With a three week window to create something under the intermittent gaze of the public, a mess of cardboard shifted around between wall and floor and in a blizzard of masking tape and pen drawings some sort of Mary Poppins cityscape materialised on the closing night. Expectation were not high for this new viewing.
This time out things are markedly different, though the subject matter has echoes. The bulk of the art consisted of moderate sized canvasses featuring elevated city views, levitating girls and retro hi-fi objets.
The dungeon walls had been wiped with the oiliest grimiest smears seen on a gallery space for a long time. What was an evil flagstone floored brick lined cellar has ground down a notch further into a subterranean crypt like gloom, and the ambience perfectly suited the murky pieces on the wall. It was also the exact opposite of what is required for decent photography so apologies for the shitty photos here.
The pallete is dominated by shades of black and dirty grey, the execution is striking for its heavy pen dribbles. With cityscapes littered with wrecked cars and littered with discarded shopping trolleys, this is sub-sonic richter scale dirty gorgeous and ugly, Deadbeat Donny has really rammed the urban up art’s jacksie.
In the second cellar (there is a third cellar, which goes under the pavement but that is so grim you’d want to clean your coal after storing it in there) a cardboard encased TV shows details of Deadbeat Donny’s hands brushes and pens at work while the walls hold a large number of postcard sized frames of notebook jottings and pages from ornithological books. This kind of artists’ workings exposed is becoming more and more common, it almost always looks like a dead aunts loft has been cleared out and its not clear that this is a good thing.
The two partners forming Deadbeat Donny preserved a mysterious non-personna, though it would be bizarre not to mention that they are very well known to a large number of street art forum-istas who shop for their prints at Pictures on Walls. On a previous meeting at Open Studio, Deadbeat had been, to say the least, diffident about discussing their achievements, so the self-effacing approach at this show’s opening seems in character. This didn’t deter a fairly stellar audience of people who really can make things move and shake in the urban art world from turning out.
Set of photos here