Sunday, 31 July 2011

Christopher Robin The BAD

See the video walking through the second exhibition of my favourite contemporary London painter! Christopher Robin is incredibly versatile, young and virtually unknown but has come out with an incredible follow up exhibition at the beginning of July 2011. His work centres around a firm belief of abandoning the chains of traditional painting - a signature style. The resulting exhibitions become dynamic comments on a broad theme use a variety of languages to communicate with the viewer on a variety of levels.

The titles of work in order of appearance:

Look Again, Think Again - 2 canvasses making reference to the Tate Galleries - the most prominent and bureaucratic institutions in London
If you stand for nothing you'll fall for anything - Venus statue
Don't even think about it - looks like a Jeff Koons dog - reminding me of the superficial and stylistically driven ideas of the richest artist in the world
Lakenol House - not sure what the title is but I know the photograph and painting were of Lakenol House which was part of the big fire in Camberwell in 2009. Robin had a mural in one of the devastated spaces.
A culture of success puts little value on the unsuccessful - two figures playing with credit cards, sculls are made of an intricate mosaic of credit cards too. This is my favourite painting alluding to Damien Hirst's diamond sculls, contemporary poverty based on credit card debt and the wider financial crisis.

For more information:

(c) Photograph by Tamara Never Dies. Painting (c) Christopher

Hackney Wicked

Yesterday, I went on my first art expedition in a long time. Crowds of new trendies and a few older art explorers got off Hackney Wick train with me and headed down the ramp, following the exotic sounds of live music coming from a distance. As it turned out, the music wasn't exactly great but it seemed to work like this: the more loud and offensive the sound the more people congregated, creating a heavy Notting hill Carnival feel in this industrial mini-city.

I remember only being to Hackney Wick once before and crossing large motorways on a cold night in an attempt to locate this warehouse party. It felt like we were crossing the M25! Yesterday Hackney Wick not only bathed in appealing sunshine but also had new Olympic structures inflating around it. The sheer number of people visiting Hackney Wicked on this day made a jolly and exciting east-end happening.

Some of the best work was shown by the few galleries operating in the area - Elevator Gallery and See Studios. I will be showing the work I found there in a future post but for now here is some work that caught my attention as I walked through studios and the streets at Hackney Wicked:

This painting showed an effective use of dimensionality but reminded me a lot of Bridget Riley's op art of the 60s.

Quirky and home-made feel ceramics by Bridget Lennon.

One of the best live musicians I saw was Sonic Manipulator - at once halarious and reminiscent of
the 90s Daft Punk era, he produced a free flowing avant garde electronic sound from a multitude of
theramins, keyboard and electric gadgets strapped all over his body. This was someone masquerading
as an unassuming human sculture from Covent Garden but the movement and music created was
 something much better!

These strong series of spraypainted stencils all had very beautiful lines that seemed to gravitate much closer to the practice of Matisse and fine art than those by Banksy. Ernst Altmann invents a miraid of shapes making up his wild and mythological creatures, giving them a sharp, angular and somewhat iconic feel.

The gown on the left had an assortment of dangerous medical equipment attached to it like a string of medals, including medical scissors, syringes and liquid disinfectant packs.
A beautiful abstract pencil drawing by Peter Currey.

Through a large car park there was an interesting workshop going on which went largely unnoticed by the main festival goers. I believe it was called Remade in July - Hackney Wick Workshop, which consisted of creating various pieces of furnitue on the spot from boarding material used to close off the construction sites at the London Olympics. I was told that the Olympic team had used a much higher grade of materials than would have been adequate and the government's waste of money in this way prompted them to reuse the material.