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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Darren Sylvester, photographer, video artist, painter, sculptor and musician, was born in Sydney, New South Wales in 1974. He went to school in Byron Bay, moving to Wagga Wagga in his final years of high school, and later studied at the Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography, Graphic Design. Three years after his graduation, Sylvester was selected for the annual ‘Primavera’ exhibition, which showcased the work of emerging artists and was held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. This exhibition prompted national recognition of Sylvester’s work following prior solo shows in Wagga Wagga and Melbourne. By the middle of 2012, Sylvester had been represented in 84 group exhibitions and 25 solo exhibitions in Australia, primarily in Sydney and Melbourne, and overseas in countries such as China, Singapore, the United States of America, Thailand and New Zealand. One area within Sylvester’s multi-disciplinary art practice is his creation of highly composed, staged photographs of everyday scenes in crisp, glossy clarity, frequently including visual references to global brands as a reflection of reality, rather than a critique of consumerism. His photographic work often draws upon lines of text from his short stories, with a statement becoming a title for a photograph and triggering thoughts for the corresponding scene. A noted piece in Sylester’s oeuvre is the full-scale replica he built of the Japanese garden originally enjoyed by the 1970s sibling pop duo ‘The Carpenters’ at their home in Los Angeles. The reconstruction was destroyed after filming the artificial garden for a video installation titled I Was the Last in the Carpenter’s Garden, where the film is projected onto screens, accompanied by a turntable playing Sylvester’s own album of songs. Indeed, Sylvester also works as a musician and in 2009 he released a self-titled debut album with the music label Unstable Ape/Remote Control Records. Previously, in 2006, the ‘Australian Art Collector’ magazine listed Sylvester as one of the 50 Most Collectable Artists, demonstrating the significant national recognition he had already acquired at this early point in his career. Also contributing to his prominent artistic reputation are the numerous grants and awards he has received, such as the New Work Grant from the Australian Council for the Arts in 2010, the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize (Adobe Honourable Mention), Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne in that same year, and the 2011 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Gold Coast City Gallery, Gold Coast. Adding to his list of accomplishments, Sylvester graduated with a Master of Fine Art from Monash University, Melbourne, in 2010. His work is represented in several public collections throughout Australia, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, as well as in Australian and foreign private collections, including the collection of the renowned British singer Sir Elton John. Writers: ecwubben Date written: 2012 Last updated: 2012
b. 1974
Sylvester's multi-disciplinary artistic practice encompasses photography, video, sculpture, text and painting. His choreographed photographic images are rendered with intense, glossy clarity. Themes in his work include relationships, emotions, urban alienation and the passing of time..
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