Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nothing New at William St Windows - 10 September

So I've just started schlepping walking to work from Paddington.  It's not a bad walk, about 30 minutes or so if determined and more like 40 if dawdling.  One of the side benefits (or positive externalities for any art loving economists out there) has been the City of Sydney sponsored William Street Windows (here's their website).  It is basically a couple of windows from a council owned building that have been taken over in a curatorial sense by Sophie Kitson.  I understand there are going to be a few shows from now until November.  The first show in the window, Nothing New, runs until 15 September - so you've only got a couple of days to check it out ...

Now I've been seeing the show twice daily for the last month, so I feel I am more than well qualified to opine on it.  Sophie has collected a bakers dozen of artists (thats 13 for the art loving non-bakers out there).  The show itself is an agglomeration of paintings that the artists just had lying about - hence they called it nothing new.  So far so literal.  Anyway, lots of random works and some have grown on me, some have not.  I am actually surprised how much I've enjoyed Tom Polo's Fleshy (top) on my daily walk past.  Am I just a whore for recognisable style or is Tom's naive oeuvre growing on me?  And is Andrew Frost's full court press to blame?  Part of me thinks that it is great you can be acknowledged as a painter without actually seeming to know how to paint.  That sounds like a terrible thing to say but really Tom will just have to learn to live with comments like that for. the. rest. of. his. life.  Unless he changes his style.  The jokes on all the haters anyway as it is a trick Tom seems to be pulling off over and over.  Certainly no "decorative obsequiousness" here.  Would I want one?  Hmmm, maybe.  I could go a 'Self Portrait with Lamington'.  I think I've mentioned a couple of times before that I am a big fan of tiki.  And I was really feeling an exotic vibe from Rosie Deacon's Face Feels series (above).  Again with the naive but this time with feeling.  And much brighter colours! I think a few high vis pinks, oranges and yellows.  Again, I could go for a few of these, and you'd need a few.  This is one of those pieces that works well displayed en masse but would look a little lame on its own.  I know from experience, I have a little Penny Byrne that looked great with its mates in the gallery but is pretty sad all by itself on my shelf (by the way, just checking out S+S website trying to remember Penny's name and it looks like she's been cut from the roster - tough gig this art biz).  Mitchel Cumming's this picture isn't absolute (below) was an interesting conceit.  Mitchel has copied the Tintin illustration of Professor Calculus from the coffee cup (foreground) into a diptych leaning against the wall.  Reason? None that I could think of. But luckily for Mitchel a lot of people like Tintin.  And I am one of them.  Other hits included Angela Garrick's colourful patterns, Anna Kristensen's Column and Emily Hunt's totes over the top collage work called Fermi's Paradox (image bottom).  This even has clocks embedded behind the canvas.  This was one of my early favourites but I feel now it has too much going on in it and I think I would prefer Emily to split this up into a series of 12 separate works.  Some of the squares are much better than the others.

Points:  This is a tough one.  Tom Polo will take the 3 points!  Keep up the good work.  My advice to artists is to beware using titles where the wikipedia entry threatens to be more interesting than your work.  Luckily for Emily Hunt her Fermi's Paradox just did it for me, and she will grab the 2 points.  1 point will go to Rosie for the tiki faces.  I love tiki all year round but especially at Father's Day as the junior critics buy me a tiki mug every year and this years was a beauty.

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