McFadden’s Cold War is a collection of some of the earliest forays into
the making of images that has come to be one of the defining artistic moments of
post-referendum, post-Trump, post-truth Britain, the online phenomenon known as
Cold War Steve. At first these images were a perfectly balanced deft-yet-naive,
phone-spun collage of cold war photography featuring the startling (and always
startlingly fitting) presence of the actor Steve McFadden, playing his Phil Mitchell.
The set-pieces have since grown to take in the plight of the UK, the farce of the political classes, a cast of characters as broad and diverse and daft as the country itself, but these early pieces are an essay in the tightness of the artist’s aesthetic vision, the originality of his humour, the genuine surrealism of the work.