Lucky me – the Tate Modern invited me to a press preview of their new Lichtenstein retrospective on Monday. He’s one of my favourite artists so it was quite a treat to get a quiet(er) viewing of the show before the crowds. Oh, and I was allowed to snap photos!
Besides the comic-strip ‘war and romance’ pieces he’s best known for, this show does a great job of displaying the other sides to Lichtenstein’s work, and across 13 rooms charts out the many phases he evolved through during his life’s work.
Sarah and I popped down to God’s Own Junkyard on Wednesday night, a fabulous pop-up collection of new and vintage neon signs, movie props and retro advertising signage on Beak Street, Soho. The curator/artist Chris Bracey collects junked signs from movie sets then repairs and resurrects them into brand new art pieces. The temporary exhibition/shop is only there for another couple of weeks, and I highly recommend visiting while you can – as you can see it’s quite stunning.
The popup shop at 47 Beak Street is open until January 25th; check the website for opening hours.
What started as a 24-hour ‘Hack Day’ project at my agency, Poke, has turned into legitimate charity fundraising website – meet The 100 Project.
The idea’s simple: 52 artists have donated an artwork, one of which will be auctioned off each week for a year with a starting price of £100. For every artwork that sells, a child is sponsored to complete a term at the Prince’s Drawing School in East London. Lovely, non?
The project launched last night with a packed exhibition of all the works in our reception space. The first piece, which happens to be by one of my favourite artists, Si Scott, is on sale right now, so check it out and have a bid. I’ve shared some of my other upcoming favourite pieces below. Which would you bid for?
Find out more about the project and see all the upcoming artworks here.
We’ve spent the days between Christmas and New Year doing some jobs around the house – mostly drilling into the walls to put up art and shelving. It’s starting to look much more homely now.
The living room has a red and gold scheme against the pale grey walls. We’re just waiting to put up the curtains and have some vintage chairs re-upholstered then I think this room will really pop into life.
The bathroom is the first room pretty much finished – it’s got touches of old-skool pharmacy with the vintage framed labels and bathmat (from H&M). The shelves are reclaimed wood left over from a kitchen worktop!
Loads of shelving and frames in my room to house all my precious stuff.
Josh’s boy den – I love how he’s hung his art in a tight formation one one wall, and the industrial metal shelves filled with old wooden crates look good.
Berlin is full of graffiti and street art. Most of the time it’s quantity over quality, with every building’s ground floor dabbed with tags and scribbles which just ruins the otherwise attractive townhouses. But there are several more organised areas where serious street artists go to work creating really interesting things.
Tacheles is a huge semi-derelict building which has been in its time a department store, Nazi SS headquarters and an electric company’s showroom. It’s now home to a collective of artists who use the building and grounds as a showroom and studio. Every inch inside, from stairwells to windows to ceilings, is covered in layers upon layers of graffiti, stickers and posters; it’s quite overwhelming to see. The courtyard in the back hosts more art installations and several bars.
The Stattbad, out in the northwest of town, is another disused building turned gallery – this time an old swimming baths. We went along to a night-time event here but probably turned up too early as not much was open. There was a great room of screenprinted posters though, and it was worth going just to wander around the creepy abandoned changing rooms and empty swimming pool.
There was a section of the Berlin Wall very near our hotel in Friedrichshain – the longest section still remaining – named the East Side Gallery, which was given over to artists to create murals celebrating the fall of the old regime. Some panels are just given over to scribbles but in general the murals are interesting and well-preserved.
And here’s just a few more of the better street art dotted around the city.