Sunday, 20 April 2008

Alternative Philosophies

Feat: Anton Unai, Marok, Jaybo, Andy Howell, Daniel Tagno, Ala Ebtekar, Kill Pixie, Bortusk Leer, Antonio Diaz

The Leonard Street Gallery 18 Apr – 22 May

A kaleidescope of art and entertainment opportunities within spraying distance of eachother meant a hectic night on Thursday 17 April. Cargo for Nick Walker was obviously going to be an insane and unseemly zoo, Pure Evil was always likely to run out of beer, so we started at the Leonard Street Gallery’s group show.

Kill Pixie’s elaborate and strikingly colourful ink and watercolour drawings are a definite highlight in this show. The intricately drawn and naively shaped figures in the crowd scenes could have been celebrating weird mysteries or possibly fawning in terror from some un-seen deity. Word To Mother might be an influence (or possibly has been influenced by..)

Kill Pixie

Andy Howell’s large knotty limbed anatomies would definitely spook the horses. The Golddigger version of the Bad Tarot Series superficially looks attractive, until you scrutinise the drug warped eyeballs and skull holes. Imagine Elbow-Toe’s multiple jointed limbs but more psychedelic and less fine art.

Andy Howell – Egyptian Vodoo Princess

Andy Howell – The First Bionic Hand

Part2ism’s collages with ink scrawl were mainly colourless and flat, and the biro scrawls whilst poisonous and bitter (“I cannot ring you as you do not pick up your phone when I call you…”) didn’t add any much intrigue or any interest. The pictures looked like the visual equivalent of an un-tuned radio.

Part2ism - Emotional Exit

Jaybo aka Monk’s monkey faces have Matt Small’s strong colours swirling colouration on a Supine-esque blackness. They evidently were popular though I preferred the surreal Slow Down with its ginseng root being fed to a fat oriental face by a disembodied hand and the Everything OK Up To Here mixed media collage.

Jaybo – Slow Down

Jaybo – Monkeys

Ala Ebtekar’s small collection of manilla or white paper cutouts on crumpled then flattened out paper were nothing special, the characters were pencil drawn robotic Samarai warriors from some sci-fi fantasy Ghenghis Khan cruscade.

Ala Ebtekar

Marok brings the most obvious whiff of the streets onto his work with graffiti like slashes, tags and sprays cutting into more conventional abstract collages. The work is a bit heavy and dark, his black Manhattan landscape has the artist’s name looming across the skyline but overall effect is an un-resolved conflict of ideas, is it about his brilliance, his lucrative career or a shot at Wallstreet Gordon Geckos, and do we read anything into the presence of the twin towers? The biro exortation to “sell your wack shit before it’s too late” in the detail of a more abstract piece could have been a direct message to frenzied price-insane refugees from the nearby Nick Walker show.

Marok over Manhattan

The Anton Unai pieces beg concerns about actual longevity of art, featuring materials such as stickers, stuck on photocopies, old newspapers and coffee. The wooden box below looked like it had been left out under a pigeon roost.

Anton Unai - Dissection

Un-announced, possibly a cheeky little spoiler against the main show opening simultaneously at BRP, an Apishangel stencil and spray on canvas surreptitiously sneaked into the show. The stencilled characters appear a bit vague in places, the background fuses the appearance of street tags with abstract slashes and shapes of colour and give the impression of a canvas prepared in burst of anger.


Trotting swiftly through other artists featured:

Bortusk Leer: featured a collection of modified and framed old prints and painting, some of which had been seen at his previous joint show at the Voila Gallery.

Bortusk Leer

Daniel Tagno – though hard to tell from the picture below this was acrylic on a 2m tall canvas. He also had an abstract print featuring coloured marks on black paper on a much more manageable scale.

Daniel Tagno - Tim Dogg vs Madonna

Johnny Rodriguez, possibly a late addition to the line up as he didn’t feature in the pre show announcements:

Johnny Rodriguez - Friday

Leonard Street had crammed so many artists into this show that even in the miniscule Project Room had to accommodate three, seemingly selected to maximise the use of the space rather than any coherent link between their work. Downstairs was empty. Strange decision.

More pictures here:

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