Three paintings by Mackie. Don’t sweat the technique, Louis Vuitton Lady, iPads and iPhones, Oil on Canvas 20x20cm. ©Mackie
The Other Art Fair, to which our members got access, took place from 25th-28th April. Featuring 100 of the most exciting unrepresented artists from across the globe, it is London’s leading artist-led fair – compiling a list of favourite works was not an easy endeavour. Here it goes…
Conrad Engelhardt, ‘Marilyn’
This work, a 50th year tribute piece to Marilyn Monroe, is made of about 2,200 naturally coloured wine corks – with over 60 corks for her mouth alone. The artist considers wine corks as a unique media, capturing the essence of their parent wines and, as they are organic materials, mirroring nature’s own imperfections. The mysterious appeal of his works lies in the fact that up-close the image is merely suggestive, but as the observer backs away the artwork takes advantage of the human eye’s narrow focal point – the corks begin to merge until the moment when the image appears sharp and unmistakable.
Rychèl Therin, ‘Collection on Blue Formica’
Collection on blue formica is an archive of objects Rychèl found in her paternal grandmother’s kitchen after she passed away. The items, photographs of which were taken on her blue formica table, chart the cultural changes she must have witnessed during her lifetime (96 years). Every piece in this photograph has a special meaning, such as the States of Jersey Liberation medal and shilling note to represent the Occupation during WW2. “I suppose it’s a type of social archiving in a way, a way of freezing her moments in time, recording her biography like it was our conversation at the kitchen table.”
Mark Powell, ‘Speaking in Tongues (Prattle)’
Mark’s bic biro drawing is done on a 1950s music sheet and deals with the question of religion as he sees it. Both the canvas he uses and the faces he draws offer a mysterious story. They carry the scars of travel, of a life lived. He tries to catch a certain beauty that is a step away from the image of attractiveness that we encounter today in our society.
Goro Shimano, ‘Rob(s)’
‘Rob(s)’ is a new portrait project based on ‘Rob’ (2011) which consists of about 30 pieces of one person’s portrait made by different treatments in a random colour palette. Through this new series, Goro encourages the broadening and deepening of the initial concept of ‘Rob’, based on the ways in which we identify and remember the face. ‘Rob(s)’ is composed of two pieces alongside each other. Those are chosen from the first series and divided into strips to replace one with the counterpart of the companion.
Laurence Poole, ‘Smudger’s Tools’
Laurence’s work explores nostalgia, using found objects, obsolete technology and items that evoke a certain longing for – or a sentimentality toward – times past. Smudger was a slang term for a newspaper photographer: the dense newsprint of the printed picture would smudge under your fingers. This piece features vintage film, movie and cine cameras, and some flash units, including rare examples as well as more utilitarian budget models.
Frédéric Daty, ‘Solitude’
“If this insane race for success stops suddenly… whats’ left? Religion, technology, speed, seduction, money… a carrousel that keeps us trapped away from who we really are… Just a fragile soul of flesh folded like a foetus.” The artist’s goal is to reinterpret the reality and break it down into its fundamental pieces. The medium he has chosen is a raw, primal material, without make-up or coverings. There are always three elements to his work: the metal symbolizing mother earth and the basics, the stylized figurative shapes which represent the spiritual realm and the light and shadows which evoke movement and change.
Vikram Kushwah, ‘Ofelea’
This project is a portrait of Vikram’s imagination and memories, often twisted by the dark underlying layers of the storybooks he read as a child. The series of pictures is a juxtaposition of the Freudian theory of ‘The Uncanny’, the constantly recurring mysterious environments in the Surrealist art movement and reconstructions of his distant childhood imagination. His images lie between reality and fantasy, between the conscious and the sub-conscious.
Stavros Kotsireas, ‘7 Days, Seven Messages’
Stavros Kotsireas’ new works reveal to the viewer, for the first time, the original source of inspiration (groups of carefully chosen and arranged objects) alongside the inspired painting. By laying bare the elements of the creative process, the artist makes a conscious return to the origins of still life. “When I take an inanimate object out of the natural world and place it in a still life arrangement, I am purposefully isolating it, stripping it down to its basic material attributes: its form, colour and mass. This enables me to explore the essence and mystery of the object. Giving expression to lifeless matter on canvas is for me a poetic act”.