Friday, 23 April 2010

VIP Preview at Salon Contemporary

Johan Andersson, 2009, "Philippa"
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, the crowd on the sidewalk of Westbourne Grove is there for the private view of Salon Contemporary Gallery. On Wednesday, I went to see the opening of the "Best of the UK" which is an exhibition of 7 fine art graduates, picked out after a tough competition by the Salon Contemporary. Something tells me that when you see a woman dressed in a green monster costume lovingly massaging the temples of any random volunteer in the display window, you know that you are in for a treat.  One of Johan Andersson's portraits was the first thing I lay my eyes on and though, "crap, someone spilled green and red paint on it, uh-ohhhhh, I hope they got an insurance..."  But as it turned out, the colorful smudges were all part of the paintings. Personally, I thought the quality of the light, shadow and detailing were beautiful and weirdly enough, the imperfections made the paintings more perfect.  As the artist told me, it's the mistakes that are at times more important that the final product.  Art pieces (or anything else in life) that you consider to be a failure are the ones that you go back to and learn from because sometimes you need to allow a bit of destruction into your life. 
Johan Andersson, 2009, "Courage"

Johan Andersson, 2009, "Untitled"

In fact, I think this theme was also present in Ben Fielding's "Procrastination Table" which was a table with piano hammers and a saw handle attached to it.  It's pretty difficult to explain, but when u pull the saw handle, the hammers start moving and give the impression of cutting into the table.  When I asked the artist about the idea behind it, the reply was simple: he wanted to let everybody experience the pleasure of destroying a table. 

Ben Fielding, 2009, "Procrastination Table"

 There were two pieces that provoked the most conversation between me and other lovely guests, one of them being the playful "Flying Machine" by David Lisser.  It is an antique sewing machine with bird's wings attached to the sides and if you turned the wheel to try and make a stitch, the machine would suddenly come to life and attempt to fly away (bastard!). The point is, darlings, technology won't save us and no matter how many wings or feathers we attach to yourselves, it will probably be some stupid volcano that will finish us off.  As fascinating as the flying machine was, I felt uneasy about those wings (I had a pet parrot once) and I was discussing how hypocritical it was of me to feel this way the moment i eat meat, wear leather, suede and fur but that's an entirely different discussion. 
David Lisser, 2009, "Flying Machine"

 The piece that I just couldn't figure out though, was called (get ready) : "The time I played on pirate territory I met a Somali fisherman who told me one cannot expect to draw borders in the water for oil or money or fish" by Louise Thomas. No idea what it means. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out and couldn't. Please leave a comment if you get any ideas.
Louise Thomas, 2009, "The time I played on pirate territory I met a Somali fisherman who told me one cannot expect to draw borders in the water for oil or money or fish"
If you're into contemporary art, then this exhibition is definitely for you and keep in mind that I've only included my favorite pieces, there's loads more to see!  The bottom line is that when you're in a building full of food for thought, a glass of chilled wine, and lovely people who speak the same language as you (and I don't mean English), what else do you need and isn't that the whole point of art altogether? Thank you Salon Contemporary for a lovely night, and oh, that Lady Gaga will be mine one day!!!!!



  1. 'Pump Action Table' =)

  2. Thanks Anonymous