Beak St, London
11 Nov – 24 Dec 08
In a world straddled by the behemoths such as PoW, Souled Out Studios and BRP, comparatively un-sung boutique urban art print operations like Little Art Book come as a more personable and significantly less frantic tonic. For a start, consider the free-at-the-door limited edition show print; if BRP did that you’d have to close Shoreditch High Street and hire Madonna’s bouncers for the queue.
Shout to The Krah who whether the wall is indoors or outside unfailingly pulls off an inventive, detailed and flowing piece of fantasy art. The main wall piece flows across a canvas, a practise which always strikes me as curious because if you buy the canvas you leave behind on the gallery wall a chunk of the composition many times the size of your painting. Anyway, the painting contains oodles of Krah signature surrealism, acid references, manic faces growing out of twisting organic limbs and a fluid looking being with hair on fire.
The canvas is entitled The Arsonist but check out the detail, psychotic grins and bulging eyes suggest much more powerful pyromaniac demons. The background has a very graphic tapered design which deliberately emphasises the counter flow to the slanting drift of the burning figure’s body.
Main attraction for buyers was the release of two prints, Minnie and Mickey by Rugman. The prints themselves are not un-pleasant, undeniably technically well done and the hand finished comic book collage provides satisfaction for uniqueness fetishists but, even allowing for a seasonal Halloween uptick, there is no way around the thought that it’s another damn cliché, in fact two clichés, done to death. See what I did there…skull…done to death…oh please yourselves.
Rugman – Minnie
Before looking at a couple other hot prints, an apology for the quality of the photos. They are even more shite than usual as using flash in the Soho drinking den gloom was un-avoidable and meant taking pics stage right.
A new name to this blog and artist responsible for stand-out print is Gabriel Moreno whose “Hard Woman”, a hand pulled two colour screen print rocks. Possibly literally, the prominent female looks a bit like Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) whose wacky and endearing fashion kookiness hadn’t hitherto brought GBH to mind. (to prove how that Id could be a million miles off target – what’s Jimi doing there?)
Semi naked skinheads with bondage will undoubtedly grab the Old Compton Street crowd but Vilchez covers all bases by partnering the homo-erotic images with a tattoo’d babe in a bikini.
Vilchez – Tree Of Dreams (photo shamelessly stolen from LittleArtBook)
Special mention to Rourke Van Dal whose Not On Your Nelly print got a warm reception upon release and looks stunningly punk in the flesh, mild surprise to find that it is still available is appropriate. Perhaps it’s the un-forgivable pun in the name that put people off?
Piss poor pics of most of the other prints from the show here