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Philippa Snow

20140327150623-kul_eliasson_1_13-0_633609a Patron (Almighty, The): A Satirical Portrait of the Patron We Love to Hate   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/27/14

He is the Patron, and he is your King. He is the God of the artworld, even more than Jeff "vacuum-cleaner" Koons, or Richard Prince, with his visions of "Spiritual America": the nubile young female with the movie-star make-up in the U.S.A-grade bubble-bath. You overheard at Trisha's that he once paid a St Martins graduate to drink a bottle of Newport lighter fluid and vomit it up and set it on fire, like a real-life conceptual dragon, and wondered, idly if this was the same St Martins student who vomi... [more]

20140305052307-rake_10 I am 23 Years Old and I Wear Glasses   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David Hockney at Dulwich Picture Gallery February 5th - May 11th
Posted 3/5/14

Let us imagine that we were to hold a costume party where the theme was “artists” – you would undoubtedly get a high volume of Dalis and Frida Kahlos and bald-cap Picassos, yes, but I’d say it was a fairly certain bet that you’d get at least three David Hockneys to boot. What I mean is that Hockney – with his distinctive appearance – is so much a part of the cultural furniture that we can expect to see Hockney-styled shoots in, say, Vogue Hommes Internationa... [more]

20140219130219-p78920_1 White-Goods Dystopia: Pop Art's Well-Furnished Prison   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern February 13th - May 26th
Posted 2/19/14

Art made for the immediate present can rarely stay present; this is the great curse of being a la mode, part of a zeitgeist or a representative of one's own era. Andy Warhol has been lucky enough to remain more-or-less constantly – well, if not relevant, certainly au courant in his fashionable style – and enduringly popular (in a recent Vanity Fair poll of the greatest living artists, with participants including Richter, Serra and Baldessari, several ballots suggested that Warhol be con... [more]

20140206070354-large_lowrespress_image_l_david_lynch_l_the_factory_photographs_l_david_lynch__untitled__lodz___2000__collection_of_the_artist_5297523d634d8 Lynch, Burroughs, Warhol: The Holy Trinity of US Subversion   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David Lynch at The Photographers' Gallery January 17th - March 30th
Posted 2/6/14

Warhol, Burroughs and Lynch were – for my teenaged self, at least – the Holy Trinity. I recall one early experiment in “literary fiction,” in particular (describing a maybe-LSD-trip, maybe-cryptozoological-arm-wrestling-match scenario, or some other such stream-of-consciousness rubbish) succeeding in horrifying my teachers, and ripping off Burroughs and Lynch in equal measure. As a matter of fact, I still describe Bill as my favourite writer; I am still entirely fascinated by W... [more]

20140130074832-image_3 Context Is All   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Hannah Hoch at Whitechapel Gallery January 15th - March 23rd
Posted 1/30/14

In the world of television, there is a theory which is commonly referred to as the 'Seinfeld Is Unfunny' trope; put simply, it refers to the retroactive viewing of a thing which, though innovative in its day, seems expected in the modern world. Paradoxically, things fall prey to the Seinfeld Is Unfunny phenomenon precisely because they themselves were the first to carve out the particular style which now renders them passé or wholly predictable in the eyes of the viewer. (The pop-culture... [more]

20140115111429-allen_jones_chair Art Under Attack: In Transitu   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Tate Britain October 2nd, 2013 - January 5th
Posted 1/6/14

"I have never met anyone who was shocked by our work, or even talked to anyone who had met anyone who was shocked by it." – Jake Chapman, 2006. In the Tate's Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm, there is a sculpture whose presence may yet provoke the most lapsed of Catholic art-appreciators to sweat from their closed-up stigmata: this life-sized Christ – a quadruple amputee, the stumps of whose limbs (in their raw, textured marble) suggest the interior of some s... [more]

20131204060901-newbloom3 The Bloomberg New Contemporaries Experience   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Rebecca Ackroyd, Thomas Aitchison, Lewis Betts, Jason Brown, Fatma Bucak, Agnes Calf, Lauren Cohen, Patrick Cole, Menna Cominetti, Calum Crawford, Mark Essen, Adham Faramawy, Ophelia Finke, Grant Foster, Archie Franks, Joe Frazer, Kate Hawkins, Adam Hogarth, Catherine Hughes, Aisha Abid Hussain, Roman Liška, Lana Locke, Antoine L’Heureux, Alexandra McNamee, Steven Morgana, Laura O’Neill, Hardeep Pandhal, Julia Parkinson, Joanna Piotrowska, Hannah Regel, Daniela Sarigu, Yves Scherer, Simon Senn, Ferdinand Saumarez Smith, Isabelle Southwood, Josephine Sowden, Marlene Steyn, Matthias Tharang, Shelley Theodore, Esme Toler, Dante Rendle Traynor, Sarah Tynan, Maarten van den Bos, Dominic Watson, Tom Worsfold, Tim Zercie at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) November 27th, 2013 - January 26th
Posted 12/4/13

As a person who "looks at art" for a living, there is always the occupational hazard that one or more of your loved ones will become caught in the crossfire; out of desperation to have a partner-in-crime to schlep to a West London gallery and look at the New and the Brave, there is always the chance that a friend, a significant other or an acquaintance will be coerced into looking at, say, a video-artwork of a troll-doll with a talking anus, or a "performance installation" which utilises a series... [more]

20131015184554-grayson_perry Get The Look: Philippa Snow on the art of dressing for Frieze   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Frieze London October 16th, 2013 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Posted 10/15/13

The Grayson Perry Tapestry or embroidery, preferably British-made; the haunting expression of a mining-town nightclub singer doing The Green Green Grass of Home; hunting tweeds and a monocle, and the Billy-Bob™ teeth listed on their website as Megabucks AKA Tombstones; a "Class War" t-shirt; more Burberry than a soap-opera actress with a missing septum. Definitely not a big, babyish candy-pink dress if you are a man – that is Grayson's thing, and he does it best. The Matthew Sm... [more]

20130912115723-eve_and_larger_works The Nebulous Lines Between Art and Fashion   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alex Noble at Londonewcastle Project Space August 31st, 2013 - September 10th, 2013
Posted 9/18/13

I have been thinking, lately, about the intersections between fashion and art and popular culture, ever since reading what I thought of as a particularly asinine quote from the pop star, Lady Gaga: "I really love the lyrics to ARTPOP, the title track," she told the gossip blog, Just Jared, when asked which were "the most powerful lyrics" on her latest album. “'We could belong together, ARTPOP.' The words seem really simple but it’s through the creative experiences with my friends t... [more]

20130731165513-finlt-00026-300 The Benefits of Pencil Hard-Ons   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Tom of Finland at Stuart Shave/Modern Art July 5th, 2013 - August 10th, 2013
Posted 7/31/13

It's a rare situation, I'd guess, in which a reviewer is faced with the prospect of writing five hundred words of description and extrapolation about a series of pornographic sketches, but nevertheless, here we are. In the interests of full disclosure, I believe that I have been assigned this Tom of Finland show as a subject because of my “relevant experience”: while not as qualified as a bona fide homosexual man (pun intended, in this context), I can confidently say that I know my Bears fr... [more]

20130716075857-mg_3584-1 You Should Ask Elaine   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Sturtevant at Serpentine Gallery June 28th, 2013 - August 26th, 2013
Posted 7/16/13

Tasked with writing a review of the Sturtevant show at the Serpentine Gallery, I faced an unusual dilemma: which of the big, broadsheet write-ups to replicate, wholesale? If I were in a damning mood, for instance, I might repeat the Telegraph's Alastair Smart, whose weary assessment (it is "cruel that so many contemporary galleries promote art that appeals more to the expert in post-structuralist French philosophy than to the layman or aesthete") suggests a certain cynicism about the show; were I... [more]

20130606141019-nickydeeley22513 Catlin 2013: Philippa Snow & Charlotte Jansen  
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Posted 6/6/13

Charlotte Jansen: Good to see you the other night at the Catlin Prize. And those pointy jazzy shoes of yours... have a good time? Philippa Snow: Those jazzy shoes were an absolute nightmare; half a size too small, and the tip came off the heel when I - very sensibly - went straight home after the prize (by which I mean: "went for whiskey sours in a dark bar"). CJ: Talking of dark rooms; I meant to ask you what you were doing crouching down on the floor there when I got in? PS: I was trying... [more]

Interview with Shezad Dawood  
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6/2/13

London, May 2013: London-born Shezad Dawood is an artist whose work deals, variously, with notions of cultural interplay, narrative histories, Otherness and cross-collaboration; his most recent work, which launches June 7 at the ICA, is the full-length science fiction film Piercing Brightness, which imagines a parallel between the typically filmic Close Encounter, and the themes of migration and visitation, and of societal integration. Film (in particular, the style of the B-movie and of the art... [more]

20130423021514-20130421175638-image0 Much to do about Nothing   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Rachel Whiteread at Gagosian Gallery - Britannia Street April 11th, 2013 - May 25th, 2013
Posted 4/21/13

Rarely does an artist invoke thoughts of Nothing like Rachel Whiteread (that’s capital N nothing, by the way – the greater idea of nothing, rather than nothing at all. The loudest negative silence within all possible comprehension, effectively; it is the kind of nothing that fills the silences in Pinter plays). Her famous House – made, some might be shocked to recall, in 1993, with the artist herself turning fifty this year – was a screaming grey-block slab of Nothing; her Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial... [more]

20130312122704-imposter_iv-072 John Stezaker: Blind   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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John Stezaker at The Approach February 15th, 2013 - March 17th, 2013
Posted 3/12/13

Associating John Stezaker's work with the movies feels like an obvious fit; his aesthetic, in general, is one of another era of high cinematic splendor – a silver-screen photofit populace, cut-up from Hayworth's hair, and Cary Grant's jawline. The famously-symmetrical are typically used for slashed-up perversions of every golden rule about beauty; all myth about ideal proportion. Even the landscape postcards – the canyons, the rivulets and the mountains – which Stezaker uses are somehow anachron... [more]

20130303175234-jfk_exhibit_hotel_texas Dead Kennedys   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Dallas Museum of Art May 26th, 2013 - September 15th, 2013
Posted 3/3/13

In May of this year, the Dallas Museum of Art will mount Hotel Texas, an exhibition that brings together the artworks seen in the last hotel room of the late John F. Kennedy. These are the sculptures, the paintings—the sun-burnished nudes and the dreary snowscapes—as seen by the gray-green eyes of the President just hours before his violent death in the motorcade. Each individual piece's quiet observance of Kennedy's final moments is its God-given purpose in this exhibit—an art mausoleum. These... [more]

20130206204153-mother_with_crocodile__bubenreuth_2002 Ace in the Hole   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Juergen Teller at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) January 23rd, 2013 - March 17th, 2013
Posted 2/5/13

Staring directly at Vivienne Westwood's vagina made me think of a number of things; mostly, however, it made me think about the difference between Nude and Naked, the nude – one assumes – being somehow formalised, and lacking in sex appeal. The vagina in question forms the centerpiece of Juergen Teller’s retrospective at the ICA, the exuberantly entitled ‘Woo!’ (Hard to imagine any other photographer using such a title; harder, still, to imagine one living up to it with the same dumb-clever pa... [more]

20121207060838-phillipa "Don't look at the art, look at meeee!" - Philippa Snow reports back to Charlotte Jansen from Art Basel Miami Beach   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/7/12

Hey dude. So, how was the flight? Where are you staying? The flight, in total, was about thirteen hours, which was a kind of hell: I have to say, however, that I obviously have a less refined palette than a standup comedian, as I rather enjoyed the airline food. Perhaps that's a perk of flying with Lufthansa (who are not paying me to say this). They were showing Rock Of Ages on the plane; if I had to write a recommendation for the promotional poster of Rock Of Ages, I would like it to say "watch... [more]

20121009094409-6244210970_fcb134842d_b Mondo-Arty Heart-Attack Parties: Suggestions for Useful Behaviour at Frieze   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/9/12

Private views encourage drinking, and make you feel slightly smarter for doing it. That, as they say, is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know: stop yourself a moment short of sloshing champagne up your sleeve, and slurring about “contemporaneity” – blah blah yabber Spartacus Chetwynd – and you are golden, absolutely, at least with the other half-cut Big Talkers. Frieze, in particular, is a platform for this dopey-drunken talk; negotiating the thing requires a certain level of tact. For... [more]

20120910135630-portrait_column_i__2012 “Half shaman, half showman”   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomas Houseago at Hauser & Wirth (Savile Row) September 7th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 9/10/12

A month or so ago, I had been clearing out my Dictaphone and come across a recording of an anecdote of Thomas Houseago’s; I’d taped it while at Lismore castle, working out there with Hauser and Wirth, and the general gist of it was about a corpse found just outside his studio. Either the head was missing the body, or the body was missing the head. I can’t quite recall, but either way, Houseago makes the incident vital – a tragicomic allegory for some facet of the artist; that weird proximity to dange... [more]

20120803203227-bruce_lacey_installation_shot Bona Fide British Rubbish   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Bruce Lacey at Camden Arts Centre July 7th, 2012 - September 16th, 2012
Posted 8/3/12

The Bruce Lacey Experience sounds like a musical act, not a retrospective? Sure, whatever, outta sight. Maybe it is, man, and maybe it isn't. This is the junk-made clatter of the grooviest instruments in life's orchestra, played by some octogenarian cat for the benefit of an uncertain deity. Maybe, thinking on it, the sense of ritual act is misdirection: the audience of the Experience is not an unknown God, but an inner child. As a cynic, I found myself caught unawares by such wacko, English hu... [more]

20120708152711-yoko-ono-berlin-smile-1_press_page Yoko, Oh No - a conversation with Philippa Snow and Charlotte Jansen  
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Yoko Ono at Serpentine Gallery June 19th, 2012 - September 9th, 2012
Posted 7/9/12

3:56 PM, Philippa Snow wrote: I read Adrian Searle's review of the show yesterday, and, as usual, he has expressed my views far more succinctly and in a far funnier way than I could have hoped to, but I soldier on regardless. 4:30 PM, Charlotte Jansen wrote: What the Guardian dude? I'm in two minds about reading before seeing, especially where Yoko is concerned... Isn't she a bit 'shit sleb'? 4:32 PM, Philippa Snow wrote: Yeah, that's him. I have to say, the last thing I wanted w... [more]

20120610111949-5319_lb1024x768 Totem of an unwelcome future   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Polly Morgan at All Visual Arts June 8th, 2012 - July 31st, 2012
Posted 6/10/12

It is a pity, in many ways, that the work of the artist Polly Morgan has been co-opted by Fashion People, and worse, still, that it is often mentioned in tandem with celebrity, as this kind of hype can spell death for an artist whose work could easily be too zeitgeisty, too smug about its own savoir-faire. Taxidermy, in recent years, has become a BoBo East End staple and shabby-chichi cultural gag: the first two Morgan works that I saw (a baby bird curled up in a matchbox, a squirrel in a martini... [more]

20120506095814-1652-s4 Holier than a Pope with the Screaming Abdabs   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Mat Collishaw at CGP London April 20th, 2012 - May 27th, 2012
Posted 5/6/12

Mat Collishaw’s The End Of Innocence was not produced for Dilston Grove (the work, in some form or another, has been on show for several years), but its setting there is apropos; a former Protestant mission church, it lends the work a heavy air, the Godly kind of gravitas that a milquetoast gallery space might lack. Collishaw's most famous work, a detail of a gunshot wound, had the prosaic title of Bullet Hole, though this work's title of innocence lost would suit that vision just fine, too (the... [more]

20120413162035-export Paris Export   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/10/12

As the Austrian artist Valie Export once drew her name from a popular brand of cigarettes, so, too, the artist Paris Avanzino – born in 1981 in New York City, to a blonde, toothy actress and her childhood-sweetheart husband – chose to reinvent herself with a wink to international commerce, legally adopting the "branded" surname "Hilton" from the popular five-star chain of hotels. The pomo bimbo persona she created, laquered with weird, hyperfeminine quirks (a hammy, breathy, naïve delivery; a per... [more]

20121229195144-dhs7873detailhorzsum_771_0 Bigger Than Jesus; Richer Than God   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Damien Hirst at Tate Modern April 4th, 2012 - September 9th, 2012
Posted 4/8/12

It could be written, for the sake of argument, that: in the beginning, there was the shark, and that the shark, in its bluish vitrine, was Good. This would not, as this Tate retrospective reminds us, be really, empirically truthful -- in the beginning, there were a few hamfisted shots at sculpture (a kitchen cabinet, pots and pans, some glossy cardboard boxes shoved into warehouse rafters) and these, it is generally agreed, were Not Good At All -- but there is a sense, nonetheless, from the work... [more]

20120324132112-thomas Stocking-top Shorthand   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomas Ruff at Gagosian Gallery - Davies Street March 8th, 2012 - April 21st, 2012
Posted 3/24/12

In describing this series of appropriated nudes, Thomas Ruff may find his critics reduced to blushing innuendo: the Davies Street Gagosian is housing his stills from hardcore movies - more paranormal than pornographic in their hazy views of their subject matter – until April 21st, offering the viewer a Roman-style orgy in varying degrees of clarity. There is a Richteresque aspect to their soft, Gaussian blur, as though viewed through a vaseline-coated lens; Ruff's computerised edit makes penetration seem... [more]

20120310184735-press Art is an exorcism   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Louise Bourgeois at Freud Museum London March 8th, 2012 - May 27th, 2012
Posted 3/10/12

It's difficult to imagine an artist better suited to the Freud Museum than Louise Bourgeois, confessional art's first real practitioner. Her favourite sculpture, Janus Fleuri, hangs from the ceiling of the psychoanalyst’s study, a work she describes as a kind of self-portrait, a practicing therapist's screaming nightmare – Fleuri is a tumour-like jumble of male and female parts, an un-erotic terratoma that droops from its bonds like a half-dead larva. Upstairs, a Lucasian cluster of felted, torpedo-... [more]


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