Banks Violette: Vinyl Aesthetics Of Art On Film


New York installation artist Banks Violette reveals the D.I.Y.-ethos shaping his works in this rare interview at his motorcycle- and bowling alley-dominated studio in filmmaker Matt Black’s latest short.

Referencing 60s minimalist sculptors Richard Serra and Robert Smithson, Violette structures sheet metal, vinyl, flight cases and florescent neon bulb chandeliers into empty, stage-like scenes exploring social entropy. “He’s tapping into icons of youth culture, mixing them and creating stories that are a little bit more substantial,” says Black. “He’s this bridge between two worlds.” Taking from his roots in the punk scene, Violette’s installations often feature collaborations with musicians such as Stephen O’Malley of Seattle drone band Sunn O))) filling the spaces he creates with walls of noise. Mixing super-high-gloss production with dark themes, Violette's works twist iconic pop and subcultural imagery to expose the nostalgic echoes underscoring them, such as his ethereal looped projection of a galloping white horse invoking Tristar’s Pegasus from 80s VHS movie credits. “These icons are everywhere around me,” says Black of the American images featured in the graphite drawings that make up Violette’s Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children exhibition, currently running at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris. “Our generation was part of the events that made the pop culture of today. It’s a nostalgia for something I lived.”