Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wim Delvoye at Roslyn Oxley - 15 February

Wim Delvoye is the man of the moment with a big show down at MONA right, but until we can get down to Hobart the team will have to make do with Roslyn Oxley bringing the big names to Paddington. I really enjoyed this show, there was a little bit of everything - laser cut scale models, tattooed pigskins and some of his drawings.

The first thing you notice when you enter the room is undoubtedly the laser cut sculptures. These are made with laser cut steel that looks a little like what the meccano folks would have done if they had a gothic church to build. I was here with one of my junior art critics who absolutely loved the dump truck, at EUR 242k I was just hoping he wouldn't touch it! We continued 'just looking with our eyes' at the other sculptures. A 1:4 scale model concrete mixer (very bob the builder) and a 1:10 pergola. No red dots on these yet, maybe the punters are hoping the euro drops a little before this show closes on March 3. On to the pig skins. I thought this was the greatest concept on show today. I've read that he has a factory over in China where he gets the pig skin tats done as a German court decreed it was a little cruel! Yes folks he does ink these pigs whilst alive but they do get an anaesthetic which is probably better than what happens to the cattle we ship off to Indo ... Visually you can't escape the fact you are looking at the full hide here, you see the holes for the eyes, the nose, the hair on the skin. My only complaint is that I didn't really like the actual tattoos that much ('Liberty Bell' pictured above, hey Wim where is the crack in the bell?), but then I'm more of an old school Sailor Jerry tattoo fan myself. That said, at EUR 148.5k a throw I think I might have to look into getting a pirate version when I head over to China this year. For me the tattoo flash was a nice bit of filler but Wim's cheaper stuff is still EUR 18k+ so we made do with the postcard. Overall an impressive show that makes me want to get down to Hobart to see his other work (including the infamous Cloaca) soon.

Points. I'll let my 2 year old critic award the points today. I mean it as a compliment that the show appealed to us both! Obviously the 3 points will go to the 'Dump Truck', I agree it was a pretty amazing piece. I loved the tattooed pigskin concept but found it hard to find a favourite here. My colleague reckoned the 'Butterflies / Jesus Inside' was the top pick amongst the skins, 2 points. Finally, we'll give a point to the tattoo flash drawings, 'Untitled (tattoo drawing #1)' will get the 1 point as the judge liked the grey cherries and the orange flames.

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