In Stuart Semple’s works, the emotional and spiritual impact of mass culture on the individual are re-imagined with a playful, exuberant and sociological language. Semple’s hybrid compositions often comprise of disparate appropriated and found elements which he weaves into alluring surfaces that encapsulate a deep critical analysis of contemporary culture. His world is one of low-culture internet trash, 90s nickelodeon colour palettes, indie music, obscure music videos and cultural theory straight out of the 60s Frankfurt school.
Working across painting, film, public art, sculpture, web art and installation, Semple brings a unique voice to the issues facing his ‘millennial’ generation particularly through his perspectives on anxiety, the impact of technology and the image world itself.
Semple’s work has been the subject of a number of major international solo exhibitions which include, ‘Fake Plastic Love’, Truman Brewery, London (2007). ‘Pop Disciple’, Aus18, Milan (2008), ‘Everlasting Nothing Less’, Anna Kustera, New York (2009), ‘The Happy House’, Morton Metropolis, London (2010), ‘It’s Hard To Be A Saint In This City’, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong (2012), ‘Suspend Disbelief’, The Heritage Rooms, London (2013), ‘Anxiety Generation’, Delahunty, London (2014) and ‘My Sonic Youth’, Fabien Castanier, Los Angeles (2015).
Semple came to attention in 2009 through his public art project ‘HappyCloud’ in which he released thousands of smiley faced clouds made from soap and helium from Tate Modern towards the city of London, which led him to receive a Happiness Hero medal at the House of Lords on the UN’s first International Day of Happiness. This public art projecthas been repeated in Milan during Salone De Mobile, Moscow, Australia and Dublin. Other public artworks have included ‘Jump’ for the City of Melbourne in which he installed a giant inflatable bouncy sculpture in Federation Square and ‘My Happy Place’ for Coventry Center for Contemporary Art.
Semple regularly participates in curated group shows, fairs, biennials and charity projects through which his works have been exhibited at the ICA, Victoria Miro, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Sotheby’s, The Fine Art Society, Torrance Art Museum, Pallant House, and the Museum of Art and Design, NYC.
In 2017 Stuart Semple has instigated an online collaborative art performance in which he has disseminated his own series of innovative art materials including The World's Pinkest Pink and Black 2.0, the world's flattest mattest black art material to artists worldwide. The project has been featured in The Times, Wired, Buzzfeed, New Scientist, Vice, BBC, iD and many others.
Semple currently lives and works in Dorset, England, and is preparing an ambitious large scale art intervention for the city of Denver in 2018.