A Semi Skimmed pop up, what kind of label are we going to stick on this one then? Pop art? Street art? Urban art? It doesn’t really matter what we call it does it? A room full of art, mostly painting, a room full of colour. lots of colour, (and lots of people) almost always colourful at Jealous (almost always bust at an opening at Jealous). Jealous East is probably the perfect place for a Semi Skimmed take over and a first declaration of intent under the Semi Skimmed gallery label from artist Carl Cashman and his vision of an artist-led (currently nomadic) gallery. The intent so he says is to treat the artists a little bit better that most galleries do (really not that difficult, galleries don’t really tend to treat their artists that well, ask the artist in the studio next to us here, he just got royally shafted by a rather despicable bunch of lollipop suckers from a now on-the-run London street art gallery who’ve left a trail of rather angry out-of-pocket artists behind them), Carl’s not the first to take on the notion of an artist-led gallery as a way around the problems artists encounter with most galleries of course, we’ve been banging on about here at Cultivate for half a dozen or so years now, there really needs ot be more of it though. I suspect Mr Cashman might claim to have set his bar a little higher in terms of budget, we’re certainly not talking backstreet DIY punk rock here, this appears to be, at this first encounter at least, an operation planted firmly in the slightly slicker world of gallery-based street art or urban art (or whatever, what the hell do you call it these days?). This feels like a pop art show if it feels like anything (especially with all those specially created beers cans floating around, I bet we’ll find one or two of them on ebay this morning if we go take a look).
Yep, this is slick urban art, that commercial end of things (and that really isn’t a negative observation), it kind of feels like the world of things like Stolen Space Gallery or the Moniker Art Fair and such (thankfully without the damn railroad tracks), saw someone from some over-slick gallery in New York referring to it as post-streetart the other week but hey, come on, no way are we going to start using that term around here. I don’t know if I truly honestly really like this world or not? It seems awfully safe and rather polite, some of it is far too slick both is terms of the work and the attitude, all a little too comfortable maybe? A whole gang of artists, some obviously very very talented, and a whole movement that’s almost on automatic pilot and happy in some kind of comfort zone? Hey look, this all sounds rather negative, it really shouldn’t read like that, this is a damn fine show, there’s some really good art in here, some real standout pieces, love the excitement of that Cain Caser painting, that on grabbed the eye straight away, and that Nick Flatt piece really stands out (don’t know about the fag butts, yuck!) there’s some beautiful use of paint in that Nick Flatt piece, love that movement and that sense colour, so alive, if only those fag butts weren’t there! That Gary Stranger piece on the rusty textures is rather satisfying, the flat clean graphic lines on that textured background make for something rather good, one of his finest pieces (really like that piece).
Oh yes, there’s some really rewarding art in here, some impressive pieces, of course not all of it excites, not of it stands up, when did you last go to a group show where everything was right? On the whole this is a very good show, this is worth catching if you can (be quick it is a short sharp pop up), a show clearly worth returning to without all the crowds and the noise and the people standing in the way of the work in that way that people do on an opening night. This is a damn good show, there’s some strong impressive work in there, as a group show it all works rather well, as a collective statement the show works well, some of it might be over-slick and some of the names might be playing a little too safe, some of the artists might need to challenge themselves a little more and indeed challenge their audience a little bit more, and yes that could be said of the whole urban art/street art/whatever-you-call-it scene right now, but this is a good show and while one or two things tonight might not have impressed that much, there’s some real stand-out pieces and this is a fine declaration of intent from curator Carl Cashman and the Semi-Skimmed Team Do try and catch it while you can, it really is a short sharp pop up. Now how much is this empty Inkie beer can we’ve got here going to go for on ebay? (sw)
Semi Skimmed Pop Up Show, is just that, a pop up show , the first show and the first moves from the nomadic artist-led Semi Skimmed Gallery, happens at Jealous East, Shoreditch, East London. “Our first show takes place at Jealous Gallery on 12/13/14th April with some of the biggest names in the urban and Contemporary scenes”, artists include: Annatomix, Ben Eine, Ben Slow, Cain Caser, Carl Cashman, Dan Newso, Eelus, Eric Haacht, Euan Roberts, Inkie, Mobstr, Nick Flatt, Paul Punk, Tim Fowler, Rachel Strum, Simon shepherd. The show runs from April 12th until April 14th. Jealous East is found on the corner, over the busy road junction from the way to expensive Old Blue Last pub at 53 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT London, United Kingdom. The Facebook event page
STOP PRESS: Back for more, for as we always say, you never can really see the art properly at an opening night with all the noise and the arms and the people who just stand in front of the art talking (go talk outside people, let us see the art). The show appears to have gone well, it was eventually extended by and extra day, sales have been more than healthy, the durator is pleased ot have broken even, did someone really spend over five thousand on that Ben Eine piece? Good to have a second look, see the show without all the people, see it properly, stand in the middle of the room without all the bodies. Still think that Cain Caser piece is the stand-out piece, still think those contrasts of clean line and texture on that Gary Stranger piece are wonderful, got to look at those Rachel Strum pieces properly (you always miss something first time around…
And yes it was, on the whole, a good show, it was rather heartening, good to see it happen, not every piece worked, but as a show, it did, we look forward to more from Semi Skimmed… (SW)
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