JIMMY C – ATOMISED – A SOLO SHOW @ Lollipop Gallery, London – JImmy C, are we going to call him a street artist? Certainly enough of his work out there on the streets of his adopted home of London, as wall as pieces all over the world. The globe-trotting Australian pointillist certainly is prolific. Yes we should really be calling him a street artist, it really is where Jimmy C comes to life. Last night saw the opening of a new solo show at East London’s Lollipop Gallery, a collection of mostly large ‘formal’ canvas pieces filtered through his distinctive dots, his spray can colour applied – pointillism, dots applied to knit an image together. A style born of the Impressionists; and especially the technique of Georges Seurat or Paul Signac. Jimmy C’s style is rooted in 1880’s as much as the street art and spray cans of the 1980’s. (didn’t we say vaguely similar things in terms of Cosmo Sarson show at Pure Evil gallery earlier this year?)
Jimmy Cochran’s art really comes to life when it is on the street, there’s a piece just around the corner from Lollipop Gallery, a piece in a wall on the side of a cafe in Fashion Street (just off Brick Lane), a piece looking straight down the street in amongst the furniture, the traffic signs, the scaffolding, the half-torn street art stickers, the discarded pizza boxes and the bags of rubbish, a piece that really is so alive that it kind of emphasises how a very formal hang in a formal gallery environment can almost neuter a street artist. But then Cochran isn’t just a street artist, his work surely deserves to be viewed away from the energy of the street, he deserves the formality of a conventional gallery hang, he deserves some polite wine served with a smile on a tray as you view doesn’t he? He deserves to be viewed “properly” in a gallery.
There’s some impressive work in here on the walls of both floors of Lollipop, not everything works, but there is some strong impressive work, Jimmy’s colour is a strong, those impressionists again, the use of light. There’s some strong work here – the piece on the bricks, the hope beacon that is neon heart – really it’s the “formal” portraits, the stylised contemporary portraiture, the collection of large canvas pieces, faces from now – portraiture updated for the age of the selfie (and people were taking selfies with the portraits in the background last night). The piece down Fashion Street, Joe’s Kid, really is one of Jimmy C’s best pieces of work, it would be a stand out piece if he had painted it on canvas and hung it in this show on the formal walls of the gallery alongside any of tonight’s Cochran pieces.
There’s a very human element to Jimmy C’s work, it isn’t always the beautiful people with the big smiles (although it sometimes is), his work has heart – heart is very much part of it, heart and strength. Tonight’s show is a strong one, Cochran is essentially a traditional painter working in an instant age of selfies, twitter feeds and immediate social media communications, his paintings need to be seen on the flesh though, on-line just won’t do. Jimmy Cochran is an old school painter, a traditionalist who uses the street, a painter for now, you’ll find his work all over London, you’ll find it on Fashion Street, or around the back of Redchurch street or on a wall in Camden (or on a street Brazil or the South of France or Birmingham or…), or you can find his paintings hanging just where they should be, in the formality and the well lit peace and quiet of Lollipop Gallery, well worth getting off the street and taking a moment. (SW)
ATOMISED is on at the LOLLIPOP GALLERY, 58 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT right now, The Show runs until October First Thursday.
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