Remember the days when tokens for buying things could get you anything. Loyalty at Petrol stations resulted in poorly made cars that you dad would bring home after long work trips. As you got older it was VHS classics such as Shawshank Redemption, Dances with Wolves and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Then it was your choice of free albums, anything from Madonna Immaculate to Charles and Eddie. One thing I do not remember, mainly because no one in my family had the good grace to smoke was free watches.
These horological delights come courtesy of those chaps at Silk Cut no less. From my recollection they are not that nice to smoke, make you pull harder because of the tiny holes in the butt but make for a rather splendidly smooth joint. And now it has been brought to the attention of SF that they make some rather aesthetically divine timepieces.
So when SF discovered Noble & Webster, it was unlike anything we have seen before….. or was it? It turns out there was a certain Dutchman who had already had the brainwave. Diet Wiegman was the real pioneer and for the very fact he put MJ in his pieces. That’s a win.
The manipulation of light and sculpture to create a new image is something that fascinates and puzzles in equal measures.
There was this chap, a rather fascinating chap, one who has left an indelible mark on the world, one who it is argued shaped the world of art as it is known today. He involved in surrealism and was integral to the dadaist movement. What is also argued is that he had a hand in the creation of Pop Art and that there would be now Hirst (a bad thing?) or Tracey Emin without him. He also had a hand in Jackson Pollock the poster boy for 20th century abstract expressionism by encouraging Peggy Guggenheim to commission the artist to create something in her home (it took 6 months but was worth it). One thing for certain is that the hugely influential Ai Weiwie is a massive fan of the man that they called Marcel Duchamp.
At the Barbican at the moment there is a whole program of interesting Duchamp ditties and the one that drew SF was the Cabaret Duchamp. The only way to describe it without writing and essay would be quaintly-fucked-up-innocent-devious-brilliance.
Opening with host Will Gompertz getting two people on stage from the crowd to perform, who in turn picked out a poor fellow in the crowd who sang a Toy Dolls hit about a vicar cock-blocking (quite apt of the day that the world saw another creepy Pope chosen) then the main attraction.
Then…. an interesting spoken word turn by Stewart Lee, accompanied by a unplanned racket from two accomplices. Margaret Leng Tan performing on a miniature piano, a mesmerising and amusing turn by Martin Creed who coupled the guitar, harmonica, piano, ballet and a penis going from flaccid to turgid and back again in perfect timing as the crowd cooed and gasped with shock and delight.
The final act was Dog Kennel Hill Project who sang, danced, chanted and then perfectly summed up the thoughts of the crowd in a repetitive piece quote the crowds potential thoughts or maybe the reviews of critics.
The original… not the one on Old Street
How is this Duchamp? Well Duchamp was the man who said that anything could be art and that art did not have to be beautiful, the man who entered a toilet into a New York exhibition as art. Anything can be art and be interesting and this certainly was.
New Endings – March 7th Exposure Gallery London, the first solo show for Ben Slow, or Slow Ben, depends how well you know him. Slow showcased his latest works to a packed out crowd, prints and originals, yours for between £200 and £2000. The exhibition is live for 4 weeks total and the Gallery is open daily on week days.
Slow’s style has evolved from portraits to something hyper real, black and white portrait styles cut with shards and angles in colour, something of Tron about it. These pieces take one female subject as their focus and split the images almost in to pieces of puzzles.
‘It’s a step away from the safety of what I know and into something new and exciting. It’s important for me to experiment and to be uncomfortable, to question things and go seek answers. It’s been a challenge collating a body of work that I am proud of to showcase for the first time. There has been a lot of trial and error, plenty of mistakes made but that’s a good thing, it’s healthy to fuck a painting up every now and then.’
Head to Brick Lane and you will see numerous pieces by Slow, a bit of a break from the high colour style you usually see on London walls.
It is a well known fact that French people are cool. They dress cool, they sound cool, they act cool (some call it arrogant) they make very cool music, take a bow Air, Daft Punk, Phoenix, Serge Gainsbourg, Justice and Vanessa Paradis… Add to this list a certain Melody’s Echo Chamber
Melody Prochet is a Parisian lady of some note, stunningly magnetic, awkwardly entrancing, acutely cute and an effortless lil style icon to go with it. Her music is melodic (obviously) and tinged with reverberating sound effects, wailing electric guitars and plinking pianos, set to Melody’s beautiful voice. Seeing as the album was mixed in Perth by her love interest, one part of Tame Impala (Kevin Parker), it is no surprise that the song sounds a little bit… Tame Impala, there is some Air in some tracks, a bit St. Etienne a little bit Massive Attack.
On March 5th at Scala Melody’s Echo Chamber played to what can only be described as a sausage-fest or bearded swaying-ness. A grotty venue no doubt, but lightened by the angelic tones. A solid 7.5 out of ten as the set seemed over all to soon.
One of the most seminal artists of the modern era and one that even a heathen would recognise. Mr Roy Lichtenstein was born in 1923 in Manhattan New York, the exact place that he died some 73 years later, by this time he had influenced a generation with his take on art and his use of modern advertising and imagery found in comic books.
The exhibition currently running at the Tate Modern in London is a whistlestop tour through his stages in thirteen rooms, from his early discovery of his now iconic styles through experiments, sculpture, Chinese Song dynasty influences and up to the end of his life and his artistic career.
Along with Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist defined a movement and one of the most exciting ones ever, the influence of modern brands taking art away from more traditional areas and injecting some humour and irreverence.
It has been said that Lichtensten actually was fed up with being seen as purely a pop artist and his iconic use of dots to create depth and shade actually limited his scope of work. Unconfirmed but you would can forgive the man for feeling that way.
Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the Tate Modern London runs until May 27, plan to book your tickets to avoid queues and disappointment. One of the finest exhibitions around and worth a re-visit. SF will be heading there again soon