A quick ushering through by the fair staff and we were in. Thursday evening is a good day to go at the fair as you are sure to find on your path some waiting staff eagerly willing to hand you over free bottles of beers.
We thought we’ll go around the ground floor as well as the first floor today where you normally find the “mammoths”. By this I mean the heavy-weight art galleries which mainly deal “fine art”. As we were hopping from one booth to the other, it was becoming obvious to our eyes: abstract art we were seeing was awesome and stood out from almost anything else.
We have included below the best pieces we thought we saw.
At last there is something for the “looking down while walking” individuals. There is a good reason to ignore your siblings, there is the new work from Jessica Stockholder to look at.
“Color Jam” is the name of the installation and is a make-over of State and Adams streets in downtown Chicago. A flow of colors have landed on the concrete and are licking the surrounding building.
Orange, lime green and turquoise shapes seem to wait for the bypassers in the hope of lighten these often bleak faces. Jessica Stockholder hit again with what she does best – site-specific works that merge painting to a three dimensional element.
Below is a photo of another installation made also in Chicago back in 2009 where brightly colored plywood platforms and metal bleachers were assembled to turn a section of Madison Square Park in New York into an abstract painting, “Flooded Chambers Maid.” Children instantly appropriated it as a playground, and adults used it as an informal seating area.
As I was reading the press release, I got excited about WOW NOW. The venue looks awesome – shoreditch underground, the line up international and eclectic and the theme very interesting: ‘An International exhibition articulating the friction between Outside, Street & Fine Art via subversive portraiture’
ALEX DAW (UK) | ZTY 82 (Germany) | BEN WELLER (UK) | STEPHEN TOMPKINS (USA) | PERFEKT WORLD (Austria) | SID ONE (UK) | PAUL BUSK (Austria) | GETS (Germany) | NOMAD (Germany) | TED RIEDERER (USA) | JAMES JESSOP (UK)
When we got the email about this show –The Golden Age of Grotesque by SEPE (aka Michał Sepe Wręga), we immediately got very excited as we knew for sure that it would be a good one.
We have been following SEPE at Art-Pie for a while now and know he’s destined to great things and achievement in the art world.
> More pics at the bottom of this article
What is the show about?
“Lawrence Alkin Gallery are thrilled to present ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’, the provocative and alluring UK debut solo show from Polish street artist Sepe. The brand new body of work explores current socio-political issues, demonstrating Sepe’s unique ability to cross the boundary between subjective and abstract depiction. ” Sam Rhodes, Director at Lawrence Alkin Gallery.
This is the artist’s first solo show in the UK presenting 19 brand new works prepared especially for the exhibition, most of them done in 2015.
There you have it. We unfortunately missed the opening night but to be honest, it is sometimes difficult to fully enjoy the art on display when galleries are overcrowded with people. Instead we visited the next day, only encountering one or two souls wandering the premises. This actually worked out very well as we could thoroughly enjoyed Sepe’s artworks.
As soon as you enter the Lawrence Alkin gallery, you cannot miss a rather imposing piece – “Follow the leader”
Details below of the “Follow the leader” piece
You can’t help but notice the illustrative feel that Sepe’s art transpires.
The artists himself agrees on it “My paintings are strongly rooted in illustration. This way of perception works the best when supported by some kind of story behind it.”
He adds “We managed to gather all humans’ knowledge into one place. Made it available to everyone, everywhere by creating a worldwide network and we use it mainly to share sweet photos of puppies. What is it then if not The Golden Age Of Grotesque…?”
What is the underlying story behind “The Age of grotesque”?
Like many artists featured on this site, Sepe’s background lies in graffiti. He has been an active member of the Warsaw (Poland) graffiti scene where he currently lives.
This exposure to the energy of the city and its streets has definitely opened the artist’s sensitivity and increased his social awareness. Indeed with this show, Sepe wanted to emphasise how the “world gets totally dominated by the vain celebrity culture, focused on creating fake images of itself just for the show and turning everything into pop mush for sale.”
SEPE’s work is centralised around you and me, around humans and perhaps it is about where we are heading to – Modern societies tend to alienate individuals;our only refuge is seemingly joining the crowd where acknowledgment matters most. We then share moments via social media, often with souls unknown to us, and yet somehow that makes us feel good, as though we somehow now belong.
Rhythm and energy
Another remarkable aspect of SEPE’s work is how well he captures life moments on the canvas: bold, energetic and rhytmic. Indeed, his way of applying fat brush strokes gives the viewer a sense of movement and that takes away the static notion of a still scene.
As we were wandering around the gallery, this in particular became more and more obvious as well as remarkable.
The artist’s vision of our current society is not that reassuring and the somewhat recurrent use of circus related elements – circus music, belly dancers, clowns on stilts, monkeys riding small bicycles and firework displays adds to it, making the whole thing very chaotic and scary.
How often are sad clowns used in movies to scare the sh*t ouf of you uh?
We present you the latest animation from filmmaker and human beatboxer, Luke Cavalan (aka LC Beats). Entitled “Day Tripper”, the stop motion has actually been created for as the music video for the latest single off Def Wish Cast’s recent album “Evolution Machine” (The hard hitting track features production from esteemed Australian beat maker, Dizz1, and vocals from the UK’s Spikey Tee)
The video features claymation caricatures of pioneering Sydney Hip Hop group, Def Wish Cast, running wildly through the city streets, promoting their upcoming performance, eventually finishing things off by delivering a high energy live show. After nearly 3 years in the making, having filmed 1 hour of footage for each second of film, the time has finally come to showcase this work of art.
The hours to get this stop motion movie together has been mammoth and we admire the commitment and passion here.
Lazarides is pleased to present Internal Dialogue, a new series of works by American contemporary artist and BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibiting artist Brett Amory.
Corresponding with his critically acclaimed ‘Waiting’ series, the works in Internal Dialogue are concerned with everyday life, places, and people, yet this new body of work explores the time in which we live and how we make sense of the information that surrounds us.
Internal Dialogue explores the disjointed snapshots that make up our everyday life, and how our unconscious mind assembles these abstract, nonlinear events to attempt to fuse together a logical, linear explanation of our surroundings.
This new series of works is also concerned with the human habit of viewing the world through screens. People in today’s society are attached to their devices; we view the world through our phones, our TVs, our computers, and complete the gaps of the surrounding world through our unconscious mind, as if what we see now is framed by what the world looks like on screen.
With each painting in Internal Dialogue, Amory allows the viewer to tap his or her unconscious mind to create their own meaning of what they are viewing. The viewer will be able to rely on their own memories, dreams, thoughts and universal archetypal symbols to create their own interpretation of the painting.
In the same week as his exhibition at Lazarides Rathbone, Brett Amory’s work for the prestigious BP Portrait Award will be unveiled at The National Portrait Gallery. His entry, selected out of 2,557 competing artists, will be one of 53 works shown at the iconic art institution from 23 June – 4 September 2016. Amory has also been shortlisted for the BP Travel Grant.