David Price: Dreamland
Art First, Soho | ★★★★☆
Dreamland is the name of the abandoned amusement park in Margate where painter David Price moved his studio three years ago. It’s also the name of his latest exhibition, in which he reimagines Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etchings of ancient Rome as a corrupted theme park.
For Price, the decline of Dreamland – once an aspirational holiday destination – has a broader symbolic significance, the hollowed-out rides representing the broken dreams of a generation. If that sounds gloomy, the paintings are anything but – Piranesi’s etchings were a celebration of architectural wonders and human artifice as much as they were a meditation on chaos and decline. Price’s lurid, magical-realist visions temper decrepitude with optimism.