“I’ve come to see the art,” I said into the intercom at Victoria Miro Gallery. A voice replied with something like … ” Do you mean Grayson Perry.. that is via Parasol Unit entrance through the door on your right,” or may be I heard wrong? Why would I go through another gallery I wondered, as I stood by the door trying to open it like an idiot and almost giving up.  Then finally it did open and a nice gallery assistant welcomed me in. There was another assistant on the next stair case, guiding me up further flights and then I climbed  a few more flights,  reminiscing a little of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  Then there it was… wow…

The work smelt great as well, really clean and fresh. Not the most important aspect about the art on display, but I imagined these art piece in the future like the Bayeux tapestry being repaired with bright turquoise thread. The work embodied the same magnitude. It was grand and impressive. Would the smell change and would the brightness of the threads dim? The scenes of modern society were glorified and triumphant in Grayson’s ‘piss taking’ of social classes.
The surface was perfect and exciting, but this perfection seemed to disengage me somewhat. Was it because the surface seemed clogged with a heavy uniformity of mechanical stitching? Did the artist’s hand still penetrate through the work? Perry’s style was evident in his stylised drawing and  text and his interpretation and  embodiment of cliched social classes. I thought, yes, it is about him or rather about us?

I was running low on battery but took a few close ups of the work.

Grayson walks the line between craft and fine art and in my opinion, successfully bridges the gap. However, I am conditioned to ‘quiver’ between the two, knowing that they are viewed and valued differently. Is it that Grayson Perry works with traditional  craft processes with a fine art concept?  Moreover, a craft artefact  may not have underlying meanings and only embody function and form? Or can craft objects also embody meaning, but only through a symbolic use in traditional and cultural practices? Grayson’s meanings and messages are so literal though. It is bursting with signifiers and symbols, text and tokens. The work becomes a time capsule, preserving the fleeting and transient moments in modern day culture in a labour intensive artefact. Grayson’s work is different, as it catches on something, that is both metamorphically smooth and rough at the same time. His work is silly and great, he worships a teddy bear! but what is wrong with that? It is like he has warped the values and the cultural norms and made you notice that the way things are, can equally be another way too. If this is absurd, then who cares?


Signal Gallery, 32 Paul Street, London EC2A 4LB
Opening Times: Tues-Sat 12-6 pm, and by appointment
This exhibition has finished but it was good. I thought the best word to describe the exhibition is tasty, as it was full of riotous colour and texture, mediums and surfaces. The work spanned fine art to graphics, illustration to street art. This is a very cool gallery space with an fun appreciation of eclectic styles. I already have the next show in my diary.

About Signal GallerySignal Gallery was founded in 2007 with the primary aim to promote strong contemporary painting, with a particular emphasis on figurative work. We have developed an interest in all forms of artworks that meet these aims and have discovered a rich and fertile vein of creative talent in a number of creative areas.We now have a number of urban/street artists on our books as well as artists from more traditional art college, illustration and design backgrounds.For us at Signal, the primary focus for our exhibitions is to find artwork that we consider to be exciting and then have fun pushing the boundaries. As a young gallery we feel we can offer a valuable service by introducing our buyers to stimulating new artistic talent, as well as continuing to represent our more familiar established artists.



I went to see this exhibition ” YOU BLOW ME AWAY” in Rivington street near Old street, particularly drawn by their press release image below. I liked the look of that ‘squashed bunny in a bauble aesthetic.”
(Public vote winner of Catlin Prize 2012)

Here is a link to the website

Here is a picture of the front of the shop/gallery space

      The work features artists:

Andrea Hasler
Patrick Furness
Adeline de Monseignat  and is curated by Silia Ka Tung
The show “reveals the delicate and sensual in animal and human anatomy, albeit in a subversive way.”

 The exhibition runs until 14th July 2012

Luke Jackson-Charlie Smith Gallery

Charlie Smith is a sweet, sweet Gallery of interesting art in an unpretentious space. Perhaps also its location upstairs in The Reliance on Old street, or that the gallery often has group shows of up and coming artists, is why I enjoy it so much.

Interview with gallery’s Director, Zavier Ellis
directed and edited by Paolo Pascolo)


LUKE JACKSON | The Good Tourist

    Friday May 25th – Saturday June 23rd


I walked into the space and was confronted by thick, black, textured paintings with a flash of colour. But wait, there was something going on in the surface of the paintings. Some kind of figure or groups of figures…. surrounded by a gooey, black tar like surface of thick glossy paint. Are they tourists in an oil slick or holidaying in hell? Why are they good TOURISTS?

 I read the press release from Charlie Smith Gallery to find out more about  Luke Jackson.

As the artist states:

“The storyline of Kafka, where assistants are messengers from one group to another, where no one has a firm place in the world and no inalienable outline, shapes the overall enigma of the work…no one fixed position is delineated and a currency of tourism is developed where the image slips between the past, is re-contextualised and used as varying points of departure.”

Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.” So tourism in the artwork is the images out of context, floating, suspended in a nowhere place, and a nowhere time, in painterly marks and thick glossy surfaces. In a way, the figures are forced to be permanent and always present, as they are deeply embedded into this surface. As the definition of a tourists suggest, they might need to vacate in under a year, but this is not possible, as they seemed trapped. The figures do not notice the painterly blackness and do not connect or engage with it. There is a clear separation and yet a connection between the arrangement of figures emerging from the black goo and the black goo itself, which conceals, reveals, protects and captures.

Upon further reading, I think Jackson wants the viewer to question the role of painting and of historic image and so the painting process is a way of combining ideas on to one surface to create a complete concept with history acting as an informer to his work.

As Jackson states;

 “Painting can have the potential to envelop perceived notions and allow for a litany of possibilities…”

 He also says;

“I am Interested In the obsessive fetishism of the enigma and how it shifts and becomes objectified. Each persona acts a guidance inhabiting the work and dictating its eventual outcome.”

 Now would the enigma of The Good Tourist exhibition be created by the two opposing motifs (of figures and black impasto surface) purposefully disguising any clear context for the viewer. Not only that, but the title throws another dimension to the artwork. Why are they good tourists? The work definitely has made me question the meaning behind Jackson’s practice. There is simplicity in that Jackson approaches painting and image in a straight forward way, in regards to their physicality, but then the paintings become weighty with conceptual ambiguity and slippages. The works seems to hover between poles of figuration+abstraction, concept+skill, detail+obliteration and form+content. Is the viewer the good tourist that hovers uncertainly from one artistic code to another and is prevented from settling? The viewer succumbs to that mental nowhere land of Jackson’s and therefore obeys?  Good tourist?


“In 2007 Luke and Sam Jackson were the first brothers in history to graduate together from the Royal Academy Schools in London. He has exhibited in galleries and museums in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, New York, Los Angeles and Klaipėda in seminal group shows including New Contemporaries, Anticipation and The Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s New Sensations and The Future Can Wait. Jackson won first prize at ArtWorks Open in 2011 and has featured in Art Monthly, Artforum, The Times, Financial Times, Miser & Now and Garageland.”

Two ‘peeled’ photographs courtesy of Hales Gallery in Bethnal Green. 

Galpin scores and peels the emulsion from a photograph to create a new image. His work reminded me of comic book art, with its outlined edge and  graphic aesthetic. Each edited strip provides a trace or glimpse of the original photograph, but due to the complex scored surface,  it  is almost impossible to determine. The process in creating the  work is meticulous and delicate, yet the imagery is explosive and energetic which creates a really interesting tension.

Richard Galpin is showing at Hales Gallery in Bethnal Green until 19th November 2011