Darren Sylvester creates photographs, sculptures, music and installations, embedded with commercial pop cultural references and tinged with ennui. In large-scale photographs, he co-opts the language of consumer aspiration for his own ends as various references – including film, fashion and consumerism – come together in works that maintain a disquieting balance between the convincingly real and strangely artificial. The scenes in each photograph are constructed with laborious intensity in the studio, ultimately becoming frozen narratives (a plane flying into a clouded sunset; a crouching basketball player) with enigmatic and ambiguous poignancy, wryly blurring the commonplace and branded desire.
Darren Sylvester lives and works in Melbourne, he holds a Master of Fine Arts from Monash University, Melbourne (2010), and gained his Bachelor of Fine Art Photography from Charles Sturt University (1996). Selected solo exhibitions include Darren Sylvester, Neon Parc, Melbourne, 2017; Broken Model, Sullivan & Strumpf, Sydney, 2016; Darren Sylvester, NADA Art Fair (Neon Parc), Miami, 2014; WON, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2014; Darren Sylvester, VOLTA Art Fair (Sullivan & Strumpf), New York, 2013; Darren Sylvester Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2012; Take Me To You, NAFA, Singapore, 2010. Selected group exhibitions include Outside Thoughts, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, 2015; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; We Used to Talk about Love, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2013; Mortality, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2010; Wonderlust, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 2008; and Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008. Sylvester won the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award in 2011. His work is held in national, public and private collections including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; QAGOMA, Brisbane; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; City of Port Phillip Collection, Melbourne; Daniel and Danielle Besen Collection, Sir Elton John Collection, Melbourne University Collection, Queensland University Collection, Melbourne University Collection, Latrobe University Collection and Monash University Collection.
In 2018 Darren will present a solo retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria.