After graduating from the University of Guelph Fine Arts program in 2007 with a focus in printmaking, Adam Medley grew tired of trying to pull a perfect print-series so he gave up and decided to try something a bit easier. His current plan is to follow in Richard Branson’s footsteps and become a media tycoon. His first step has been to create his own personal brand, “The Pleasure is Back.”
Growing up in Oshawa, Medley began playing with media interpretations as a diversion from the boredom he faced in his high-school art class. A less than inspiring watercolour landscape assignment triggered Medley to pillage the classroom’s abundant resource of antiquated home-making magazines with a derisive adolescent disinterest that eventually gestated into a past time comfortably cusping the realm of obsession often evident in creative practice. To date, Medley has created a catalogue of hundreds of these implausible endorsements resulting from a feverish eight years of cutting and pasting.
He refuses to dismantle his collection of “artifacts” (as he refers to his glossy packing tape covered propaganda), so he has begun to hawk reproductions of the retro-alternate innuendoes. His cleverness is available for purchase as posters, mugs, t-shirts and other purposefully unnecessary consumer collectibles. Medley’s decision to reincarnate these previously cadaverous marketing attempts as a line of products in their own right is the ironic decision that arguably elevates the work to fine-art.
It’s almost more fun to imagine this quiet and unassuming young man as a media-baron who doesn’t really care if his work is considered as art at all. As he stared innocently at me with his blue eyes and his inculpably freckled cheeks and articulated an intelligent critique of the futility of consumer culture and advertising, I hoped that he was secretly thinking… “BUY MY STUFF!”