apologies for the big gap in my writing there. i haven’t really felt like writing much in the last couple of weeks – i barely opened my laptop.
having landed in london and started to check out quite a bit of art and a bit of space to myself for a few days (thanks age!), i’ve got the inclination to write again. a bit.
for those who’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll probably remember when i was living here, i went to a gallery every day for 6 months. i think i’ll start that up again.
even in just the few days i’ve been here, there have been some interesting themes popping up in the works i’ve seen.
i’m not afraid of seeing pink bits in art, but it’s kind of unusual in london for me to see a lot of it. i imagine the english in prime awkwardness getting all hot under the collar when they view it. perhaps because of that, there’s also an amazing contemporary custom of art that pushes sex and viscera (think gilbert and george, cosey fanni tutti, chapman bros, sue webster and tim noble, trace, leigh bowery). perhaps there’s another cycle of art and artists that are sick of being all nicey nicey between the sheets.
**naughty bits coming up **
patricia picinini at haunch of venison
she’s part of a group show, observer, in the eastcastle gallery (which is a great show, by the way) and is presenting two works that are the kind of work i like about this australian artist – the creepy, hairy, orificial, cronenberg-esque, fleshy silicone.
these two relief works are hairy and contain two quite different images – one with obvious orifices, boobs, foreskin, parted human hair. it’s primal. animal. engorged and wet in so many ways;
the other an apparent floral arrangement that william morris might be proud of – if he was, in fact, into arseholes and body hair.
the gallery staff said that most people are grossed out by the works. which delighted me no end. of course.
this show is really great – featuring the works of some excellent artists (shrigley, turk, demand – to name a few). and there’s also a naughty back room, featuring works by sarah lucas, valie export, john currin and man ray. (images: the spectator by susan meiselas and napoli by john currin)
there are ladies’ spread legs, muffs, images of cunnilingus and fellatio, prostitues, fucking and a beautiful painting of a girl getting a lovely fingering in naples.
a beautiful black man odalisque painting – leg up, showing off his penis, gaze straight at the viewer, white couch and decorative background. the style of painting is quite like some of the americans – eric fishl and ewan uglow, but the pose is all lucien freud and the tone is all chris offili. it’s brilliant.
in a room full of portraits of white men and women, it was so powerful and sexy.
telephone box calling cards
i forgot that this is what the phone boxes are still hanging around for. i know, not art per se, but still london arousal. they’re such an arresting sight – all those boobs, stars, posturing and phone numbers in a physically contained, but very exposed space. a welcome reminder that londoners are actually a whole lot more public about their titillation than i give them credit for.
i’m loving this mini ‘trend’ to my viewing. there really wasn’t enough sexy art i was seeing back home and it’s the perfect time and i’m in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. i’m craving something not-so-vanilla, provocative, uncomfortable, illicit. and relishing the space and anonymity for it that big cities like london can provide.
*i’ll be writing about the show at this gallery later (because it rocked my socks, yo).