Beyond Caravaggio – An Explosion of Light and Darkness

After our visit to Picasso’s Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, we thought, might as well, and despite us both not being very much into Renaissance art (we’re more into the late 19th, 20th and 21st century), we enjoyed the ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ exhibition at the National Gallery very much.      As one would expect form the National Gallery, the exhibition is beautifully curated and instead of focussing on Caravaggio’s work itself, it shows how he influenced his art in Europe for the two or three decades following his death, how other painters were influenced by him and – starting out from his work – created great art in their own right, in many cases greater than his art.      It was inspiring to see how Caravaggio (among others, of course, but this was not the point of the exhibition in question) purged the flatness and one-dimensionality, the awkward false […]

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A Murder at the Church, a Car Crash on a Tapestry, and a Dead Pig, what’s not to like in Canterbury?

We had been to Canterbury many times before. As a matter of fact, I proposed to my wife there, three months after we had first met, in 2008 with the help of an airplane pulling a banner. Back then, it had all been very hectic (for me, not so much for my then future wife, who was unaware of the preparations). The pilot initially cancelled the whole thing because of strong winds at his airport, eighty miles north of our location, then texted again to say he’d be ready to go, then texted that the start had been delayed, and it went back and forth at least five or six more times. Then, two hours later, while we were in the middle of lunch, said he’d arrive within ten minutes and needed us to be on an open space, ideally close to the cathedral.           I gently (as gently […]

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Ai Weiwei Exhibition at the RA

We went to the Ai Weiwei Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in October 2015 and were heavily impressed. We had been fans for some time, but the exhibition brought his art a lot closer with the large number of his top works and the information that was provided with it.      One of China’s most influential artists, Ai became widely known in Britain after his sunflower seeds installation in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2010, which was also the first time we realised what league he was playing in and we followed him more closely since then, nearly exclusively through the media.      We both always liked political art, art that isn’t just decorative or artistic, but that has something more important to say, art that tries to change society and not just change art, art that is angry in a creative, inspiring, idealistic way.      Ai’s art […]

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Banksy’s Dismaland

We visited Banksy’s Dismaland in September 2015. We left London with the first outgoing Saturday train one weekend and spent the morning and most of the afternoon in Bath, then took the train from there to Weston-super-Mare. Dismaland is located next to the Seaquarium in the former Tropicana Park. Apparently Banksy got the idea of using the area for an exhibition when he peeked into the abandoned and derelict park through a broken fence in January 2015 and started preparations for the exhibition shortly thereafter.      We thought the exhibition was great. Very political, not necessarily in line with our political views, but angry art is always good art, and angry this art was. The queues were very long and once we finally got to the front, we realised that the admission procedure was already part of the show. The doormen and women were incredibly rude and aggressive, pushing people […]

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