Thursday, 14 May 2015

Great times at Brattwell Recordings/Lightship95 Studio

Yesterday Team Beswick & Pye climbed aboard Lightship95, a recording studio on a ship, permanently moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London. They were there to drink tea and document the recording of "Revolution" by The Spamned and extra special guest Neil Innes. The footage will be screened at a Beatles themed charity event in aid of House of Fairy Tales.
One: Scabies at The 02
Two: The cat in the hat
Three: Micko in the studio
Four: The Spamned
Five: Ship Ahoy
Six: Rat and Rory at the controls
Seven: Praying "It's Gonna Be All - Right"
Eight: Rat Reading
Nine: "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao"
Ten: Gordon "Cameraman" Beswick
Eleven: "The Pye's The Limit"
Twelve: "All - Right"
Thirteen: Bit of a Blur
Fourteen: The Inspirational Mr Innes
Fifteen: "Nothing like a nice cup of tea"
Sixteen: Neil and Kevin. ------------------- The Spamned (A.K.A. Scabies, Eldon, Westmoreland, Panter) have also recorded a cover of The Clash classic "Tommy Gun." The track will appear on a compilation CD called "Specialized 4: Combat Cancer" which is sold in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust. More news soon.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Chalkie Davies at National Museum Cardiff

Chalkie Davies is responsible for many of my favourite photos of my favourite bands. I'm really glad a collection of his early works, taken during his days with the NME and The Face magazine, is being displayed at the National Museum Cardiff from May 9 until September 6. Chalkie was recently interviewed by The Guardian and told them he's doing the show as he feels the time is right for his story to be told... “(My tale is)how a kid from Sully can go to London all alone, and end up getting the one job he always wanted, and then to work with all the people he admired, to help shape and mould them visually, to create the images the fans would see, and most importantly remember.
“That’s the key to it all, the images must be definitive, iconic I guess, and if kids put those photos on their bedroom wall then I had done my job properly.” Yesterday I was in the company of original Damned drummer Rat Scabies and 2-Tone legend Horace Panter. I brought copy of Chalkie's excellent book ("Pointed Portraits") along. Scabies and Panter both had very positive memories of Davies both of them were saying they thought he was a great photographer and great person to hang out with too.
Chalkie's exhibition has been supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery and entry is free.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Q & A with Astrid Horkheimer

Coming soon... In August this year I'm launcing a project called: "Life of Pye: Harry's 42 Collaborations". To celebrate being 42 years young I'm going to make a collaborative work with 42 artists I admire. Astrid Horkheimer and I are both Elvis fans. Elvis died at 42 and so we're currently working on a new artwork.
"Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, the wise are not affected by praise or blame."

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Secret 7 show

Secret 7 show is on at Somerset House 10 April – 3 May 2015 Sale day Monday, 4 May 2015 Daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.15) Terrace Rooms, South Wing Free admission Secret 7”, the annual project that brings music and art together for a good cause, has returned for 2015 bigger and better than ever before. Taking place throughout April, the exhibition has moved to a new home at Somerset House. As with years gone by, the list of contributors for 2015 reads like a who’s who of the most culturally important artists, designers and creatives around. Notable contributors include Sir Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, Julian Opie, David Shrigley, Martin Parr, Sir Paul Smith, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Bob & Roberta Smith, Jessica Voorsanger, Emma Ridgway, Andy Vella, Tinsel Edwards & Harry Pye to name a few. All these and hundreds more have created bespoke, one-of-a-kind sleeve designs for seven iconic tracks, as revealed back in January as: The Rolling Stones – Dead Flowers; Diana Ross & The Supremes – Reflections; Underworld – Born Slippy (Nuxx); The Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be; St Vincent – Digital Witness; Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer; The Maccabees – Go. For those not in the know, the concept is simple: each year Secret 7” take an iconic track from seven legendary musicians and press each one 100 times to vinyl. Each record receives a one-of-a-kind sleeve, as designed by 700 creatives, which will be displayed in a month-long exhibition. On 4 May, all the sleeves go on sale for the uniform price of £50 to the general public. The only catch is that the buyer won’t know who the record is by, or who has designed the sleeve until they have parted with their cash. Therein lies the secret…

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Interview with the artists from Demolition Derby

The Demolition Derby exhibition at Fold (158 New Cavendish st) featuring Laura Bygrave, Luke Gottelier, Kes Richardson, and Rose Wylie ends on Saturday the 18th of April. Miss it and miss out...
The Rebel Magazine: Can you describe the works of yours that were exhibited in the show?
Kes Richardson: "Three paintings from my Gardeners series, all based on a Van Gogh painting of the same title from The National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. The gardener motif is used as a homage to heroes instrumental in the development of painting (Van Gogh and Cezanne) and also to evoke a shaman-like mysticism and connection to the natural world. Three things struck me about the Van Gogh painting: its luminosity; the graphic green, white and red of the shirt; the integration of the figure and ground. I made two small marker-pen drawings, reducing the figure to a number of geometric forms that had a freshness but needed more visual complexity. By tearing one drawing into pieces and collaging it onto the other I arrived at something with more energy. I scaled one of the drawings up to make two identical paintings. The second drawing was then painted onto a separate canvas that was cut into several pieces; half collaged onto one painting, half onto the other. The third painting in the show is a reworking of a piece from 2012 called Vegetable, Animal, Mineral. Like the other two I scaled up and added the gardener motif and then semi-obliterated it with layers (blue lines then cherries) from other bodies of recent work dealing with chance and chaos."
Laura Bygrave: "I exhibited two large cut-outs, ‘Garden’ and ‘Silver Druid’, made from painted papers that were cut and stuck onto a drawing. These are the latest works from a cycle of paintings I have been reworking for the last three years. They originate from a book I made called The God of Number Zero, a story about a parallel cosmic underworld. I have been reworking 50 images from the book, passing them through a different medium, subjecting them to a different process of reproduction or overlaying entirely new imagery to try and find something more concrete or vital in them. The two shown in the exhibition are the largest yet, where I have reworked the paintings by flattening them into planes of coloured paper to become more crystallized visually. I think of them as very self-conscious images. The sculptures that are shown were made last year while I was reworking a previous cycle of paintings. At the time I was reading about women in mythology and was interested in the images of women who were demonized throughout history; these ideas were also present in my book The God of Number Zero and the sculptures are effigies of the female figures that reoccur throughout the story. ‘Frances’ is made out of polystyrene and paper. It was an accumulative way of building a body, laying thin news print paper over a polystyrene armature, like layering skin onto a skeleton. Using flattened planes on a 3D object, switching back and forth from surface to object to create discordance in the body when parts did not add up as a whole. I think of ‘Frances’ as the sculptural embodiment of my ideas about reiteration and reinvention - I was thinking about the idea of a woman as a figure that can eat her own waste, to excrete it and then ingest it again, which is really the process I go through to make something. She also derives from my interest in witch trials. She is a woman doubled up to perform the ‘kiss of shame’ on her self – a ritual women were accused of performing on other witches in the middle ages and charged with witchcraft.
Similarly ‘Lilith’ (see above) was made through a curiosity to see what happens when I apply the way I think about making a painting onto a sculpture, by switching typical two dimensional and three dimensional devises, such as modeling and mark making. I was able to capture the interaction between nuclear light and the shadows on a face as found in the book by superimposing the exaggerated cartoon mark-making directly on to the object. The title derives from the mythological Lilith from ancient Mesopotamia and her various forms throughout history, particularly as a bad woman and an immortal succubus".
Luke Gottelier: "I suffocated one of my old paintings with 24 carat gold leaf. I made an old painting into an ashtray. The director of Fold used this for the duration of the exhibition. I glued a box of fireworks onto an old painting and set them alight."
Rose Wylie: Billie Piper Not sure how to describe it...except that it is a stapled painting. It looks more like something found hanging in an old Paris slightly grand hotel, rather than a painting. The whole colour works OK for this. And with the dis junctions of the added white paper, and the'likeness' to Billie Piper contrasting with the 'lines' for her arms ending in combs, the painting has ended up as a game of consequences. The shoes added to that, and finished it. Bird with Worm A bird sitting on paint."
Of the work by other artists in the show, were there any that you were particularly drawn to or impressed by?
Kes: Luke's 'Ashtray' strikes a chord with me. Its transformation of status from painting to receptacle is so simple and direct. It implies a per formative element, like a prop, adding a tangible whiff of a pathos and gentle humour to the show. Laura's stoic drawing/sculpture 'Lilith', belligerently standing her ground - a dug up artefact that doesn't quite fit in. Her Garden piece is also strong and Rose's fresh paper collage over an old oil painting is really exciting." Laura: "Of the other works in the show I was particularly drawn to Rose Wylie’s painting ‘Suez War’. Kes showed me an image before the show opened and I was so excited to see a painting from this point of Wylie’s career. I like what she does now, but there is something in that period of her work that strikes a chord in me. During the opening night I got to see the painting in the flesh and I was so pleased to meet Rose in person, she told me how the head in the middle of the painting was reworked over many years, painted again and again. I got the impression it wasn’t necessarily because it wasn’t ‘right’ but because it had almost become a ritual. The paint is so turgid now, it is almost sculptural, like an Ancient Greek carved relief panel." Rose: "The whole show looked very impressive as you walked down the stairs... Fresh and resolute, and beautifully hung. I missed seeing Luke's red car... But the catalogue was ace."
Luke: "I love Rose Wylie's paintings. She used to teach my wife's granny how to paint in Tunbridge Wells. Rose just gets better and better."
What was the most positive experience connected to being in the Demolition Derby show?
Kes: "Being part of an exhibition where each artist had a say and where every piece of work holds its own but contributes to an overall shared sensibility. Ross Taylor absolutely nailing that feeling in his brilliant piece of writing for the catalogue. Laura: "It was the first time I had shown my cut-outs and sculptures. It was one of those occasions where people came up to me and mentioned what the works reminded them of or the associations that were triggered for them and I was really delighted to find they were things that I considered when I made the works – ideas about the body as a cyclical thing in ‘Frances’, the biblical and sexual connotations in ‘Garden’, the way the body in ‘Silver Druid’ seemed like a fragmented, ancient body, but also futuristic. All that pleased me!"
Rose: "To meet the artists and see their work. And, Kes sent me a whole lot of images of terrific Polke drawings, on at David Zwirner, which I otherwise wouldn't've seen." Luke: "Giving the director of Fold an excuse to write off his cigarette habit against tax."
Are there any contemporary art shows on in London at the moment that you think are as good as or better than Demolition Derby? Luke: "Sigmar Polke early works on paper at Michael Werner." Kes: "Polke's early works on paper at Michael Werner is great and I chuckled my way round the Baldessari at Marian Goodman but otherwise it's the odd painting here and there. Group shows are a let down more often than not."
Laura: "I have been living in Amsterdam since September so haven’t had the chance to go back to London to see any recent shows, however Mike Pratt’s show at Juliette Jongma in Amsterdam was great. I also felt there were strong connections to DD in a show at W139 in Amsterdam, although different themes are explored across the two exhibitions I definitely sensed similar working processes used by the artists - reinvention, repetition, distillation, and using failure as a productive force." Rose: "Haven't been to any, except mine."
What's next for you? Luke: "I need to collect a lot of ball hair for my next piece, so please get in touch with Fold if you have ball hair you would like to donate." Kes: "Bigger paintings." Laura: "At the moment I am making a new series of cut-outs, and preparing to make some large scale sculptures in Norfolk over the summer." Rose: "Solo space at the Cologne Art Fair of 5 'Black Strap' painting ( 6x12ft each) (the complete set) (( yipee)); and some A1 etchings of same subject. And, in May, a 12x12ft endangered-animal painting to show with Andy Warhol's prints of endangered-species in the Azerbaijan Pavillion, Venice Biennale 2015. Solo show at K Space, Seoul, 2016" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rose Wylie has a solo show on at The Union Gallery in London, A solo show of work on paper at the Thomas Erben Gallery in NY, and a solo show at Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Rise and Rise of Francis Macdonald

I only have good things to say about Francis Macdonald and I'm very pleased his latest album is receiving great responses, great reviews and great sales. The List heard "Music For String Quartet, Piano and Celeste" (On TR7 Records) and said: "Minimalist compositions are a triumph. Stylistically stark with a warm and comforting core." Whilst Will Fitzpatrick of The Skinny magazine wrote... "Recorded in Mogwai’s Glasgow studio, Music For String Quartet… is a collection of minimalist compositions drawing on the likes of Philip Glass and Yann Tiersen, as well as his own soundtrack work. Perhaps predictably, it’s also quite lovely." Tracks from the album have been played on both Classic FM and by Jarvis Cocker on BBC6 music. The Scotsman described "Music For String Quartet, Piano And Celeste" as "fine and beautiful". Makes you want to buy it, right? The album is available from iTunes, Amazon,Spotify, eMusic, Napster. The Rebel Magazine's verdict: "Album of the year!"

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Exhibition at The A Side B Side Gallery in September 2015

"London, New York, Paris, Munich: Everyone's Talking about Pop Music" is an exhibition curated by Harry Pye with Astrid Horkheimer taking place in Hackney Downs Studio this Summer which will co-incide with the album launch of Micko Westmoreland's Your's ETC Abc A galaxy of stars will be exhibiting ART connected to POP including...
Dominic from Luton (a.k.a Dominic Allan) has exhibited his work at Cardiff Contemporary, The Saatchi Gallery in London and The Phoenix Gallery in Exeter. The above image is "Paul Young from Luton" (2013 c-type print)
Julie Bennett creates distinctive gestural paintings to critically engage with the discourse surrounding the cult of celebrity in contemporary society. Bennett looks at the effect of fame, glamour and beauty through the re-appropriation of mass-mediated images of anonymous faces surrounding celebrities. She translates every day faces into bold, aspirational multi-layered works of art.Bennett has exhibited solo and in various group exhibitions. National exhibitions include those at Victoria and Albert Museum (2010), Sartorial Gallery (2009), Saatchi online (2008) and Transition Gallery (2008). Astrid Horkheimer is a writer and curator. She will be exhibiting Pop Art collages and her old secondary schoolbooks from 1987 like below:
Sarah Doyle has shown her art internationally in Japan, New York and Germany and has collaborated with Elle magazine, Transition Gallery, Tatty Devine, Surface 2 Air, Marmalade Magazine, Arty Magazine. Her animation work was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of the Late Nights Programme and she was the winner of the New Artist Category at The Elle Style Awards. Sarah studied Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and Central Saint Martins College of Art London. Paul Hamilton wrote an award-winning book about Peter Cook, was the film critic for The Idler magazine for 10 years, and has made some albums with bands no-one has ever heard of (Yellowjack, anyone? Bisonics mean anything?).
Bob London is an artist and illustrator. He has exhibited worldwide, and drawn live at various events including 'Heavy Pencil' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. He has previously been selected for the BP Portrait Awards exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Hugh Mendes has had solo shows of his obituary paintings in London, Frankfurt and California.His work can be found in the collections of Bill Wyman, Jerry Hall and Kenny Schachter, and Wooster projections in New York. (Above is Hugh's obituary painting of Captain Beefheart.)
Liam Scully is an artist and curator who has had solo shows at The Residence Gallery.
Geraldine Swayne is an artist and musician. She often works in miniature in enamel on metal.She's had recent shows at The Fine Art Society, The Jerwood Space, and The Lawrence Alkin Gallery.
Team Beswick & Pye is a duo which consists of Gordon Beswick and Harry Pye. Gordon Beswick was educated at Newcastle Under Lyme and Brighton College of Art. Gordon Beswick’s films have been shown at Tate Britain, The South London Gallery and The Institute of Contemporary Art. Harry Pye has curated many exhibitions including ‘100 Mothers’, ‘Viva Pablo’ and ‘For Peel’. Collaborative paintings by Gordon and Harry have appeared in celebrated shows at Sartorial Contemporary Art in King’s Cross and Galeria Thomas Cohn in Sao Paulo. In November 2012 Beswick & Pye were featured in The Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Gallery. Their painting of Brian Jones (see above) is featured on the gate fold sleeve of Micko Westmoreland's album.
Barry Thompson is an award winning artist who graduated from The Royal College in 2005.He will be exhibiting 3 works inspired by his love of Kurt Cobain. Sandra Turnbull is a painter whose works have been exhibited at Elefest, The Woburn Gallery, and Chester University. Before becoming a full time artist, Sandra worked in the music industry, managing talent including Eurythmics, Shakespeare's Sister and Londonbeat.