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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Launch: Garageland Magazine

Transition Gallery, Bethnal Green, 18th November 2007

Written by Joanna McGarry

Beauty is a concept that we never tire of debating. Whether you’re philosophising, politicising, fantasizing or simply scouring Perez Hilton for car-crash beauties fallen from grace, we are all out there searching for the secret behind the allure. One valiant attempt to unearth some truths on beauty in contemporary society is the fifth and latest issue of Garageland, a captivating magazine of substance from the editing suite of Cathy Lomax, a prolific east end painter and director of the Transition Gallery (which plays host to the launch of each issue).

On a low key, Sunday afternoon, works taken from the Beauty issue were sporadically displayed in the small yet adequate gallery and proved more than a warm welcome from the torrential downpour outside. Gentle conversation acted as an appropriate pre-cursor to the thoughtfulness and sensitivity used to explore the themes of art and beauty/beauty and art in this lovingly put together tome. Garageland is fortunate enough to boast some of the most revered names in contemporary modern art on its contributors roster, who do well to prove that their talents extend effortlessly from the paintbrush to the pen (surely this is unfair?).

The contrasting depths of commentary and insight sit comfortably side by side; Dolly Thompsett digs deep to uncover the beauty within war films, while Alex Michon looks into the effect of blusher in the childlike paintings of Stella Vine. And, what joy! To find a truly laudable article on the legendary John Waters, life-long purveyor of all that is revolting in its beauty. This article alone is well worth the modest £3.95 asking price. The true appeal of Garageland however, is that it is not solely a retrospective nor is it obsessed with deconstructing the zeitgeist; it is a serenely happy marriage of the two. Here, beauty is at times, disgusting and putrid and as such, it is a constant source of fascination. Beauty is not (as so often chimed into us by commercial mags for girls) all-encompassing and happy and glowing, it is a striking image, a brave representation of one’s self and bold step into the unknown.

My only discontent is that I now have to decide whether to rip out the gorgeous Garageland pages for my bedroom wall or archive it, untarnished in its original glory for lazy Sunday reading in years to come.

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