17th February 2011
There are some things one can find only in the capital, and I may just
have discovered one of those things tonight.
That is, an exhibition of the art you normally see in back street galleries
in London that you admire but could never imagine buying it at "that
price." Don't get me wrong, it's worthy art but the setting and the
prices displayed in such large numbers seem to distance the average visitor
from enjoying the work somehow. The setting was the upstairs venue space
in Leaf on Bold Street and the prices were occasionally enough to fill
a minimal chunk of the budget deficit! Leaf's white walls and lounge music
ambiance did seem though, to distract from the works on show.
Temper, dubbed the Original Graffiti King, is indeed a fine artist with
much to recommend in his oeuvre, but there was definitely something missing
from the atmosphere; something needed to make the works stand out more.
Shows of this nature usually have a passion or indefinable cool present,
and despite the excellent work on offer Beyond
Graffiti seemed to bubble underneath, never to deliver on the promise
it initially made. But, this aside, let's take a look at what was on offer
should you have a couple of thousand put aside for just the right occasion...
I Can Control was a beautiful abstract
piece with a nude, chained up and looking unbothered, her head replaced
by a spray cap, the nozzle seemingly bleeding from the eye. This piece,
although clearly graffiti influenced, sat well in its art gallery style
frame and would be an excellent addition to the average art collector’s
gallery. The same goes for Protected Identity,
where a nude viewed from the back is masked by a plume of black aerosol
paint like an explosion. Pushing Back Sunlight,
selling at a cool £30,000, is from a painting of a nude, painted
in the classical style but still imbued with a sense of the modern art
vibe. It's debatable whether you'd pay such an amount for the piece, but
its beauty should not be denied in any way.
Elsewhere we have some iconic portraits of various celebrities, mostly
deceased, such as Diana, Jim Morrison, Elvis and James Dean (spot the
odd one out from those four names...). There is also a demographic pleasing
two piece set entitled Everton that
seems to serve no purpose - to me at least - other than to say that you
are indeed in Liverpool at a street art show.
Overall, I enjoyed the work on show but there was a definite sense of
a lack of atmosphere where there really should have been something to
bring the urban heart of the pieces to the fore. This show was unfortunately
for one night only but if ever Temper rolls up in your town, come and
have a look - just a look, mind - at some art you will probably never
see on your wall!