Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reko Rennie at AGNSW - 13 September

So I am not very technical, but one of the things I like about blogger is the 'schedule' function as it allows me to travel back in time and pretend to post this on 13 September, when I actually visited this exhibition, as opposed to todays date which is a week and half later.  Luckily you all still have time to see this work, as the AGNSW has this up until November 30.  And you should definitely see it.  The AGNSW's contemporary space has been kicking a lot of goals recently.  Well, by recently, I mean I liked Tony Albert's Projecting our Future in July 2013 and Tony Garifalakas' Mob Rule in July of this year.

That said, Reko Rennie's work 'No Sleep till Dreamtime' (full image top & bottom) isn't actually in the contemporary project space.  That whole floor is being renovated for the summer Pop show so this project is downstairs in the aboriginal galleries.  Which is a bit disappointing to me as there were plenty of crowds on the main level but only about 4 others punters downstairs when I visited.  Now I like this on a number of levels.  Firstly, great title.  I am, as Reko obviously is, a bit of a fan of the Beastie Boys (except for their suing of a great toy company Goldie Blox for using a song in an AWESOME youtube commercial - my daughters have some of the toys and they still watch this ad on youtube) and Reko is taking inspiration from their No Sleep till Brooklyn.  The hip hop vibe totally ties in with the street origins of Reko's style.  Secondly, Reko's has really trademarked a street style especially the tagged crown, diamond and flag symbols common in much of his recent work. I also really liked the 'deadly' (image bottom) in the stylised font, but as I have said many times.  I am a sucker for text in art.  The stencils were also very cool.  These you had to get up close to as from a distance you can't really see them in the pics.  One great example was the kangaroo on the boomerang (image above) and another was a playing card (a king of some suit). Lastly that glitter works a treat in the darkened space AGNSW provided.  Lots of sparkly diamonds interspersed between the symbols and stencils.  On the whole I found this work similar in ambition to Tony Albert's AGNSW project.  They both collect a number of works that could stand on their own and make a much, much bigger work across a horizontal plane.  And just like Tony's I left very impressed.

Points:  As is traditional in a solo show with a single work there can only be one set of points.  Best on ground to Reko.  Come along on 5 November and hear the Reko's artist talk.  Details here.

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