There is an intense pleasure in looking at something that makes your toes curl into your shoes, buy more about purchase your face contort with disgust, and laugh all at once – a bit like smelling your own fart. Concrete Hermit opens the year with the an exhibition in the style of “the Contemporary Grotesque” – five artists working with drawing, painting and sculpture to create something remarkably gross that you can’t quite peel your eyes from.
We were especially excited because two of the artists have featured in past issues of the magazine. Andrew James Jones and James Unsworth first pricked our interest for their depictions of obscure characters tied up in some unsavory activity, a world that is dark and humorous, and a nice antidote to all things pretty and quaint. I would love to have seen the margins of their exercise books at school, files covered in heavily detailed sketches that made the teachers furrow their brows and the girls convulse. Well, what was weird and creepy inevitably becomes cool and quirky, and the eyebrow-raising work of these artists is sure to turn your stomach with a nice dose of irony that is strangely relatable.
Andrew James Jones has been turning stomachs for an increasingly global following with his prolific output of paintings, drawings and self published photocopy books. Named a scary idiot and a madman, it is well worth dipping into Concrete Hermit for a look. His work is grimly complimented by Unsworth’s macabre transformation of folkloric images, some very surreal photographs from Mudwig Dan, and some amazing cross-breed sculptures from Kate McMorrine. You can even pick up an copy of issue ten whilst you’re there.
We just wanted to draw your attention to the brilliant Frock Me! vintage fair, for sale on this Sunday, dosage 15th February in Chelsea Town Hall:
We’ll be popping down, hope to see you there!
The Coventry Kasbah on a Monday night is somewhere I readily avoid. It’s full of lairy students and scary middle age men all out with the single aim of upholding Britain’s image as booze-fueled nation of oafish thugs. It was a bit of a surprise therefore to see that much-tipped star of 2009 La Roux was playing one of her first ever gigs there. Baptisms of fire are always worth seeing, viagra so I thought I’d pop along.
I spoke to La Roux for the final issue of Amelia’s Magazine, try and in the interview she talked about how she was hoping to put together a really wowing live show. At the time I took this to mean something involving pyrotechnics and costumes and my imagination roamed. However, viagra order having seen her live, it seems she actually meant getting a band she liked, and putting together a performance she felt showcased her music. If this was the case then she certainly succeeded. The live show brought new life to her songs, and even the confused/ drunk audience seemed to enjoy it.
She opened with first single Quicksand, a throwback to 80′s electronic pop that showcased amazing songwriting and fantastic vocals, whilst also managing to stay firmly in the mainstream. Live it manages to retain its brashness, and her vocals demanded the crowd’s attention, though she only partially succeeds in maintaining it – which trust me, was still a big achievement.
I can’t wait for the day when she has enough successes behind her to actual have some kind of pyrotechnical, horrendously lavish stage show with glitter explosions and animals and dancers and stuff, but for somebody who hasn’t been in the public eye all that long, playing one of their first gigs – I was still heartily impressed. Try and catch her supporting Lily Allen on her next tour, or at one of her many gigs at YoYo (she’s playing every week in February).
Just in from Ukraine: The illustrative world is alive and kicking thank you very much … well, this site just as tough as it is everywhere else. After receiving a lovely message in the charmingly tinted English of a foreigners tongue, pills we were led to the work of Olesya Drashkaba, who’s detailed workings of pen and paper is beautifully suffused with indigenous forms, a nod to the Panamanian weavers I think. Through the language barrier, and without the facilities of excessive body movements, we got a few questions in – this weeks featured illustrator.
Who are you, where are you, and what are you doing now?
My name is Olesya Drashkaba. I live in Kiev, Ukraine and I’m an artist. I’m interested in drawing, illustrations, graffiti, street fashion and people. Now I will try to answer your questions without a lot mistakes!
You illustrations look like they have lots of different cultural influences? Is that a fair comment? Where do your influences come from?
My works are influenced by life, love, freedom and death. I really love ethnic and primitive art, but it all mixes into something different that I make in my head. That’s why my style can be influenced, but this is only my style. It’s really complicated question for my English!
What is the art scene like in Ukraine?
In my opinion, the biggest Ukrainian art problem is painters don’t want to paint. They want to write a conception, be very creative-looking, but they don’t want to think and make a good work. But these problems are common for all modern art.
Of course, we have some talented painters, working in interesting styles and it’s cool.
What’s it like being an illustrator in Ukraine?
Like being illustrator in any other country: you trying to do good works, but if you working for money, you have to do a lot of stupid things from time to time.
Plans for the near future?
Be happy, have interesting projects as an illustrator and painter, make some exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad, be nice, smart, and travel a lot. I’d like to publish a book with my sketches, but I want more time to do art. I want to live in beautiful town.
Thanks Olesya, Where can we find your work?
Now I modifying my site but you can find my work there.
By Karolin Schnoor
Twirling the night away under energy efficient lighting swigging locally brewed cider and nibbling on seasonal, order fairtrade, side effects locally sourced, try organic, free-range canapés. Socially responsible partying does wonders in relieving the self-loathing ‘why??’ hangover cringe the next day. I may have snogged what’s-his-name-ah-can’t-remember but at least I didn’t contribute to whacking up a great big carbon footprint.
Vodka flown in from Uzbekistan, fois gras from force-fed exploding ducks and energy guzzling lightshows are all frivolities we could dance without. And an environmentally conscientious party does not have to be dull or frugal so dispel any thoughts of shivering in a dark room drinking fermenting dishwater, your sparkly dress hidden under a parka. Parties can now be green and glam according to BASH, the ethical creative agency and entertainment company.
Young and visionary, BASH will organise your party to your tastes but with an uncompromising ethical approach ensuring a minimum carbon footprint. Food and booze is sourced as locally as possible and they will even work out public transport and cycling routes for your guests to and from the venue. Their portfolio includes ‘eco club nights, ethical fashion shows and sustainable art exhibitions’. They are strict about their ethical values but they are also realistic about business and entertainment. It is unlikely they will be organising the coal awards anytime soon but they will work with companies who may not have the greenest history but are willing to adapt. But the whizzkids at BASH HQ don’t want just want to stop at parties.They have big plans to transform their recently aquired 20, 000 sq office space into a ‘focal point for creative sustainable enterprise’ which will include a shop selling produce crafted in the in-house workshop, a café…and a brewery on site perhaps?
Well done to those of you who noticed the slight alteration in the title of this week’s Earth profile-it’s usually called ‘Earth Hero’ if you haven’t been keeping up! While James Watson may well be a hero to the environment, ask those biceps are just too toned to be ignored. Without James’ consent I give you my full permission to print this image and tack it up next to your Smash Hits centre spread of Blue (or O-Town for some of us…).
James is the founder of Native Awareness, visit web an outdoor school that aims to reinstate people’s relationship with nature. I managed track him between arrow making and flint knapping.
Who are Stalking Wolf and Tom Brown Junior and what do they mean to you?
‘When I was about 18 I came across a book called The Tracker written by the survivalist and tracker Tom Brown Jr. I got hooked and read his other sixteen or so books in two months. Tom Brown Jr was a student of Stalking Wolf, more about they met in the 1950′s when Tom Brown Jr was a child and Stalking Wolf was 83. Stalking Wolf’s family were massacred in the 1870′s in the Indian wars. He spent his remaining years travelling the USA cataloguing survival skills. After 60 years of travelling he passed the knowledge he has gathered onto the young Tom Brown Jr. I was 20 when I first travelled to America to study under Tom Brown Jr and I’ve been going back once a year.’
Tell us a bit about Native Awareness.
‘Native awareness was officially started 3 years ago. We offer multiple physical survival skills like tracking and awareness that heighten your senses, physical crafts and some spirituality and philosophy.
Like Bear Grilles yeah?
‘Sort of, but with much less kit-reliance. It really is just you and nature.’
What sort of people come to your classes?
‘A whole range. We get lots of students from abroad which is nice but we also get the middle aged man who has finished his job in the city and has decided to deepen his relationship with nature. We also get lots of women which I’m really happy about because I worry that this sort of thing can too often be thought of as a macho manly thing, which it really isn’t. My favourite type of student is someone who wouldn’t usually go on a survival course but who may have been pushed into ut by a friend. Those are the ones who seem to get the most out of it, experience the biggest transformation and come back for more.’
What do people get out of your classes?
‘Well on a simple level people often leave with much better body posture and muscle structure. They walk better because they’ve been outside living in a way we were designed to live rather than sitting behind a computer screen. The classes we offer allow for individual responses, we open doorways, it’s not a spoon-fed conservation day. Everyone knows we need be protecting the earth but a lot of people don’t understand what they are protecting. What is missing is a relationship with nature, which is what I hope our classes provide.’
So do you supplement your income with Calvin Klein campaigns?
‘It’s amazing what a little bit of dappled sunlight and a good photographer can do!’
Tuesday February 17th
Laura Buckley -installation shot, pilule 2007.
Stage Fright at Rokeby is an orchestral piece of electronic music in the form of a multiple video installations. It is a collaboration that creates an installation, approved which is an extension of three artist’s practices: Laura Buckley, David MacLean and Haroon Mirza.
Jotta, an online artists community borne from St Martins with an ever-growing following, will produce a piece of art collaboratively with an offline community at the ICA. Jotta Pad sees them take control of the bar form 8 to produce something unpredictably messy or brilliant or both.
Wednesday February 18th
The ICA is opening its doors more and more these days to happenings of the night, high-tops and 90′s Hip Hop graced its floors on Saturday for a Valentines Work It, and tonight it turns itself to the world of new pervasive games, intrigued? You should be. Sandpit is a monthly event of playful activity with the intersection of games and other forms of culture; so games plus theatre, games plus sport, games plus music, games plus guided tours, and so on. Each event operates under a loose theme, and this one is in conjunction with the ICA’s Feedback Season, so there’s conspiracy, sneakery, secret information, surveillance and journalism all up for play! You’re strongly encouraged to bring along cameras or phones to document as much as you like — one or two of the games even require them … It starts at 7 pm, unlimited players welcome, and the bar will be open until 1. A lot of the rulesets are available on here, so get your gaming hat on and come along.
Thursday February 19th
See what one woman can do with many many meters of stage tape … Monika Grzymala starts her first solo exhibition at The Drawing Room with her context specific installations that function somewhere between an architectural intervention and immense line drawings. Her installation for The Drawing Room is a personal response to the chaotic London sky-line and the architectural space of the gallery.
Friday February 20th
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is now in its 13th year, and begins exhibiting the short listed artists today until the winner is announced on March 25th. The generous award is for a living photographer of any nationality who had made a significant contribution to photography in Europe over the past year. The four short-listed photographers for 2009 are Paul Graham, Emily Jacir, Tod Papageorge, and Taryn Simon.
Saturday February 21st
Liz Arnold, Incurable Romantic
Mircea Cantor, The Need for Uncertainty
With carefully crafted canvasses that depict a world that is both fantastical and familiar, Liz Arnold has been described as one of the most original painters to emerge on the London art scene in the 90′s. She died in 2001 at just 36, and four artists are curating an exhibition of her work at Camden Arts Centre, including work that has never been exhibited before. A new sculpture installation exhibition from Mircea Cantor is also really worth a look, including giant golden cages with peacocks inside prompting reflections on worlds within worlds, on freedom and its limitations. So there you have it, two reasons to go to the Camden Arts Centre this weekend.
- Peacocks and Ladybirds
- Art Listings
- Art Listings
- Art Listings
- Exhibition Review: A World of Glass – Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg at Camden Arts Centre