Recover(radish); by John Cake


I am a child of 70s/80s NW England, where punk was a spirit, not a pose. Where Hip Hop, House and Techno resonated and thrived (DIY, scally, remix, laugh).

My paintings explore the psychological impact of controlling societal systems — class conditioning, capitalism, toxic masculinity — plundering their symbols to deconstruct the images and language that attempt to define and subjugate us.

I mine this wealth of source material, revelling in its leftovers, errors and redundancies. I flip between digital and analogue techniques to abstract, clip, glitch and layer these elements. They coalesce into a wild-style-graffiti-map, a calligraphic vibrant web of visual snippets that resist and relinquish power.

Wilting pepper plants employ the colours of a hospital ward at Xmas, a pair of old-skool Filas stomp through the bedroom in Arles, my scalpel cut-and-pastes an abusive tutor’s lemon.

I largely make the paintings for myself, to create an absurd nonsense, to refocus my intentions. But, for you, I want my paintings to induce a state where your certainties are thrown off-kilter yet inspire optimism and hope.

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2020 — Mcr Open — Home, Manchester

2019 — Paintings — Comme Ca, Manchester

2018 — Winter Exhibition — Comme Ca, Manchester

2015 — Les moissons de la cité — Space Collection, Liege

2011 — We Were Young and Immortal — Good Friday, Brussels

2011 — Space Collection — Atelierhaus, Aachen

2009 — Auckland Festival — Seed Gallery, Auckland

2009 — Palais de Tokyo — Paris

2009 — Parcours St Germain — Paris

2009 — KSB — Markus Winter, Berlin

2008 — Two of you, among you, with you, TAG / My Life In Art, London

2008 — Tatton Park Biennial, Cheshire

2007 — Deptford X — London

2007 — Jeux de Mains, jeux de vilains, Good Friday, Brussels

2006 — Art Crazy Nation — Kulczyk Foundation, Poznan

2006 — post_modellismus — Kunsthalle, Bergen

2005 — post_modellismus — Krinzinger, Vienna

2005 — Art Craziest Nation — Walker Gallery, Liverpool

2004 — Lick Your Selves — Bloc, Sheffield

2004 — Crazius Craftus Creativus — The Reliance Gallery, London

2004 — Art Crazy Nation — Comme Ca, New York

2003 — Art Crazy Nation — Catto Contemporary, London

2001 — This Is Modern Art — Cornerhouse, Manchester

1999 — Gavin Turk’s Rubbish — Decima, London


2021 — Arts Council England DYCP


Walker Gallery, Liverpool

Space Collection, Liege

Sandra Hegedüs Mulliez, Paris