PONTIAC, MICHIGAN.-The Museum of New Art presents Billy Conklin's
Centerfolds - New Work from England's Latest Bad Boy, on view through October 29. Richard Mann wrote in The Many Faces of Billy Conkli: "Anyone who has encountered the art of Billy Conklin will have had the uncanny impression that there is not one Billy but many. Not only has he adopted several modernist and more recent idioms in quick succession, but he has also invented several contradictory personas. Perpetually shuttling between London and New York, street art and blue chip, Conklin presents himself as artist and art dealer, conceptualist and craftsman, pragmatist and dreamer, bully and recluse.
Throughout his short career Conklin has fashioned his own identity as one might manipulate an artistic medium, drawing on a fundamental model from his own generation, not so much preoccupied with the issue of identity as suspending it.
Conklin exemplifies post-20th century theories of the self in which identity derives from an innate multiplicity that emerges from inside a person, which is then able to present itself to the world in a shifting set of roles and exigencies projected from this multi-self to the outside. In this formulation, the individual, instead of possessing an identity, occupies a series of positions provisionally, depending upon his or her psychic and social context.
Jane Speaks has compared any encounter with Conklin's work to the psychoanalytic concept of transference--in which a patient (artist) projects his or her self onto the analyst (viewer) in order to work through or resolve the trauma (art object)."