HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ANTI ART FAIR

These are just few of the artists we saw at the Anti Art Fair at the iconic Bussey Building in Peckham this weekend. Hosted by Creative Debuts, it championed emerging artists and curators behind the Nasty Women Exhibitions in London. Whilst the location, kept secret until the last moment, was not what we expected – we assumed it would be closer to Regent’s Park to drive the idea of an anti-establishment fair home –  we loved the works on show. This is our selection.   KYLE BARNES Website: https://www.kyle-barnes.com/ Instagram: @kyle_barnes_artist…

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LONDON DESIGN FAIR 2018

If you’ve missed the London Design Fair 2018 at the Old Truman Brewery in East London this weekend, do not despair. We were there for you. These are a few examples of what caught our attention. WHAT The silk-screen prints and posters of Jollygoodfellow. WHY Lisa and Esa Tanttu’s hand-printed images combine the best of two worlds we feel very close to: the minimalism and elegance of Swedish design with the gutsier and edgier Finnish touch. Head to their website for one of our favourites, the ‘Head First Since Birth’ poster. WHERE Find…

BP PORTRAIT AWARD 2016

JEAN - JEAN PAUL TIBBLES, 2015

An annual event to get excited about is the prestigious BP Portrait Award. Arguably the most important portrait competition in the world, based at the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is currently on tour and residing at Firstsite, Colchester, UK. Putting aside the politics of the sponsor, which is not without its protests, the competition produces incredible work. This is unsurprising with the high number of entries from an unrestricted geography. 2017 saw 2,580 entries from 87 countries resulting in talent, diversity and energy. The sum of these adjectives add…

TURNER PRIZE: 2016

ANTHEA HAMILTON: LICHEN! LIBIDO! CHASTITY!

Whilst it might be true that the Turner Prize has become one of the best-known and most-talked about prizes in the visual arts world, we could argue that notorious would be a more befitting adjective to describe it. Since its inception in 1984, it has been awarded to one artist out of four shortlisted, allegedly in recognition of an outstanding exhibition or body of work in the preceding year. They are mostly conspicuous rather than exceptionally good. ANTHEA HAMILTON: LICHEN! LIBIDO! CHASTITY! In a room covered by brick wallpaper, like the…

HELSINKI NOIR – A CRIME TO SOLVE

Helsinki Noir

Visitors aren’t just invited to view, but inhabit the places of ’Helsinki Noir’ at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki. Set against the backdrop of the Finnish capital in the 1930s, the narrative of the exhibition opens with a crime scene. The body of a young woman in a short dress and silk stockings is found floating in the sea just off Kaivopuisto park. You’d be forgiven for thinking you have just stepped into the set of an elaborate episode of David Suchet’s Poirot. What happened to the woman…

A THREATENING NEW DIMENSION IN NUMBERS

CULTURE, ANOTHER NATURE REPAIRED - KADER ATTIA, 2015

The unconscious attribution of human traits or characteristics to inanimate forms is a built-in mechanism which enables humankind to cope with, and somehow relate to, anything new and unknown. To some extent this applies to the art world too. The projection of such human features onto drawn, painted or sculpted objects brings meaning to, and builds a connection with, a reality which may in fact not have rules or significance. The infinite number of possibilities of expression available to an artist is left barely explored as people cannot regain absolute artistic freedom once the…

PUNK IN BRITAIN

TIME FOR MAGIC, LOOK TO THE FUTURE, LESSONS FROM THE PAST - JAMIE REID

’Punk: From Chaos to Couture’ at the Metropolitan Art Museum in 2013 had already driven the message home: punk is dead. I should have kept that in mind before visiting ‘Punk in Britain’ at the Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan. Born as a parallel movement in the USA and Britain around 1976, the punk movement was not just a reaction to the mainstream rock scene which had become tame and unassertive. It also represented a rejection of the nostalgia of the 1970s. The aggressive pursuit of a liberating new identity…

ANDY WARHOL: ELUSIVENESS AND UBIQUITY

GUN - ANDY WARHOL, 1981

Like London buses, you wait for one for ages, and then two come along at once. Both Firstsite and the Alcyon Gallery have an exhibition on Andy Warhol. Whilst he is credited for coining the expression ’15 minutes of fame’, this could not be less true of his enduring and ubiquitous popularity. A reminder, if one was ever needed, of the undiminished relevance of his work in the contemporary art scene. He introduced a bold and genial rite of observation and fast consumption of art, building on his early experience as a commercial illustrator,…

THE HAUNTED HOUSE

Hänsel and Gretel learnt pretty quickly that the gingerbread house was not what it purported to be. Similarly the golden walls of the Haunted House, glistening in the Milanese sun, lure visitors away from the greyness of the industrial surroundings to witness an equally unexpected childhood trauma. The building, a renovated former distillery within the complex of the Prada Foundation, houses a permanent exhibition of Robert Gober plus two works of Louise Bourgeois. Admission is limited to a small number of people at any given time. On the first floor “Cell…

DAVID BECKHAM: THE MAN

David Beckham Damien Hirst

Despite eliciting only raised eyebrows every time I suggested visiting ’David Beckham: The Man’ at Phillips in Mayfair, I found myself hopelessly lured to it like a moth to a flame. Managing to sneak in on my own just before the gala party for the auction, I was so caught up in the mediatic whirlwind generated by the evening that I found it very hard to focus and judge the photographs purely on their artistic merit. Since the brand Beckham relies almost entirely on being seen to maintain an iconic status,…