Posts Tagged ‘Urban Art’

Blackpaint 649 – RA, Valloton, Urban Art and Two Killings

July 9, 2019

RA Summer Exhibition until 12th August

Second visit to the summer show – yes, astonishing to relate, I was rejected yet again this year – but I think I have managed not to let annoyance cloud my judgement.  Several of my favourites below:  apologies to the artist who produced the collection of bizarre figures behind the tiny fence; didn’t get the name.


George Blacklock


Blacklock again – same size, I think, as the first one, despite the different sizes of the photographs.


Frank Bowling, one of his “crusted” pictures


???  Tried to think of a comparison for this one – could only come up with two possibilities, both painters:  James Ensor and John Bellany.  Well, maybe, at a stretch…



Christopher le Brun – paintings, that is; apologies to the sculptor. another one whose name I didn’t get.  The Le Bruns are better “in the flesh” than in the photo.



RA Students Exhibition – finished now, I’m afraid, but I thought these two were striking…


Rachel Jones

It’s all about the colour, to state the obvious.  I should point out that it’s very large, as is the picture below.


Lucas Dillon

Christopher Wool meets Day of the Triffids.


RA,  Felix Valloton, until 29th September

Swiss artist of multiple talents, member of the Nabi group; some of his paintings resemble those interiors of Vuillard, with less “surface”.  They are composed of flat areas of colour, often lit from within, sometimes verging on illustration or even cartoon; there are several paintings containing nude women – not the painting below – in which the flesh is uniformly grey/white, almost a dead quality.  In my opinion, he’s like Augustus John – that is, hugely talented, but with variable artistic taste.


My personal favourite; only a small work, but impressive.


Vuillard colours, but flat surfaces…


Strangely like Norman Rockwell….


Internal lighting – great design. like a print.


Still Life, which resembles William Nicholson.  It’s hard (for me, anyway) to think of a painter with more variety of styles.

A Short Film About Killing –  Kieslowski 1987


An hour long version of this film comprises The 5th episode of Kieslowski’s “Dekalog“, based loosely on the Ten Commandments; it’s the one. not surprisingly.  dealing with murder – both by the individual criminal and the state.  It seems clear to me that the director considers the hanging of the young killer to be somehow equivalent to the murder.  He is shown to be feckless, randomly violent, relentless, stupid; but he gets on well with children, grieves for his dead little sister and the taxi driver he murders is a sleazy character, possibly a sexual predator; the execution scene is shocking and prominence is given to the lawyer’s horror-stricken reaction and anti- hanging statements.  Nevertheless….

Interesting to compare it to the much longer “Badlands” (Malick); in the latter, the director took no moral stance towards the killer, “allowing” the events and the commentary of Sissy Spacek’s character to speak.  Of course, in neither case do we know how much truth there is in the portrayal.  Both “A Short Film” and the two volumes of “Dekalog” are available on DVD on the Artificial Eye label.


Urban Art, Josephine Avenue, Brixton

Sold at the weekend at Urban Art in Brixton. the three Blackpaint paintings below:


Storm Front




White Line Fever 2

Another great weekend under the big trees in Brixton – well done again, Tim Sutton (organiser) and all volunteers.  This was the 18th year of Urban Art, I understand…







Blackpaint 286

July 19, 2011

Steve Bell and Martin Rowson

Interesting to compare and contrast the differing approaches of these two Guardian cartoonists to the phone hacking scandal.  Bell has homed in on Rupert Murdoch’s obvious fondness for Rebekah Brooks; in his strip, the old man wants Brooks to replace the “Windsor bitch” (or rather, “butch”) as queen, but wants a shag first.  In the next strip she is dead – a comment on her pallor, presumably – which is not a problem for Rupert. as he isn’t averse to necrophilia… the strip alleges.

Rowson is rather easier on her; he portrays her before the upcoming MPs commitee, standing on a stool, like the Cavalier kid in the famous painting, “When did you last see your father?”  She is saying to her inquisitors, “When did your balls grow back?”, or similar words.  This has the effect of drawing the reader to her side, as the persecuted victim, spitting defiance at her hypocritical questioners, standing bravely against tyranny.

The Bell approach is crude, scurrilous and over the top;  I like it for that reason.

Rowson’s idea contains a great truth; these MP’s committees often have a lot of posturing and sanctimony, from MPs who fancy themselves as Rumpoles – bit early to be changing the focus and fostering sympathy for the Murdoch side, though; I think they’re quite capable of looking after themselves and even “blagging” their way through to a result.

Urban Art, Brixton

Spent Saturday and Sunday standing under stair rods of rain or waving away clouds of little gnat – like flies under a chestnut tree in Josephine Avenue, re-arranging pictures every 5 minutes in an attempt to trap customers.  Everyone else there seemed to have some sort of “thing” they did – paintings of kitchen chairs and tables and frying pans, fish prints, graffiti style “street” spray paintings, dog and cat portraits, imitation butterflies in box frames, swimmers at the lido….  Abstract paintings on canvas pretty thin on the ground.  There’s no way you can be sure that your work will sell; should it be bigger, smaller, under glass??  Total lottery.  Lots of visitors though, even in the pouring rain.

Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”

Very PK Dick- like future story, set in Russia; a Stalker takes people to the Zone and guides them around the deserted area hit by a meteorite or a missile or something, and forbidden of course; there, you can confront your inner self, desires, fears, in a room.  You can’t go directly or come back the same way; the Stalker has to throw sheets wrapped around metal nuts.  where these land, that’s the way you go.  Derivative story, fantastic images; Tarkovsky does that thing of switching to colour in the Zone, B & W outside.  Not original; Bertolucci’s “Before the Revolution” has it – but effective, all the same.