Through the tropes of Batman and Robin, Dean Butters’ portraits examine ideas of protracted adolescence and social disconnection. The series looks at the relationships he develops, and the repeating patterns that they form.
Batman and Robin represents the heroic ideas of childhood and adolescence dashed against feelings of an unfulfilled life, one that lacks the sense of certainty we once dreamed of as children. Like Peter Pan's choice to never grow-up, this work is about being unstuck in a world that has moved on around you.
Pop culture and appropriation are enduring themes throughout Butters’ work. Both are used to examine the influences of fiction on the creation and representation of the self. Fictional characters and appropriated imagery become deconstructive tools, that speak to the universality of such imagery, while also questioning the freedom that they ultimately provide to our identities and self-definition.
Excerpts from catalogue essay by David Broker.
Dean Butters, Without Robin, 2012-13, Lambda print, edition of 10, 80 x 120cm; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.