January is full of deadlines and resolutions. Yesterday, I completed one of my most imminent ones - to see some of the big London art shows closing this month. On my hit list was Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain, Basquiat at the Barbican and Tove Jannson at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
On all occasions, I had my own real life Moomin in tow. So the experience (supermarket dash) was pretty superficial. But I still came away energised and inspired to start a new collection.
The block colour and aggressive mark making, combined with the huge scale of the pieces that connects me to Basquiat’s work. His paintings (colour palette and style) would work well on Marmite packaging! Do you love it or hate it? It made such an impression on me I’ve been listening to Beat Bop on Spotify since. I can’t imagine he sat down to paint and from now on nor shall I! Drop everything to go and see it.
If Basquiat was the blockbuster, Tove Jannson is the dark horse. Who is she you may ask? In short; a courageous, Scandi storyteller and Nazi antagoniser, who had a sense of humour, a talent for illustration and a passion for painting. IMO she should be in Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. Her personality and life as interesting as the Moomin characters she created. It’s a great shame her paid career took away her time away from painting. I’d have loved to have seen more of those abstract and paintly colour bombs.
The Whiteread exhibition has now closed at Tate Britain. There’s a great documentary on her negative space sculptures on BBC’s Imagine Series. It’s still on iPlayer if you’ve missed it. For me seeing her work inside a museum gallery was a bit stale as such emotional pieces are best viewed on their intended sites. So, start planning a trip to New York or the Californian dessert to see the sheds ….. or watch the programme at home on your sofa! I’m still glad I got to see it and took this photo that makes a jolly good colour palette. :)
For January and February I am displaying my own work at the Paxton Centre in Crystal Palace. There’s a launch night on Friday 2nd Feb so please come and share a beer with me! I’ll be there with many other talented peeps and showcasing the new “mini’s”. I’m also excited to announce my cushions are back in stock - perfect valentines presents. Please share and hint away!
Did you manage to see any of them? Are you seeing any of your arty hero's next month? Even if my visits are at lightening speed, I like being a culture vulture!
Let's keep these cultural resolutions rollin' as we escape Jan. xox
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