Solo Show From
Sam Macinnes

Sam Macinnes Pet Shop Biyz The Rafiki Gallery

The show has finished in Edinburgh, but will be popping up in a few more cities- keep an eye out for updates!

See photos from the Edinburgh Show.

'Macinnes explores young men’s defences – their branded clothes, their social groups, their vices – but their vulnerabilities still glow through. Much like Basquiat before him (and in a similar street-art inspired, oftentimes harsh style) the artist captures poetically the experiences of youth in the city.'

– Verity Babbs

Where has the title ‘Pet Shop Biys’ come from?

The work itself speaks for a culture that is heavily revolved around the electronic music scene, particularly events such as after parties and illegal raves…

‘The work is very raw and brash in its style which reflects some of the decisions made on these nights... It is almost like second nature now in my head when I create them, as I know the characters and the colours and the places that exist In this mini world’

Iain Clark Image

What to expect

Macinnes evokes a style of boyish immaturity, yet carries this out in a capacity which showcases his maturing creative skill. This body of work relates to his contemporary experiences growing up and living in Glasgow, going to University in Edinburgh and really responds to his own genuine emotions; something which makes his artwork refreshingly honest and candid. His characters and their behaviour are depicted loosely, reflecting their lived nature; yet they offer a scene that most viewers are able to relate to. 

Throughout the series there are links to both the history of art and of our own material culture. The paintings on show are his largest to date and are carried out in a mixture of spray paint, oil bars and graphite, creating his signature rough style. The bright colours and instant mark making offer a direct view into the mind of the artist, there is no erasing in his work, everything finds its own place.

He has managed to create his own cartoon show, telling the stories of badly behaved characters. The cast of the show will undoubtedly remind you of a situation or person that you have a connection to, Sam is constantly aware of his surroundings and directs this into his art, depicting and inventing scenarios in equal parts. The self-awareness necessary to do that is huge, with this he offers up an important vision into the issues of toxic masculinity; the binge drinking, drug taking and laddish behaviour which is so clearly taking place all around us and yet rarely commented on directly, or understood. 

Sam’s work is a unique, thoughtful, and humorous view into an area of society that rarely gets a serious look in. It is a sign of the times and depicts aspects of modern life in a way that encourages us to take a second look, and try to understand it.

Listen to Sam's episode of the Curating Conversation podcast!

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