Wherefore Art Thou

Whilst wondering around London yesterday, still rather dazed and confused in the aftermath of the Rhythm Talk party I went to on Saturday night (definitely recommended if you can get yourself in the know. Was in an abandoned restaurant in Clapton, featuring killer sets from Doc Daneeka and Ratcatcher – who was launching his new single on Catapult Records), I decided to check out a few gallery exhibitions, on the Riverbank.  As there’s no way I could have retained all the images and information I came across in one go I thankfully wrote down some names to refresh my memory and look up afterwards.  So here’s some work from a couple of artists I was inspired to write down, both for memories sake and also to share with you guys.

This one is from Frances Picabia from the Surrealist Exhibition in Tate Modern.  The first artist to ever spark my interests was Dali, on a visit to the old Tate many years ago as a kid but I don’t really know much about Picabia or any other Surrealist painters at all.  There’s something about the colours on this that give it a ‘classical’ feel, as if it somehow predates the rest by a couple of centuries but of course that’s not the case.

Another Surrealist, this time it’s Yves Tanguy.  Despite this being painted in 1951 there’s something about it which I can’t help matching up with some of the Electronic music of today.  Perhaps it’s the almost mechanical futuristic nature of the creatures within or the abstract minimalism, or the dreamlike warmth coupled with the moody overtones.  To me looking at this is almost like listening to the new Robot Koch album and I find it fascinating that those type of emotions could be captured so long ago (even though it is completely subjective to my interpretation of course).  This is definitely one of my favourites.

Although I’ve definitely see some photos from Diane Arbus before, I couldn’t remember if I’d seen her whole exhibition in the Tate. Which is why forcing certain things back to my memory soon after can be really helpful.  Her photos both inspire me into picking up a camera again and scare me from doing so at the same time as in many ways they capture perfectly the essence of why I ever wanted to take photos in the first place, something I’d long forgotten.

Although it doesn’t have it’s full kitsch appeal without the loud ornate frame, I loved this photo montage from Katia Serek that I saw down on Brick Lane.  She manages to give power to all her subjects in the exhibition too, which would make her a great fashion ‘photographer’ (in my unqualified opinion). Although it’s a different style and technique this definitely reminds me a little of David LaChapelle, whose work I love.

I’m pretty sure this one from David Shillinglaw was on the side of Village Underground but don’t quote me on that.  So much good Street Art around East London though.  I’m not sure that many people give it full enough props yet and still only accept it’s surface level appeal, although I think they’re slowly coming round.  Definitely want to give the area’s walls a bit more time in future.  Still a few more exhibitions I want to hit up this week too while I’m in London.  There’s the ‘Power Of Making’ exhibition over in the V&A, although I might save that til next time.  Then there’s the Peg Collective in The Rag Factory tomorrow, I know nothing about them but I quite like the flyer I found in my pocket.  If anyone has any other recommendations let me know.

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