Vusy times for those who like to explore art in an around London, last night East London saw the opening of two new shows at the big Wilkinson gallery space in Vyner Street as well as a late evening opening at Cultivate where Glenn “Fitzy” Fitzpatrick is currently showing his battle decks and his very intricate illustrative style alongside his tales of times as a tank commander in the first Gulf War, a fact that puts his recently petrol pump piece exhibited at the Chinese Open in to some new light.
.Fitzy’s extremely detailed drawings are laced with layers of meaning, of conspiracy and spiritualism, of manipulation, of life since he got out of the army and questioning of it all. The Gravesend artist has his drawing prints and sculpture on show at Cultivate Evolved, as one of the guest artists, alongside the seven in-house artists, the red wall and the latex and ballgags of Brighton’s Michelle Mildenhall until April 23rd.
Last night saw the opening of a show called The Sucker, a solo exhibition from Rckay Rax over at the Residence gallery
“The unsung hero of the London underground art scene”
– Wolfgang Tillmans
“He dragged me by the hair around the dancefloor. I finally felt alive!”
– Susanne Oberbeck, (No Bra)
“For his first solo show the multi disciplinary artist exhibits a series of collages compiled from heterosexual porn magazines (“because it’s cheaper than gay porn”), depicting cut-up body parts and limbs that form hybrid humanoid entities, often entangled in apparently sexual positions, or trying to look sexy – yet the titles imply representations of institutions and figures of authority, or cliches of heroic manly behavior and technology used perhaps in cheap book titles.
These entities, while satirizing are also carving out a place outside of binary structures and judgment, western ideas about hierarchy and cause and effect. Aimlessly menstruating legs and seemingly non sensical sex positions undermine notions of agency and purpose, like sluggish, proliferating creatures exhibiting a “vampiric relationship between body and mind that is holding back evolution”, trying to escape outdated 20th century ideas about sex and human interaction.
The seemingly inappropriate and cheap sexualization of institutions and figures of authority – the pope, the law, architecture, politics, power, language – largely made up of female porn models’ body parts – images that would traditionally be perceived as immoral and irrational – highlights a hypocrisy of associating power and authority with masculine qualities.
Subverting gender expectations and placing itself outside ideas about morality and judgement (“boogie man” is in fact an entity made up of lush female breasts and body parts), the artist is not only poking fun, but also imagines more poetic, future human and sexual interactions as well as reproduction (“birth”) that incorporate objectification and narcissism instead of dismissing them.
The playful, machine-like creatures are reminiscent of Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of “becoming” as well as William Burroughs cut-up narratives intended to subvert western binary language systems – but unlike Burroughs Rax largely uses images of women to illustrate his ideas – which could be seen as feminist or simply because they were cheaper. – Susanne Oberbeck, (No Bra)
THE RESIDENCE GALLERY is an intimately plush space, you can explore the opulence at 229 Victoria Park Road London E9 7HD. The Sucker tuns until May 25th
Some previous NO BRA coverage here at Organ…..
Also check out …. Park Seungmo at the always interesting and often excellent Hada Contemporary, 21 Vyner Streer, Bethanal Green, East London, as well as the late4st things street artists Alo and Skeleton Cardboard have been painting on the Hackney Road…
An album of photos from the last week in and around galleries in East London, click on an image to enlarge