Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Alex Daw - Private members for public art

Last night, after 8 emails between myself, the gallery and the private members club Eight, I finally got the chance to see Alex Daw's show Proper Gander.

I was curious to see how hosting a somewhat street art leaning artist in a private member's club would work, and to varying degrees it may have. 

Of course, going to a member's club carries an air of exclusivity and importance, and Eight was no different.  Hidden down an alley in the heart of the banker's city, it was a subterranian club which enhanced it's feel of importance.

After signing in at the reception, I had to wait for one manager, then another to lead me to the exhibition (which was a further flight down...about 5 floors below ground level).  He showed me the pieces then left me to enjoy the art by myself.

It was quite unusal to find myself alone, in the bottom floor of a member's club, looking at art that seemed to be fighting with its surroundings.  The bright colours Daw uses contrasted heavily against the mahagony wooden panneling that coated the various rooms.

Long hall where the majority of pieces were located
According to HangUp Pictures, who is managing the show:

Entitled 'Proper-Gander' the exhibition explores ways of seeing, looking at and receiving 'culture', visually, audibly or otherwise. Playing with satire, art history and contemporary culture, the exhibition aims to question existing ideas and art forms, as well as commenting on the current trend of daily mega brand, brainwashing propaganda via television, films, advertisements and the internet. 

Sick of the generic and often banal gallery experience, Daw is attempting to shift into more site specific venues transforming the luxurious confines of the Eight Club into a subterranean nerve centre housed deep within the city walls. This clandestine den will be home to a plethora of Daw’s artwork from traditional 2-d works on paper and oil paintings, to carved magazines, moving image and performance installation. 

Daw himself describes his work as:
“I am attempting a minor revolt, an artistic revolution of sorts. At once creating an unsettling rendition of my own personal fears and dreams as well as attempting to understand art and the role of an artist in contemporary society.”

I found the work to be very engaging.  I'm a sucker for mixed media and really enjoy texture in art and Daw uses both techniques to create his images.  While I think the light installations left a bit to be desired, the rest of the show was impressive.  

The real question is, how many people will see it?  If you want to see the show email ben@hanguppictures.com to get your name on the guestlist.

Method Man - Oil, acrylic, paint marker and aerosol on canvas

This was my favorite piece - Tract - Mixed media collage with aerosol spray on glass panel.

Close up of Tract.  Really interesting use of images.

Iterim - Mixed media collage on lightbox

Wonderland - Intricate hand carved magazine in beautiful presentation frame.  This piece was fantastic.  Totally carved from a magazine.

Wonderland close up

Animism - Mixed media collage with aerosol spray on glass panel.

View of the upstairs room in the member's club.  Quite stuffy, but had a nice enough dinner

Forgot the name of this piece, but this was the print, edition of 19.  3 colour hand pulled screen print.  Really nice for £70.

Reminder - Mixed media collage with aerosol spray on glass panel. Another of my favorites.

Reminder close up.

Depot - Spray paint, acrylic and collage on Daler Rowney heavyweight acid free paper.

Movie room at the club

1 comment:

  1. I like his work. Would be interested in hearing more about what inspires him.


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