Saw the George Condo exhibition, Mental States' at the Hayward. These dark and wild paintings are truly 'grotesque'. All of the portraits are genuinely frightening - or at least very disturbing - I think because they are so odd but so familiar at the same time. It feels as if they might be 'funny', but you wouldn't laugh, the characters are too tortured. The different framings add to the idea of a curated portrait collection gathered from wealthy collectors which I guess is exactly what they now are! There's a film of George Condo talking about the work and giving a bit of insight on the Guardian Website.
17 Nov 2011
Just received a copy of a french language novel I illustrated the cover for - 'La Conversation' written by Jean d'Ormesson. It revolves around an imaginary conversation between Napoleon Bonaparte and Jean-Jacques Regis de Cambacérès, his consul. The book explores the tension between Napoleon's republican revolutionary spirit and his desire of power. (So I was told by Heloise d'Ormesson, the author's daughter - my French is nowhere near good enough to read it!)
14 Nov 2011
A news item from Pathe News from the 1930s showing what designers of the time thought fashion in 2000 would be like. Wait for the male outfits - even better than the women's lightbulb headwear. The commentary really seals it: "Oooh swish!" "It's the sleeves what does it!"
7 Nov 2011
I've been invited by Lisa Wright to show at the 'Discerning Eye' exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London which opens this week and runs November 10 - 21. This is one of two pieces I'm showing - a collage and mixed media work titled 'Colony' which incorporates a 'real' artificial diamond.
4 Nov 2011
1 Nov 2011
Passed Yinka Shonibare's 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square today. It was a beautiful day and the ship looked stunning in the sun. It's sails are made from patterned textiles associated with African dress and symbolic of African identity and independence - reminders of the legacy of British colonialism and its expansion in trade and Empire. As I squint upwards, I imagine Nelson looks down from his column a few feet away with a raised eyebrow. A great piece - that also resonates for me through fond memories of building an 'Airfix' version of the HMS Victory as a boy.