Chilly Struggle Steve brings his satirical art work into nature
Since 2016, Christopher Spencer's Twitter account has been a lifeline for many people in the midst of our turbulent times. Better known under his pseudonym Cold War Steve, the artist specializes in surreal, satirical collages that reflect the post-Brexit and post-Trump world we live in – with a dash of Eastenders' Phil Mitchell.
Before the coronavirus hit the market, a nationwide tour of pubs, hairdressers, village halls, libraries, shops and vestibules for Spencer as part of his "You, Me and Cold War" do-it-yourself project for Steve was scheduled for early 2020. downloadable exhibition.
In light of the pandemic, the tour was reinterpreted when the Cold War's Steve Meets the Outside World showcased a range of socially distancing outdoor art in various locations across the country.
The tour kicked off last month with an open air exhibition at Riverside Country Park in Kent, which featured 11 large-format works of art forming a surreal nature trail. And immediately it proved controversial when a piece of art featuring Wetherspoon's pub chain owner Tim Martin was thrown into the river.
Meanwhile, an oversized jigsaw puzzle titled Trumpscape has been assembled on-site in Liverpool city center, depicting an apocalyptic vision of Trump's America in the age of Covid. And a giant version of the Steve Cold War postcard editions mounted on a narrow boat is set to sail from Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham to the Coventry Canal Basin starting October 9th.
Finally, visitors to Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth this month will be greeted by a 25 meter long curved windbreaker featuring a range of local characters as well as the artist's classic lining of clumsy politicians and celebs.
The Bournemouth artwork was not without controversy, however, as Christchurch and Poole Council refused to publicly display the second, darker side of the double-sided diptych.
“It's a solemn and hopeful piece about Britain that explores the values that make us great – inclusivity, compassion, diversity, charity and creativity – while the censored 'other side' deals with the dark underbelly of ours Society, the movements of intolerance, concern, hatred and division, issues that should never be ignored or even covered up, ”says Spencer of the artwork in Bournemouth.
A giant jigsaw puzzle of Donald Trump from @Coldwar_Steve is taking shape on the Pier Head ????
Photos from @snapperlane pic.twitter.com/U7UVjGERV2
– Liverpool Events (@liverpool_event) October 2, 2020
"I look forward to hearing what people think about the work of art they can see and also the work of art that they cannot see. Unfortunately, someone else made that decision for them."
The mixed reaction to Spencer's new series is supposed to be a satirical view of the world around us and shows the society's ongoing culture war problem. It shows the difference between posting pictures in your own social media bubble and displaying them in a public place where they might reach a wider audience with different views.
You can follow the rest of the Cold War. Steve Meets the Outside World Tour here