Further Reading -
Banksy vs Bristol Museum
13.06 - 31.08.2009
Uncle Old McDonald sitting above the entrance of the museum
Lots of people from all over the country come to see the works of a street-art genius Full photo set hereMany people should have visited the show by now. And if you have not yet done so, you probably should hurry up because the queues would only get longer & longer with the final day of the show counting down in 3 weeks' time. You don't see people having the need to read any explanation notes or joining a guided tour for the show. Everybody's faces turns up a light smile or full eye open once they could finally enter the entrance and see all the works by British's most famous graffiti 'artist' (he probably is qualified as the top 20 most recognisable name in the UK). This, is the power of Banksy. His power to connect everyday life and common people through his works is magical. You could immediately get what he want to say on most occasions - his works does not need a title to explain what it is about, just like what he painted on streets have no formal title. They are meant to be part of the urban fabric, nothing different from pedestrains on the streets, shopfronts along high streets and the seagulls flying over the river & canals. They reflect the everyday life of this country (not just London, as almost none of his works have any specific geographical reference to the city). His work is more than a graffiti logo/signature. A logo cannot communicate so much to the general public. And the locations he picked to put his works up are strategic to generate debates and public awareness. And he does not only remain in his own circle - he expands into the public (and legal) realm. He participates in joint venture projects like Cans Festival, and contacts the Bristol City Museum to initiate this exhibition. All these events are hugely successful and create a media storm internationally. The commitment he made on all these has shown that he seems to have more to give the society other than promoting his own fame.
Everybody is taking photos and contributing to the Banksy phenomenonLooking at the current art world, graffiti art has been employed by fashion houses and enterprises to market their merchandise to the young generation. While some people say that graffiti art has been high-jacked for commercialism, would it be more appropriate to say that graffiti has finally been formally recognised as a form of art which reflects its zeitgeist? A few clips showing what it is like inside the show in terms of exhibits and people's reaction in the central halls - Two more graffiti outside the museum in the city -
The street warrior aiming at the pedestrains
The graffiti attracted vandalism itselfFurther Reading -
banksy.co.uk - official website for the exhibition
Banksy's stencil collection online
Report from BBC news, 12.06.2009 (with video link)
Review from Suit Yourself Magazine of Bristol
Review from the Independent by Steven Wright, 13.06.2009
Review from the Telegraph by Serena Davies, 15.06.2009
"Banksy was here, the invisible man of graffiti art" by Lauren Collins for the New Yorker 14.05.2007
Triton III by Bryan Kneale As usual, the summer exhibition in Royal Academy of Arts is promised to be a show with a great variety of works. However, I have to express my disappointment over the layout in the Architectue Room (Room VI). In the past, one could easily get close to the architectural drawings and models to appreciate the level of details they possess. Not any more this year. The room is packed like a warehouse, with 3 levels of shelves along the wall. It is impossible to reach at least 1/3 of the exhibits. Is RAA trying to accomodate as many works as possible for sole profiteering (they get 30% commission of all works sold in the show)?
Works cramped altogether in the Architecture Room
Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain by Damien Hirst*****Joel Shapiro at 23 Saville Row American artist Joel Shapiro was commissioned to produce an installation at the entrance of the office-retail development. His free-floating forms standing out sharply from the monolithic facade of the building. The reflective glass around produce even more drama on these 'flying' tubes. *****Serpentine Pavilion 2009 SANAA designs the Serpentine Pavilion this year. Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA says, "The pavilion is designed to amplify the way things look." The enormous mirror-finished aluminium roof definitely could make it happen - unless you are a blind. You see EVERYTHING twice once you walk near the pavilion, because the mirror image and its original subjects are reciprocal to each other. You could see how the pavilion is constructed through time in this wonderful website. Now I start to feel sorry for the roof cleaners with the amount of pigeons around!
People relaxing on SANAA-designed furniture
The lowered polished aluminium roof attracts kids to play beneath
The cafe area - people queuing for drinks
Many slender steel poles to support the roof - some pokes fun of the absence of pole dancers full photo set hereFurther reading -
Official website of RAA's Summer Exhibition 2009
Royal Academy of Arts page on Triton III
Bryan Kneale page in RAA
Official website of 23 Saville Row, see the 'Art' section for the creation process of Joel Shapiro for the installation.
Installation process of Joel's sculpture
Official profile sheet of 23 Saville Row from its architect Eric Parry Architects
An interivew with Joel Shapiro by Robert Ayers in 2007
Official page of Serpentine Pavilion 2009
An interivew with SANAA by designboom.com in 2005
Review of SANAA's pavilion by Jonathan Glancey of Guardian UK
on a saturday in march, i was taken to vyner street by a friend for a gallery tour. a 10-minute walk from bethnal green station would take you into this amazing area with so many galleries. many of these galleries are only open by appointment, you ring the door bell and somebody would release the lock. this may be due to the limited resources the galleries have for security. it is like visiting private clubs and the uncertainty of what's lying behind the door and the mysterious nature adds to the excitement. these galleries showcase a variety of works ranging from photography, paintings to sculptures, installations & video.
to view more photos of the galleries, goto the flickr set below is a list of galleries / interesting shops visited during the day. those marked with a * are my personal favourite - donlon books* . some good art books and has ACNE (the swedish denim brand) magazine on sale
neon & signmakers.com
vyner street gallery
nettie horn* . the photography show is great and there is a small area in the management office displaying mataerials from previous shows
degree art* . the building has got some great timber construction, the show viewed with icelandic artist is also very cool
wilkinson* . the gallery is fitted with floor-heating!! you could feel the warm coming out from the concrete to your feet, like being soaked in a virtual hotspring! :D
one in the other you could get a free art map from commentart.com or many of the galleries which has marked locations of almost all the galleries around the neighbourhood.
Ai wei wei's latest solo show: 4 movements was held at phillips de pury gallery. His influence on contemporary art is comparable to Damien Hirst. Being the person who introduced architects Herzog & de Meuron to bid the Beijing Olympic Stadium, he is the media icon of contemporary chinese art at the moment.
ai's signature re-interpretation on antique furniture
ai wei wei in conversation with wallpaper* staff
ai's signature re-interpretation on antique furnitureFurther reading -
architecture critic geoff manaugh writes on ai weiwei at his BLDGBLOG - link
ai's official website - link
wikipedia entry - link
Despite the looming presence of the long nights and credit crunch in January London, the art scene is trying its best to lift people's spirits up. Museums and galleries are still offering a shelter for the people in the city to escape from the bloodbath in the job market and continuous media bombing of economic news (which becomes basically the same piece of news everyday replacing just the name of the company that went bankrupt or the figure of loss the company made). Tierney Gearon, an american former-model-turned-photographer, had her solo show Explosure at Phillips de Pury Gallery in Victoria. Her photos capture the magic of double exposure, and one would wonder how she made these overlapping images so perfectly without any post-production. But even if these double exposure are arranged at post-production, the persistent appearance of her children featured in many of her works displayed juxtaposing with everyday scenes provide a distorted sense/scale of time and space, as well as a level of surrealism over the exhibition even the medium used and locations shot are no other than ordinary.
exhibition photo set hereAt Tate Modern, Dominique Gonzalez-foerster is the artist responsible for the turbine hall now. Unlike previous artists that create a centre-piece of their own in the mega-space, she performs like a curator to present a selection of other people's works in an environment she creates to deliver her message/concept (refer to the video interview in the Futher Reading link below). This is what makes it interesting or at least makes the point for this installation, called TH.2058. Personally I prefer the previous approach as given the scale of the space reserved for only one artist, visitors are expected to see a single piece of work inside. However, such '3D-collage' approach is nothing fundmentally different from a 2D collage picture created by many other famous artists in the past generations. Perhaps we could all learn to appreciate art in a fresh perspective. In this aspect I think Tate Modern has really stood up to its vision and curatorship to be a frontier in contemporary art. Let's see what the next Turbine Hall work would be...
insallation photo set hereFurther reading -
Tierney Gearon in wikipedia
Telegraph magazine covers Tierney Gearon's Explosure
Official page for TH.2058 at Tate Modern
Reviews of TH.2058 at www.culturecritic.co.uk
Interview clip of Dominique Gonzalez-foerster on TH.2058 by the Guardian UK