Punk’s not dead and Fuck I Love You, Los Angeles is proof of that. Step inside the HVW8 Gallery and see artist Raif Adelberg transform the space into a punk rock flophouse. Channeling CBGB, Barbara Kruger, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, the space Adelberg creates is called The Dead Boys Clubhouse. “It’s an environmental space that pops up around the world and creates this incestuous gang. It’s just about creating this little circus, but on a punk tip,” says Adelberg.
Bratty, caustic, offensive and in-your-face, that’s the surface of Adelberg’s art, where pop and Nazi imagery playfully come together in paintings and silkscreens on canvas, wood, paper and clothing. But look a little closer and you’ll see that Fuck I Love You, Los Angeles is all about perception and free will. “To look at things in a negative light is a choice. When you get upset you’re really relinquishing your power to the subject matter. It’s all about the power of choice,” he says.
While Adelberg’s intent isn’t to shock you, he won’t mind if you are… and you wouldn’t be the first. At a recent London show, bobbies showed up and demanded that the words “Fuck I Love You,” which were spraypainted on the gallery walls, be covered up. “It’s interesting. It’s a positive message but people see negativity because of the word fuck. Sorry to say, but if there wasn’t a lot of fucking, none of us would be here. It’s amazing that with a simple gesture you can get such a reaction,” says Adelberg.
About the Artist:
February 2, 1968, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Raif Adelberg is an artist, fashion designer, gallerist and magazine publisher. He is responsible for the clothing lines Dead Boys Clubhouse, Raif, Richard Kidd, Naked and Wings and Horns. As a gallerist, Raif Adelberg has produced shows by Kaws, Ryan McGinnes, Seen and Kostas Seremetis. He was also the publisher of Made, a hardcover art magazine that was available internationally at stores and museums. Raif Adelberg currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.