Selfie to Self-Expression – Saatchi Gallery – our Review

We’ve just returned from a visit to this fabulous exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. According to its brochure, “From Selfie to Self-Expression” is “the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and celebrates the creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity”. The first room shows self-portraits of Rembrandt, Edvard Munch, Picasso, Matisse and many of the other greats on i-Phone shaped large electronic displays with actual i-Phones to their bottom right-hand side, showing the Greats’ made-up Instagram profiles with 34,146 likes on the Picasso selfie, and so on. Hilarious. The whole things spreads over three floors, and it gets even better, the further you progress through the many rooms filled with exhibits.                                  We were particularly fond of the exhibit in Gallery 3: “Hello World! […]

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Pink Floyd Exhibition: Mortal Remains review

Let me state at the beginning: I’m not a Pink Floyd fan. If you are, then by all means go now and you’ll have a brilliant time. Should you go if you are not a fan? I guess, go ahead, if you think it might be for you and if you don’t mind the excessive admission price. The slogan of the exhibition is “Experience a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.” I’m not convinced that there is anything spectacular or unparalleled about the audio-visual journey. The exhibition uses more multi-media and innovative presentation methods than your average exhibition of – say – Rembrandt paintings, but in terms of innovation I wouldn’t give it more than 5 out of 10. Nearly everything that is cool […]

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Review: David Hockney Exhibition, Tate Britain

We’ve just returned from a late-night viewing (9-10pm) of the David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain and were heavily impressed of this exhibition of one of the major contributors to the pop art movement, who is considered to be one of the most influential and maybe the best-known amongst British artists of the 20th century. Old Blightey owes Hockney (who declined a knighthood earlier in his life). In the 1960s, this man, with his peroxide hair, big glasses, and awkward Yorkshire manner, was the first British artist who used television extensively, communicating to a broad audience at a time when most people in this country were completely oblivious to contemporary art. “What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” David Hockney The […]

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RA Lates: New Soviet World

The Royal Academy of Arts hosted another great RA Lates event on Saturday night.  It was themed on the “Revolution: Russian Art, 1917-1932” exhibition, which is on at the RA until 17 April 2017.   There were actors, playing the role of Bolsheviks and Soviet Commissars, and the curious paying guests, like myself, eager to take part in the “immersive” experience.   And it was an experience. The queuing, the stamping of coupons, the bureaucracy, the “Biomechanical” life drawing class, the rubbery sausages in the communal dining hall at Canteen No. 57.  But we forgot all this as we were treated with a live balalaika performance…    and of course, the telling art of the revolutionary new Soviet world.         Next event: I look forward to the next RA Lates event, taking place on 22 April on the theme of America Dreaming. RA Lates: New Soviet World certainly was a blast. If we have whetted […]

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Manhattan Swing at the Royal Academy

We love the Royal Academy of Art and we try to do as many RA Lates as we can, this one not being the first one. It was called “Manhattan Swing” and aimed to emulate the 1940s and 1950s Manhattan of “abstract artists and beatniks in downtown Manhattan, Peggy Guggenheim and her new gallery Art of this Century, cocktail parties on the Upper East Side, Pollock’s drip paintings, jazz, beat poetry, dancing the jitterbug and sipping Martinis at the Savoy as we celebrate the era when New York overtook Paris as the capital of the art world.” The programme reads absolutely fabulous, ranging from intellectual talks and discussions about relevant topics such as “The Bohemia Incubator: Greenwich Village & Manhattan Post-War Culture” to Beat Poetry readings, live jazz music, DJs, free face painting, dance classes and painting workshops.       The lobby was turned into a dance floor, two bars, […]

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