Saturday, October 30, 2010

Joan Ross at GBK - 30 October

Next up was Joan Ross at GBK (acronyms come in handy when the full name is 'gallery barry keldoulis'). In my opinion this left Ben Quilty at grantpirrie for dead. GBK also took it up a notch in terms of Saturday staffing and had three gallerists on duty. I assume Barry his-self was present but no one really introduces themselves these days, and I certainly don't until I get my three year old out of there without breaking anything.

'Enter at your own risk' as the artists show is called lives up to its name as both my daughter and I had to don bright fluoro yellow vests to see the show. We both loved the gimmick. The main part of the show is this living room of essentially op shop finds that have been 'upcycled' into what GBK is hoping the punters consider art at reasonably high prices.

My daughter, demonstrating a precocious talent for spotting the good stuff, settled on a large ceramic dog that had been painted fluoro yellow - yours for $4,500. I am a bargain hunter at heart and would have settled for a small ceramic bird that had a fluoro yellow vinyl hammerhead looking head piece attached to it - a steal at $900. At least I assume it was - you had to look at the room sheet which had a list of works and prices and then a low res photo of the room where these pieces could be found. A reasonably hard task given the names of most pieces didn't really correspond to their form. My bird was called, I think, 'Pirate of the Tasman'.
Moving into the backyard we came across a series that would be happily added to the family collection. 'When I grow up I want to be a forger' is a video piece that was meant to have been commissioned by the Newcastle art gallery for their exhibit 'curious colony'. I will definitely be checking this show out when it comes to Sydney in the new year. My daughter loved this one and we watched it many times, mainly I think as some of the small red characters look like the pontypines from in the night garden, I am not sure this is what the artist intended. By the third viewing this piece had grown on me but luckily for our bank account the video was all sold out, this only being an edition of 5 plus one A/P. I am not really across the mechanics of video work but couldn't we burn another DVD? If anyone bought this I am very willing to purchase a pirated copy! The name of the work is practically daring people to forge a couple of extras. Maybe next week I just take my flip video camera and make my own shaky version, appropriation Richard Prince style ...

I would've happily settled for a print that came out of the video. There are three different but similar images of 'Once upon a time in Great Parrotland" which are an homage to colonial artist Joseph Lycett (which yours truly, without knowing it actually guessed - I put it down to growing up in the Hunter). At $3,500 for an edition of 5 I thought these prints were pushing it a little (given a digital print is just a big photo blow-up). Oh and by the way mounting the print was an extra $380 as the room sheet helpfully pointed out. Please, $3.5k and now I need to mount this photocopy? Anyway ....

My three year old art critic by now had wandered off to explore the stockroom. She didn't think much of Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healy's lego works (I agreed, Daddy could smash those guys at lego). She did however, love Sean's shopping trolley mash up (two shopping trolleys joined like siamese twins) and passed this feedback on to the gallerists upon departure.

Points: 3 - the video work, 2 - Parrotland prints, 1 - Sean's shopping trolley (the fluoro vests get an honorable mention).

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