Monday, 31 August 2009

The view from here

I realised with a bit of a start, that I had forgotten to go and see the Jeff Koons exhibition currently on at the Serpentine Gallery, So borrowing Emin;s travel card I went up to Hyde Park to see the show, Leyla, of course came too.
She loved it. But she was perplexed by it too. Try explaining to an eight year old that what she sees is an illusion. They are in fact hard sculptures made of metal, not the blow up seaside toys they look like. At first Leyla thought it was a trick, that the reason the place was riddled with 'Do Not Touch' signs was because actually they were blow up toys.
She also even more rightly pointed out that perhaps they could have allowed everyone to touch just one exhibit, just to see what they felt like. having been rather spoilt by her recent outing to Barbara Hepworth's gardens where everyone was positively encouraged to touch and feel, she was absolutely right.They are so slick, and curiously quite engaging.

Koons has used inflatables in his work since the late 1970s; one of his most iconic sculptures, Rabbit, 1986, is an inflatable bunny rendered in reflective stainless steel. He has also made sculptures on a spectacular scale inspired by inflatables, including works from his monumental Celebration series. More from here

On Friday we visited Elizabeth Peyton's Live Forever show on at the Whitechapel Gallery
This was a strangely uplifting experience. I expected very little but what I got was very intimate images, painted fluidly using almost jewel like colours. She paints on very primes surfaces that are so thick I thought the canvas's were made of Plaster of Paris. I preferred the still life images to the celebrity ones, but the delicacy of the brush strokes were a joy. Like a modern Manet

Sadly, it was downhill after the exhibition, the curry house was shut for Ramadan, we went for a pizza and suffered quite frankly some of the worst service ever. Never, Ever go to Strada, not ever, really not good.
The rest of the weekend turned into a bit of a Kate Winslet fest as I watched on DVD
  1. the Holiday
  2. The Reader
  3. Revolutionary Road
1. complete and utter crapola
2. brilliant, she just about breaks out of her 'two faces of Winslet' acting school, just. Ralph Fiennes wipes the floor with her.
3. Oh God, it was just like being at home, all that bloody point scoring. That was/is my world. Why is Sam Mendes drawn to such unremittingly depressing films? It was also difficult to watch and not compare it to Mad Men. The whole woman stays at home thing reared it's ugly head again. I am sure I recently read that there was a law that stated that once a woman got married she was unable to continue working. Can you believe that ? What a depressing time to live in and yet visually stunning. Both the latter films were beautifully filmed.
Daisy is back, she came, she ate, she showered, she left. Oh, this will all stop next week, OR ELSE. Once again Kitty is gatecrashing her cousins house. See answer to No3 for why, although there currently hangs a fairly relaxed truce here at the moment, part in due, to him having two holidays to look forward to.
He has booked us a week in Berlin and finally booked flights to Cyprus for the Christmas break. I am currently booking next summer.... Scotland, yeah, I have wanted to go back for ages and now is my chance.

I should probably confess that I have bought quite a few clothes, for work of course. Some lovely fluid jersey from Muji. Lovely knitwear from Uniqlo. Some T's from Gap. I am currently working a colour palette sans black, it's my way of clinging onto the remnants of summer.
I have two days left to psych myself up into waking up at 6am rather than my current totally chilled 8am, ouch.


corine said...

I'm going to love reading you.

materfamilias said...

I'd be very curious to know what most artists think about this issue. I can understand a gallery's perspective, and the insurer's, obviously, but to me the kind of sculptures you're describing are very much about their specific materiality. Because Koons' is playing at mimicking the plastic of inflatable toys (not to mention the way the air is held inside them) with a very hard, not "poppable" material usually put to more industrial use, it seems he might want the viewer to experience that in more ways than just the purely visual. Maybe you can find someone to interview on your blog about this . . . ;-)