Busy times in East London, lot of art show openings at galleries all over the East of the city tonight, new things to explore over at Stolen Space at Pure Evil Gallery andanother show opening over in Dalston at BSMT Space. So much art, so little time, and we’re ankle-deep in preparation for the Art Car Boot Fair over in Brick Lane next week – signs to paint, leaves to grow, thorns to prune while over there, art tarts are cooking and well, the Art Car Boot Fair is one of the highlights of the art year, no time to be going out to art show openings this week. No time for art show openings this week besides a quick sprint through the close of day chaos of Ridley Road Market and over to Dalston see what Doom is all about.
Texas-born, Berlin-based, Nick Flatt is known for his large-scale photorealistic portraits, often with provocative themes gleaned from titles like F*ck Religion, Pussy Fingers, and Blow Me. Through the use of models who physically resemble the prototype of those commonly used in mainstream advertising, Flatt whets the viewer’s unconscious appetite for consumption. However, their extreme, lascivious gestures distort our desire to the point of discomfort. By exposing the cheap triggers employed by these glossy glamazons, Flatt invites us to be repulsed by their honest unmasking.
Teaming up with native Berlin graffiti writer Punkone, the newly formed duo have created several murals from Berlin to London and are attracting widespread attention for their anti-consumerist message combined with an extreme attention to craftsmanship. The juxtaposition of photorealistic femme fatales with graffiti lettering combine for a hyper political and volatile form of street art expression. Keep an eye on these two crazy f*cks.
Big pieces, the culture of now, tongue-in-cheek? The glossy generation? Something’s gone wrong, a garish slice of right here right now. Class War? No class? Black eyes, America’s Got Talent? Chicks With Guns? Nick Flatt’s work is just a little too realist in more ways than one, that isn’t a criticism of his work, more the world it comes from, the world it reflects, social comment indeed, plugging in to the zeitgeist with a can of dayglo pink paint. I don’t like this art, but then I suspect that is a big big part of the point, this is strong comment, repulsed indeed, strong statement, a challenge rather than just another pretty piece of street art technique and another semi-slick graphic designer “smashing it” and selling you the limited edition print of that thing they “smashed”. This is repulsively good, I like this, I mean no, really really don’t like it, I rather like that I don’t like it, strong show, strong statement, powerfully repulsive pieces, excellent pieces, really like them, enhanced by the “vandalism” of the “advertising” by graff writer Punk One – good to see that slightly messy not-too-perfect style hasn’t been slicked up too much for the gallery wall, he brings the energy to a show that takes a few much needed risks, a street art show that actually has something to say and says it rather well. Repulsively good, consumer-society, rather like it, the art I mean, not the consumer-society and the advertising onslaught and that repulsive stuff…. (SW)
Click on an image to enlarge or run the rather reacted slide show