Painted bronze

520 x 500 x 580 mm


Created in 2004, Tip exemplifies Gavin Turk’s ongoing investigation into authenticity within the art object. Using bronze, the material of Classical Greek sculpture, Turk has cast a rubbish bin bag seemingly stuffed full of unrecyclable matter. Made to look more real than reality, Tip is a true trompe l’oeil, an artistic technique that creates the illusion of space to challenge the divide between art and life. As Turk explains, ‘I am busy making things that are obviously not what they are’ in order to question what belongs within the gallery space (G. Turk quoted in D. Leader, ‘Gavin Turk: the analyst will unmask you now’, The Guardian, November 16, 2016). Illusion lets the artist comment on production, identity and capitalist structures, and he uses waste to critique consumption patterns, believing that what one discards is as insightful as what one keeps; detritus, for Turk, is a person’s anti-portrait and another way of staging the self. Turk was part of the Young British Artists who inaugurated a new era of British art in the 1990s, and he was included in Sensation, the provocative survey exhibition of YBA art held at the Royal Academy, London.