You get art galleries in the oddest of places and there is one in Collyer Bristow, which is a trendy law firm in Bloomsbury. They have a show on at the moment called Rules of Freedom all about rule breakers and the theme of freedom, free speech and Human Rights. It is on until 13th February 2019. I knew two people who were in the show, one the august Hugh Mendes who had is obituaries of dead famous people, this time selected from those who chimed with the theme such as Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou (above). Hugh teaches me art and I rent his studio once a week where I produce almost all of my work. It is an excellent arrangement. His work, including Nelson and May have been my consistent companions. For this reason I don't often review his shows, it seems a bit crawling.
As such I got to swank along to the private view, causing the two sides of my existence, art and law to meet nicely. The reason the gallery is an odd one though is you can't just walk in. If you want to see it then you have to contact the curator. Also the art is displayed in what is basically the reception and meeting rooms of a law firm. The space then doesn't quite work. Collyer Bristow is the kind of place where someone called Sylvia brings you cucumber infused water while you wait, and the gallery plays very well into this shtick. It was though very intriguing to see Hugh's work on public display. I am always interested by how much better it looks out in a gallery, than confined to the studio. They glow.
I also know Alastair Gordon who has been kind enough to let me invade his studio and talk to me about art. He does these super detailed trompe l'oiel paintings (above). Those paper airplane and bits of tape you see are not stuck on. They are in fact painted on. Its an illusion and a very impressive one. Apologies for the poor photo but the painting was being displayed (and presumably still is) in a gloomy corner. The tweedledish couple you can see are wrapped in an American flag.
Mohammed Ali has also been an old companion of mine (above, right) and this time he was being kept company by a small, simple blue and black geometric number by Juan Boliver (above left). At first I thought the white and grey border was an overlarge frame but is in fact again an optical illusion. I made me think of a prison window that someone had bent apart and legged it through, which shows that Oliver has succeed as when I looked I saw the work was called Jailbreak.
Of the new work's I encountered the above two were my favourites. They are called Depression I and Depression II (above) and are the work of Kazz Douie. The idea of this never changing black figure in a variety of colourful settings is a very effective one, and one that really spoke to me. Incidentally everything in this show is for sale and the unframed prints of these are at the more affordable end being £250 each.
Paula Chambers' Daddy's Little Princess looks at first glance like a twee head board, with 1950s house wives depicted in domestic bliss (above left). However once you look closer then you see anarchic and indeed disturbing images and themes, guns, knives ect. The medium and the style of the presentation beguiles the message nicely. This provoked allot of attention.
Very different is the blurry overlapping images of Lucas Dupuy's On (above right). Hypnotic and calming this image. I like it.
Violent and disturbing like an old jail door, burnt and crusted like it has been attacked by lava is Simone Bynoe's Inside out I (above left). Looming and threatening but well done I thought. This could have easily gone to far but keeping it to tones of blacks means it has a powerful understatement.
Evy Jokhova's 1991. From Memory (above right) is made from embroidery. I am not sure what the date of the title signifies but it comes across a partially shrouded city-scape or perhaps a surrendering city. Anyway I like the blend of light blue and soft beiges.
they can be eye catching and entertaining. Such I found The Beautiful by Vanessa Mitter (above right). These female figures emerging from a dazzling array of colours and shapes that merge from the woman's garments to the background and back again. It is a delight to look at. There were many other paintings in this show but the above where my favourites. I shall leave you with the title piece of the show by Justin Hibbs (below) after I have plugged by upcoming show which runs from 18th November to 18th December at Beans Love Greens.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.