It is interesting to see how a gallery handles two "solo" shows at once. In SSFA's new space they have one on the ground floor and one upstairs. My working assumption is that the highest profile artist gets the ground floor. This suspicion was confirmed by (a) the relative prices, and (b) the catalogue discrepancy. Darren has been lavished with a glossy 14 page catalogue whilst his colleague upstairs (Arlene Textaqueen, reviewed next) made do with the announcement card.
I liked his photo's, and I get the twist that they are staged but I guess I am not really a photography collector as I am not sure I can come at the prices being asked here. Although I did like the merchandising that SSFA had come up with, there were options for everyone. For a 120x160cm edition of 5 you could buy one framed for $9,900 or one unframed for $8,800. There were even smaller versions, 90x120cm edition of 8, unframed for $4,950 or framed for $5,720. There were some red dots appearing over the course of the night so there are some photo collectors out there. I did like his patches (pictured). Darren has done these mid sized cloth badges that reference the NASA program, they are 41x34cm and look really nice framed against a black backdrop, $1,500 each or $9,900 for the series of 9. They really appealed to the uniform designer in me and I immediately pencilled Darren in for my country rugby league show (something we would love to put on here at Big Lamington).
Points - must go to the patches, and given they are sold individually I will pick my top two: 3 to the flame and 2 for the tall ship. 1 point for 'Hi', it is always hard to go past a pretty girl. Also,a 'highly commended' to Art Month Sydney who had picked SSFA to host 'Art Bar', the beers were flowing freely all night which makes a nice change from the wine & cheese!