Word On The Street

Art institutions have had competition in the last few years and it's come from right outside their doorsteps. Street Art has firmly established itself as an integral part of the art world with the likes of Tate Modern and Sotheby's acknowledging its rise from subculture to high culture; public popularity has lead to its interest being discussed in art world bibles to the broadsheets of newspapers around the world, making this urban art movement as accessible on print as it is on the walls of our public spaces. The publication, Beyond the Street, offers a comprehensive insight into the unknown with interviews from one hundred key street artists with an interesting perspective from the commercial outlets, such as The Wooster Collective, that have supported the development of urban art as well as from international collectors. Artist illustrations and photographs document the assurgent movement that provides a rare glimpse into this usually undercover practice. 'Beyond the Street' is available from this week through publishing agency, Gestalten.

Deitch Projects, which features in the book, has played an important role as a canvas for artists such as Keith Haring and Os Gêmeos with their public art work. This weekend sees the opening of Shepard Fairey's May Day exhibition that will feature an installation on the Deitch wall on Bowery and Houston Street. The exhibition continues in the gallery space on Wooster Street that plays on the definitions that 'May Day' has evolved to represent, commenting on current economic and political climates. Check out Fairey's thoughts on the installation and his practice (if currently probational) thanks to New York Magazine.
May Day opens May 1st - May 29th 2010 at Deitch Projects,
18 Wooster Street, New York City.



There's a lot going on in London this week and it gives me great pleasure to introduce another friend and photogrpaher, Eiko Soga, whose beautiful and delicate works are on show at The Garbstore in London's Notting Hill. HARU NO TORAI (the arrival of Spring) celebrates the beauty of Spring - normally a risky premise for a show in weather-prone England - but the Japanese take their seasons seriously and with the upmost respect. Coinciding with the boutique's new arrival of collections from Japan, themes of Spring and the beginning of Sakura (cherry blossom) mirror the fresh and light photographic works by Soga. Intricate painted gestures by hand on the photographs add an intimate element to the works that explore ideas of nature, memory and fantasy. Enjoy the Spring air and don't miss the exhibition closing this Saturday.

January 2007 05, 2009

HARU NO TORAI 19th April - 1st May 2010 10am - 5.30pm
The Garbstore
188 Kensington Park Road
Portobello, London W11 2ES

Fortune Teller X EYE-KEA

Big love to Karolina Johansson for these photos of Fortune Teller screened at the International Video Art event, The EYE-KEA Project at Basement Project Space in Cork, Ireland - more info here.


The Blue Obelisk

The Blue Obelisk is the first production from contemporary art platform LIANGWEST. Inspired by the works of Yves Klein, such as Epoque Pneumatique and use of his very own IKB (International Klein Blue), the exhibition covers issues central to Klein's practice with a selection of works by ten London-based artists.
Possibly the most Klein-esque work on display is by artist and writer, Nicola McCartney whose work is first to welcome you into the space. Directly quoting from Klein's 'The Chelsea Hotel Manifesto', McCartney's A Flock (After Klein) references Klein's famous proposal produced for his first solo show in New York City in 1961. The work floats on the wall as do the words that softly float on the printed card in a flock formation.
A Flock (After Klein), 2010
The Blue Obelisk runs daily until May 2nd at 97-99 Clerkenwell, London EC1R 5BX - for more information about the show and the participating artists visit LIANGWEST here.


A Lot Of Possibilities #2

It's been a little over a year now since I moved to New York for a few months and at that time I had no idea I would still have such an affinity with not only the city, but the Community Garden on West 104th Street. I haven't posted anything about the installation project for a few months but that's not to say nothing has happened between that time, in fact the situation is quite the opposite. The project has moved leaps and bounds - from my original water colour drawings, to meeting the Committee of Gardeners to approve of my installation and design, to revisiting New York late last year and to the series of e-mails and updates that have bounced back and forth across the Atlantic from WinterSpace founder, Anna Lise Jensen. The fruition of A Lot Of Possibilities has always been in our minds and we are literally steps away from seeing the proposals transform Manhattan's communal gardens: making our 'possibility' into a reality.
Flamingo Parade (2009-2010)
Thanks to Anna Lise's continuous dedication to the project, we were awarded funding from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund and we have received generous support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Autumn was in the air during my last visit to 104th Street Garden in the Manhattan Valley and the experience could not have been more different from my first encounter with the snow-covered lot only a couple of months earlier. Everything to me was different - the mood, the colours, the space - so I decided to redesign my original drawing so as to create a stronger image using new colorways (see above) that would work in all seasons and remain specific as well as being more a part of the organic structure of the garden, rather than simply an art installation.
So in short, as they say, this is the story so far. WinterSpace launches an exhibition today at the West 103rd Street site to display some of the proposals intended for the gardens, including my new repeated pattern Flamingo Parade (2009-2010). For those of you in New York check out all the works today from 2-6pm at 15 West 103rd Street # 4D - the exhibtion will continue thereafter by appointment only - click here for more information. As for the rest of us on this side of the Atlantic and elsewhere, the wheels are finally beginning to move so keep checking up on the blog for further posts and updates including photos of today's exhibition coming soon.
Have a great weekend everyone!


Tea With Cindy

Museum gift shop aficionados will have noted that in the past couple of years postcards, pencils and key rings have not been all that is on offer to invite us to prise money out of our wallets made from recylced tyres or waxed newspaper. Purchasing a slice of art from the artists whose works one has only just seen hung on the crisp white gallery walls has its place in secured vitrines on the shop floor with a 'please ask for assistance' sign subtly placed in a corner. 

Cindy Sherman's Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) may be familiar to culture vultures - I for one have spotted this 21-piece porcelain tea service in The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, New York. Through art retailer Other Criteria, Sherman has reissued the commemorative service - named after Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV of France - and continues her chameleon practice using her own face on the Limoges produced wares. 

Available in four colourways as an edition of 75 in each colour, it makes a perfect addition to tea on the terrace looking out onto the parterre... non? Manor house not included. Shoreditch penthouse preferable.


Park Life

This is how you do stripes on a large scale... if only the planes were flying, we could all appreciate this from the air! This natural perfection was brought to you by Windsor Great Park and you're just going to have to trust me on how good freshly cut grass smells right now. Mmmmmm...



Bigger Better, 2010 - Illustration, repeat pattern
Avid readers of this blog will have noticed I have collaborated on a number of projects with curatorial platform INTRODUCING. Theresa Liang and William West are the duo behind the on-line publication and today they have launched LIANGWEST to showcase a number of emerging artists and their works, of which I am one. Check out the new website and their upcoming exhibition, The Blue Obelisk, that opens next week or contact london@liangwest.com for further information.


See The Light

Milan Design Week launches today and I wanted to share the exciting event, Foscarini Inside, brought to you by the design studio Foscarini. In association with Superstudio Più, the Italian design house has collaborated with designer, Vicente Garcia Jimenez to create a light tunnel that features a mesmeric video installation by Massimo Gardone and Fabio Bressan, aided by a soundtrack from Francesco Morosini. I could watch this video all day and only imagine the sort of interactive experience visitors would encounter, while wondering how and where all the projectors are placed to produce such a fantastic installation. Bridging art with design through absolute creativity is what Milan Design Week is all about, bringing a little bit of Heaven on Earth to us mere mortals: if there's light actually in the tunnel, then I want to know what's at the end of it...

Foscarini Inside is at Superstudio Più, 27 via Tortona, Milan from the
14th - 19th April 2010


The EYE-KEA Project

Fortune Teller, 2007 - 8'00'' Video
I have been selected to exhibit in the International Video Art screening, The EYE-KEA Project at Basement Project Space in Cork, Ireland. The event opens next Friday and will screen my work, Fortune Teller, as well as video art by the 34 selected artists from around the world, with a discussion about the impact of popular culture and technology on visual culture and its effects on society on the 20th April. I hope to get some more images of the space once the show launches - until then click here to read a write up of the event from Cork Independent News.
The EYE-KEA Project runs from the 16th - 25th April 2010 at Camden Place, Camden Quay, Cork City.


The Future Is Bright

Without jinxing it, the weather in England has been surprisingly Spring like recently, and being the weather-obsessed nation that we are, let's face it, we're already talking about what the Summer has in store for us. But if our island is struck with another sun-free summer, then we can be assured that across La Manche the French have it sorted, and thanks to the delivery of Le Monde D'Hermès Printemps - Été 2010 catalogue I received today, the future is definitely looking orange. The House of Hermès does not disappoint with their seasonal issues, inviting us to play in a series of effortless illustrations for spring and summer. The cover features a pêle-mêle cavalry of horses and riders created by French author and illustrator Philippe Dumas who has had a long working relationship with the House.
The issue also allows us to enter the much guarded world of the House's Design Director, Leïla Menchari, famed for her magical masterpieces for the window displays at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore and around the globe. Hermès has always allowed a carte-blanche policy when it comes to Menchari's couture visions, which have seen collaborations with some of France's most skilled craftsmen as well as international artists. Menchari's work can be seen in the windows at all Hermès boutiques and you can pay a visit to Le Monde D'Hermès here - and I guarantee you, there won't be a lobster-toned body in sight! Bon voyage mes amis...


100th Post!

Big Bucks: A home to an Earl, Dukes and at one stage Prince Frederick of Wales, it was American billionaire William Waldorf Astor who made Cliveden what it is today. Claiming the title of richest man in America in the late nineteenth-century didn't mean a great deal to Lord Astor - for to be an English gentleman with all its trappings was what appealed to him the most, famously saying, "... you can make your wealth in America, but move to England if you want to become a gentleman". 
Lord Astor took his own advice, owning almost half of Manhattan with the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel to tribute, and acting out every part the country gentleman when he migrated to England. It is therefore no surprise that the Astor charm is still alive at Cliveden - now owned by the National Trust - and run as a five-star hotel that is on par with the family's landmark residence across the atlantic.


Hirst's Haven

The French Principality of Monaco is world renowned as the tax haven of choice for the super rich, so it comes as no surprise that multi million pound art creator, Damien Hirst should exhibit in such a place. Looking at where he will be exhibiting begs the question, is this the most magnificent location for an art institution in the world? Le Musée Océonographique de Monaco sits 279 feet above the cliffs of Monte Carlo's coastline looking out towards the French Riviera and celebrates its centenary this year. But however much I could go into the art vs. gallery architecture debate (it brings out the insecurities of many artists in my opinion) there is a far more interesting tangent to follow and an appropriate matter for both subjects in question: money. Reports emerged towards the end of last year about Hirst's intentions for a major show in the principality - lest we forget his self-invitation upon The Wallace Collection - and on the surface, the museum's collection of sea species and ocean science marries well with the artist's pickled sharks as well as the other sixty works on display. But timing and location opens up an interesting enquiry in a year that will see Great Britain face a general election next month and the looming tax hikes, planned to be at 50 per cent, that are destined to hit British high earners. We've seen migration from pockets of the City of London to Switzerland, but this is the first physical art-related move as a result of Labour's threatening tax grip. Hirst has challenged the art markets before and I have no doubt he will do so again as Europe and the rest of the world surpasses recession-heavy Britain, but this move is a signifier that will ripple through all levels of arts in a broken Britain if change does not happen. Is the title of the exhibition a message to Gordon Brown; a symbol that abundance and prosperity can and will be found elsewhere?
CORNUCOPIA opens today and runs until September 2010 - click here for more information.