London Gallery Crawling: Part 1

London Gallery Crawling: Part 1

Living in London as a creative person can be a blessing and a curse at the same time: It's absolutely fantastic to have the best of art, design and music at your fingertips, yet it can be mind-fryingly overwhelming as well.

It's easy to develop full blown FOMO ( Fear Of Missing Out ) syndrome as the best of the best exhibiting their work in an seemingly never ending queue of awesomeness on a daily basis. It's just really easy to get lost in the whirlwind of other people's work and loose one's own creative focus!

Still, with the right amount of self discipline ( erm ) it's possible to get stuff done AND enjoy the richness of London's creative scene. So please enjoy my little recap of exhibitions I checked out lately...

Maser: Orbiting on the Periphery / Lazarides Gallery

I always enjoy shows at Rathbone Place where Lazarides currently operates it's main gallery. Home of many great exhibitions in the past, it's one of the top galleries for Urban Art in London, check it!

As dedicated followers of my digital adventures know I am a sucker for bright colours and shapes. So great I stumbled into the show of Irish artist Maser purely by chance! I really enjoyed his paintings and took a good long look at his technique as he used a lot of different materials and interesting approaches to getting certain effects on the canvas...

Ahhhh colours...

Next...

The Connor Brothers: Wondrous Obsessions / Hang Up Pictures

Another heavyweight of the British Urban Art gallery scene, and conveniently just up the street where I live!

I feel Hang Up Pictures are curating more withered, darker looking shows compared to Lazarides and Stolenspace who do like their art rather eye popping, so having The Connor Brothers commission a selected group of artists to create work living alongside natural history artifacts, scientific objects and antiques just totally fit the bill!

Victorian Street Art you say? Hmmm... All I know is that no art show worth it's salt is complete without an hawt female intern or gallery manager looking concentrated into a macbook ;)

And onwards...

Felipe Pantone & Alex Yanes / Stolenspace Gallery

Ticking yet another box: Stolenspace! Founded by D*Face in 2005, for me the gallery really helped Street Art upping the ante regarding the quality and the craftsmanship of work exhibited.

Did they take a page out of Obeys playbook creating Street Art with a high-end finish? Maybe, but I always enjoy checking out what's on...

I really like the concept of joined exhibitions and the two gallery spaces at Stolenspace are perfect for that! On my last visit the first gallery was showing ‘Way-Out’ by Alex Yanes. I saw a bit of Barry McGee aka Twist in his work  and really enjoyed his painted wood sculptures, mixing lots of materials to add detail. Especially the finish and combination of characters and type really hit my spot. And his painted Boombox was just too dope!

The main space was dedicated to ‘Data Somersault' by Felipe Pantone. What can I say: The pieces had my eyeballs somersaulting fo sho! The vision screwing patterns, rainbow colours and retro computer aesthetic really made me think this is the kind of art that hangs on the walls of Bill Gates or Max Headroom. The mix of 80ties gradients and stern black and white symmetry really rocks!

Next!

Phil Ashcroft: Fallout / Canal Projects

Always good to support local galleries! I never been to Canal Projects so it was awesome to check out a new art space. Especially when the very talented Phil Ashcroft has his paintings on the walls: Check it out, it's on till 10th September!

I always liked a mix of acrylic paint and vector based aesthetic: Long time member of the Gamma Proforma Crew and Scrawl Collective Phil Ashcroft was rocking it and there were a lot of familiar faces and dope beats courtesy of Dj Monkphat.

Having a friend over from Germany who is really into art was pretty cool too! She wasted no time discussing post modernism with poor Phil... or maybe they just had chat about colour matching paint and scarves? Who knows...

Reppin'...

To finish this piece off with a bang:

Jeff Koons: Now / Newport Street Gallery

Last month was the time to FINALLY check out the gallery space build and curated by no other than Damien Hirst! What can I say... what a building: Designed by architects Caruso St John, the gallery spans 37,000 square feet and includes six exhibition spaces – one with a ceiling height of eleven metres – split over two levels. It hosts art from Hirst's private collection is free to get in. Sweet!

Hirst is so rich, he can even afford a couple of  hawt interns / gallery managers looking into Apple products! At the same time! Plus security! Bling Bling!

For avid fans of Koons the NOW show has no surprises in store really. If this is Hirsts private collection he basically acquired the most iconic pieces from Koons catalogue: Floating basketballs, pieces from the Popeye Series, Cicciolina in the face photos and massive polished sculptures from his Celebration Series... 

That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it! The space lends itself perfectly to display Koons work, especially the two massive sculptures on show. 

I just hope her boyfriend doesn't get chrome envy...

Koons is just the daddy of Pop, with his porn pictures soiling the clean and innocent polish of his other work in the perfect amount. His re-creations of inflatable toys or the massive Play Doh mountain and chrome sculptures really express the joy of collecting and the visual power of cute toys. Looking at his work gives me the the same kick I get from marvelling at toys from my local toy store. Just in bigger. MUCH BIGGER. Something KAWS understood and applied to his own work quite perfectly.

I can only applaud the crispness of his work. Well done assistants, well done...

Upon leaving the gallery I spotted a stencil piece in a nearby tunnel, facing the gallery. A tribute by Banksy or just a miffed art critic venting? It shall remain a mystery...

Hope you enjoyed the show(s)... till next time!

Credits:

Lazarides | Hang Up Pictures | Stolenspace Gallery | Canal Gallery | Newport Street Gallery

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