Simon WG Butler "Going Postal"
Vertical Gallery is proud to present ‘Going Postal’, the first solo exhibition from London based artist Simon WG Butler. The exhibition is December 12, 2015 - January 2, 2016, with an opening reception with the artist on Sat. Dec 12, 6-10pm.
This new body of work examines a twenty year period of United States Postal Service history during which thirty five Postal Service workers were killed in a series of work place mass murders. Between 1986 and 2006, and without any widely accepted or connecting motive, a number of postal workers opened fire in sorting offices across the United States, wounding and killing their colleagues. This outbreak of work place shootings was investigated by the FBI, causing the Postal Service to employ staff specifically to monitor work place environments. The media also closely covered the shootings, coining the phrase ‘Going Postal’, a term that has been embraced by popular culture across the world.
The culmination of three years work, ‘Going Postal’ uses cancelled postage stamps to explore this macabre subject. In doing so, Butler not only utilizes the striking, graphic designs that appear on the front of each stamp, but also examines their reverse, presenting the tarnished traces of their use. From the scrap of an envelope to the the ink from a cancellation mark, each stamp exhibits signs of its unique history.
The Postal Service is undergoing the most significant changes it has seen in decades, with many post offices closing and workers losing their jobs. Butler’s use of retired postage stamps draws attention to the decline of this hugely important institution.
Simon WG Butler was born in 1989 in Maidstone, UK, and now lives and works in London. He has previously exhibited internationally in London, Miami and Chicago and worked alongside the likes of D*Face, Steve Lazarides and Shepard Fairey.