Art / Design, England, Japan

Bank-note Incredible

Friends of mine at London’s ICN Gallery told me about this artist some time last year and I have been eagerly anticipating her arrival ever since. I hurried out briefly today, while Atsuko was distracted, to check it out before I lost the chance. Like Fukahori Riusuke, this is one of those unbelievable Japanese artists that make me so happy that I stumbled on the ICN Gallery.

I saw the work with my own eyes and met the artist today but I still can’t quite understand how she does this. Saya Irie ‘simply’ erases imagery from banknotes, with a typical school eraser, then blends the rubber-dust with a type of glue and reforms them into a 3D sculpture of the object or person they once were.

Elizabeth Fry, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and others all appear out from the two-dimensional surface in minute, precise detail despite standing just millimetres tall. It’s astounding. And it really makes you take a second look at the bank-notes we use on a daily basis but never stop to appreciate their incredible beauty. “Every popular thing is beautiful” is open until August 10th; try to catch it if you can…

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Art / Design, England

Geese + Vessel Collision

At the opening party a couple of weeks ago, Keiko Masumoto explained to me a little of the concept behind her work. Vessels typically have a functional purpose, but there are those that are purely decorative objects, and there is really no need for these to be useful at all. Masumoto-san uses traditional ceramic techniques to make not functional pottery items, but artworks that seem to be an imaginative collision of pots and, in this case, geese.

It’s actually her second show here but the thing I love about this new exhibition at the ICN Gallery, is that the acrylic plinths give the flock of geese / vessels a real feeling of motion and lift. Taking photographs this afternoon in the gallery was really relaxing and watching the light change and shadows appear on the walls was really beautiful. This installation is addictive because the longer you stay, the more you notice tiny details.

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Art / Design, England

Moniker Shoreditch Art Fair

Just a few pictures from inside the Moniker Art Fair, and just to fore-warn you, this isn’t the last of the art events we saw this weekend, sorry…

Niels Shoe Meulman, originator of Calligraffiti, was working inside, having already painted the entire building facade outside. Great event.

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Art / Design, England

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada

After a great lunch with Mai of smoked mackerel and beetroot salad at Leila’s, Arnold Circus, Atsuko and I wandered over to check out the Moniker Art Fair that we had heard about only earlier that morning.

As we arrived, Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada was working on a stunning portrait in charcoal, direct onto the wall alongside to the entrance. It was fascinating to watch him work at such speed, constantly referring to detailed photographs of each eye. Compared to some of his work, this is a really small portrait. I really loved his work on display inside too so I am really happy we could watch him draw; I’m thinking I should walk past again tomorrow morning and see the finished thing, I’ll let you know what I find…

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Art / Design, England

Pure Evil Gallery

Pablo Delgado has been increasing in popularity, pasting his miniature figures across the East side of London over the last year. We’ve come across them a few times and shown pictures on these pages here and here. Following the trend of street artists moving indoors, he has prepared a show that is now open at the Pure Evil gallery on Leonard Street.

The small groups of works in the basement were delightful, the more you stared, the more appeared from the bricks and rubble. More clever perhaps were the framed cut-paper circles with small vignettes reflected in mirrors above. I really liked the way the depth created by the mirrors made the scenes seem all the more animated; where Pablo Delgado was always purely 2D on the street, the gallery allowed layering and play with the third dimension…

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Art / Design, England

Squirrel Electric Garden Party

After hanging out with Mai Miyake-san, we wandered between galleries around Shoreditch and accidentally stumbled across an interesting collaboration between Tord Boontje and Tracey Neuls. Atsuko used to work for Tracey Neuls of course, and still wears her shoes with pride, and it was that instantly-identifiable, familiar neon orange that caught our eye from the street.

Tracey has produced a limited edition collection of leafy shoes with typically detailed Boontje-patterns. The shoes themselves looked great but also the display was really pretty. There was a set of bamboo-cane lamps displayed in the basement that had been deconstructed to their component parts which although quite a common idea lately, I thought the lamps were extremely clever in their design. I especially liked the water-bottle weighted base. Pop in if you find yourself on Charlotte Street. And if you are, also drop into Denham and drool over the beautiful tailored denim. Actually, maybe don’t drool…

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Art / Design, England

Great Eastern Street Carpark

These have been going since 1975 so you’ve maybe heard of them. I actually saw them in a very fancy gallery in Tokyo a few years ago but the BMW Art Car Series is currently on display in a carpark in Shoreditch. Over the years some incredible artists have painted a BMW as part of the programme including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella and Alexander Calder.

The difference between seeing them in a gallery and a carpark is dramatic but they definitely don’t feel any less special here. The way they have used this carpark is really clever, you take a car-sized lift to the top floor wander through 6 floors back to ground level, like Guggenheim NYC (!). There are 2 or 3 cars on each floor and the look fantastic under some great spotlighting. I left work onetime and happily spent an hour here lusting after the cars and enjoying myself until my battery ran out.

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