The Search for a Superior Moral Justification for Selfishness.

photographs and painting by Nick Waplington.
Mörel Books, London, England, 2019. 96 pp., 9¾x11¾".

Publisher's Description

With acetate screen printed dust jacket

In 2015, Nick Waplington left London for Los Angeles, a city that inspired some of his earliest works. In Surf Riot and Safety in Numbers, he documented the West Coast youth cultures of the 1980s and 1990s. Returning to LA at the beginning of a new century, Waplington undertook a body of work profoundly concerned with tensions that exist between stasis and transience, permanence and transformation, isolation and connection, past and future. The Search for a Superior Moral Justification for Selfishness reflects this state of generative paradox, both in its subject matter and in its amalgamation of media and artistic approaches. 

During this year Waplington spent many hours walking the streets of LA, often in the early hours of the morning. He would spend this time recording the cityscape, one characterised equally by serene natural beauty – its distinct light and wildlife – and chaotic social conflict – most palpably, the city’s growing, desperate homeless population. That same year, he also worked in an outdoor studio making paintings that comment in a different way on similar themes. In these works, Waplington explores and exploits the tension between his total control of paint and canvas, and the chaos of his inner meanderings, reflecting on the visual stimulus of his morning walks around the city and mixing them with the emotional content, which continues to drive his painting practice.

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