Saturday, 31 March 2012

Little Venice

Suddenly we seem to have gone straight from Winter to Summer, missing out on Spring altogether. This brings everyone out eager to ‘stretch’ their legs. Where better to go for a London stroll than along the Regents Canal.

North of Paddington is the tranquil spot known as Little Venice. From here you can take a trip on a barge to Camden or better still walk alongside the canal, passing the numerous picturesque narrow boats (many owned by London’s growing French population) on to Maida Vale, Regents Park and finally arriving at Camden.

All this can be achieved from the tow path of the canal with only a short road side detour due to the tunnel at Maida Vale.


Just a few of the many barges, double moored, along the canal.

On reaching Regents Park the canal takes on the role of a moat. Separating Londoners from whoever lives in such palatial and opulent houses as these.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Cecil Court

Cecil Court is a pedestrianized thoroughfare that links Charring Cross Road to St Martins Lane and is in the heart of the West End.

The shops specialise in rare and antiquarian books, maps, modern first editions, stamps, theatre posters, children’s books and even posters of the Sex Pistols.

The late Victorian shopfronts have not changed in over a century. 

 "Eclectic items & unusual objects"

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Andrew Munoz at the Andipa Gallery

Wednesday night – Andrew Munoz private view at the Andipa Gallery in Walton Street.

This gallery never disappoints. In the basement they are featuring the work of Andrew Munoz. The work contains the familiar and unknown, the amusing and surreal. One particular piece featuring, rural women in vivid blue costumes, standing on a branch, “Bluebirds” is outstanding.

In the upper gallery they are exhibiting such work as Francis Bacon prints (fantastic), Matisse (brilliant), Banksy (constantly fascinating) and Damien Hirst (money for old rope). The gallery is always interesting and always worth a visit.

Andipa | Andrew Munoz | A Walk In The Park from Andipa Contemporary on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

St Martin's-in-the-Fields

The brilliant restoration work to St Martins-In-The-Field includes this fantastic east window created by Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary. These pictures do not do the work justice as the window looks spectacular at night.

St. Martin's in the Fields: a triumph of divine inspiration - The Telegraph, 5 January 2009

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Before they disappear....

The excellent sports photographer Stuart Roy Clarke describes himself as “A photographer & reminiscer, hanging on to things before they pass”. This seemed like a good theme to include on the blog but when do you know things will disappear until they do. While pondering this problem it happened. G. Smith & Sons, “purveyors of fine cigars” have gone.  This tiny shop at 74 Charring Cross Road boasted a walk in humidor, a theatrical red velvet window display and a selection of Cuba’s finest. It opened in 1869 and was the very first shop on Charring Cross Road.

I know smoking is a filthy habit but who can resist a fine Montecristio No 2 “Especial” (it must be an “Especial”). A nice glass of red in one hand, a seductive Montecristo in the other and the world seems a better place. Unfortunately it’s no longer a better place for G. Smith & Sons, or for the rest of us, as they have sadly closed.

This has motivated me to capture London places and objects before they disappear and this old cigar shop is a fitting place to start. 

That's a bohemian, Soho artist in the doorway, not a bohemian, Soho drunk.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Deptford Project

The Deptford Project - INSA from Umlaut Collective on Vimeo.

Taken from The Deptford Project website - 

"After our Silent Cinema season finished back in the summer, we were left with a big blank canvas screen which was crying out for a little attention. We asked INSA if he would like use this canvas for a piece of his art and of course he was more than happy to oblige. Here is a great video of his progress as he painted a picture of our future development there. The video was shot by local creative agency Umlaut Collective. We love their work too." 

In London, New Cross and Deptford Attract the HipNew York Times - 19 March 2009


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Conor Harrington

Visited the Lazarides Gallery in Rathbone Place to see work by the excellent Conor Harrington. Forget Damien Hurst or David Hockney. Forget the Lucien Freud blockbuster for which people are queuing around the block. Conor Harrington’s your man. The Dead Meat exhibition features a mixture of traditional fine art mixed with graffiti, oil on canvas mixed with dripping spray paint straight from the can. The work focuses on scenes of excess and debauchery that suit Harrington’s style. He destroys large parts of each painting allowing only a glimpse of fine art to survive the vandalism. Realism and abstraction in every picture.

Also saw the Eve Arnold photographic exhibition at the Art Sensus Gallery. This was disappointing. Not sure how many more pictures of Marilyn Monroe applying her make up I really want to see. Despite this the exhibition is worth a visit if only to see the Malcolm X pictures. One shows a very uncomfortable American white supremacist George Lincoln Rockwell and two henchmen, in full Nazi regalia, front row at a Nation of Islam rally. Both groups shared a belief in segregation based on race and were hence singing from the same warped song sheet.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Fourth Plinth

A new artwork has been unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. ‘Powerless Structures, Fig 101 ‘ is a 4 metre high sculpture by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset of a golden boy riding what seems to be a golden IKEA flat pack rocking horse. But then the artists are Scandinavian.

Forming what looks like a giant pair of equestrian book ends the sculpture sits in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square opposite the sombre, humourless statue of George IV also on horseback. The childlike, innocent statue is the total antithesis to all the military pomp and grandeur that fill the square.

The plinth was originally built for an equestrian statue in 1841 but was never completed due to lack of funds. It remained ‘empty’ for over 160 years. It is now an important London landmark and love it or loath it the artwork on the Fourth Plinth is never ignored and always thought provoking. Without doubt the purpose of public art.

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