MODERN ICONS / Credit where credit's due: Simon Poulter on the credit card and other flexible symbols

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The Independent Culture
'I think of my art as electronic painting. It has to do with the spread of information through digital processes. The images I'm using are processed images: contemporary icons and current symbols which are readily identifiable. I'm giving them new meanings. Apart from the credit card logos (pictured left), I've appropriated airport symbols, such as those for nappy-changing areas, and created a large installation based on them. I also work with Royal Mail stamps which carry the Queen's head. What I'm doing is creating high-quality artwork which people can relate to through their own experience. I'm referring to a common vernacular, a learning process that I'm trying to subvert. I want to be iconoclastic. My interest is to show in which direction painting has to go if it is to be more relevant. In effect I'm accepting a tradition and a culture and using myself as a medium. I'm not interested in the Modernist absolute of simplicity and I utterly reject the idea of Modernism being based on movements. I'm not just influenced by Pop Art. I accept influences from Duchamp, Witgenstein, Pollock. What I'm saying is that all ideas are naturally integrated and transitory. I can relate to William Burroughs's use of the catchphrase 'Image as virus'. There is no originality. All things go through different levels of meaning. That is kinda where I'm coming from. I'm confronting people with everyday symbols in a fine-art context. Fine art is being plundered by advertising - look at what they've done to Magritte. I'm trying to make the valves work the other way.'

Simon Poulter's 'digital landscapes' can be seen at Milton Keynes Exhibition Gallery, Milton Keynes, until 29 August

(Photograph omitted)

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