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Philippa Snow

20150417131117-cindy_sherman Brand America   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/17/15

In March, Artforum announced that both Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman would be creating new series of work for placement in various international American Embassies; in corporate terms, this is like being asked to make a contribution to the décor of the global headquarters of Brand America, and the announcement is of note to me personally because a) I genuinely enjoy the work of Cindy Sherman, b) I enjoy the aesthetics of Brand America from a largely kitsch perspective, and c) I am now committe... [more]

20150127092619-screen_shot_2015-01-27_at_10 Conceptual Intent: The Recent Emergence of Crime Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/26/15

I have been thinking, for the last week or so, about art and criminality. Not so much about the inherent criminality of the art world, necessarily—whether this dealer or that dealer might also be involved in the arms trade, or ruminating on the more subjective moral brand of “criminality” present in the sale of an eighteen-million-estimate artwork—but the literal "Push me Pull you" relationship which the two “concepts,” have been enacting in my peripheral vision... [more]

20141231154411-pieter_bruegel_d The Misanthropic Art Writer's New Year's Resolutions   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/31/14

The New Year: you feel fattened, you have to go back to work, everything you've just bought is now half the price of what you paid for it, it's cold and bleak. It's also the most depressing time of the year. But fear not: the affliction of New Year's resolutions still prevails over us all, ensuring that we will feel even worse in two weeks when we fail to see any of them through. Our resident misanthrope Philippa Snow sets herself some imminently doomed challenges for 2015. 1. I will not buy... [more]

ArtSlant Presents Philippa's Page 3 Pin-Ups  
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12/22/14

This week, Artslant Pin-Ups observes the fact that the birthday of our Lord and Savior the infant Christ is fast approaching, and chooses to share with our readers a totally innocuous artwork, instead of some smut: the lovely and less-than-PG-rated Slightly Open Clam-Shell, by Georgia O'Keeffe. Definitely 100 percent a painting of a clamshell, and nothing else (what's wrong with you, man?), this beautiful, totally non-sexualized and wholesome work from 1926 is a perfect expression of just how litt... [more]

20141219133522-screen_shot_2014-12-19_at_2 Why We All Want to Punch Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/18/14

“I really understand wanting to punch art,” I wrote back to my Editor after being asked my opinion on the Andrew Shannon Monet-punching story. “I think about it almost daily.” And I do. Personally-speaking, I can think of several specific incidents during which I have fantasized about punching an artwork in the last five years alone: at the height of "First Thursdays" mania in East London three or four years ago, for instance, I attended a "hip" show by an artist whose wor... [more]

20141216083546-10841708_10152878753610270_1580296736_n ArtSlant Presents Philippa's Page 3 Pin-Ups  
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12/16/14

Selected by London-based writer Philippa Snow, ArtSlant's Page 3 Pin-Ups is an acerbic take on the topless tabloid muse. The new weekly series is inspired by Playboy’s Playmates, Page Three, and Letters To Penthouse: for anyone who’s ever muttered the phrase “fuck contemporary art” and really meant it. Today’s internet-smashing pin-up is notable for the fact she has everything the modern gentleman wants: an ass that won’t quit, one that Sir Mix-A-Lot (O.B.E.) would love.... [more]

ArtSlant Presents Philippa's Page 3 Pin-Ups  
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12/8/14

Selected by London-based writer Philippa Snow, ArtSlant's Page 3 Pin-Ups is an acerbic take on the topless tabloid muse. The new weekly series is inspired by Playboy’s Playmates, Page Three, and Letters To Penthouse: for anyone who’s ever muttered the phrase “fuck contemporary art” and really meant it. Dear Artslant Letters—I never thought the guys and girls who write to you were for real, or that anything like this would ever happen to me, but boy, was I wrong! About three months ago, I was on the banks of the Seine wh... [more]

ArtSlant Presents Philippa's Page 3 Pin-Ups  
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11/24/14

Selected by London-based writer Philippa Snow, ArtSlant's Page 3 Pin-Ups is an acerbic take on the topless tabloid muse. The new weekly series is inspired by Playboy’s Playmates, Page Three, and Letters To Penthouse: for anyone who’s ever muttered the phrase “fuck contemporary art” and really meant it. Lovely Leslie, 23, hails from Minnesota: the only daughter of a lumberjack and a shampoo model, this dreamy doozy's lifelong ambition is to follow in both her daddy... [more]

20141031081948-vincent_van_gogh_-_head_of_a_skeleton_with_a_burning_cigarette_-_google_art_project Disorder, then a Good Death: What's Scarier than a Skull?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/31/14

I read recently about a group in the States called The Order of the Good Death, who describe themselves as “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality,” a mission which seems like both good sense and nonsense in equal measure. I myself am what I suppose could be labeled death-phobic. The many other things of which I am afraid —mechanical or puppet clowns, ventriloquist's dummies... [more]

20141030111523-childwarholcostume Halloween-a-bramovic: Four Unspooky Costumes for the Lazy Art Appreciator   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/30/14

Halloween, for me, is the true “most wonderful time of the year,” and so it came as no real surprise to be asked to outline a few costume suggestions for the readers of this website. While most of my own clothes can do double-service as both everyday wear and Hammer-Horror garb alike, I recognize not everyone reading is capable of making the same assertion. (I should note that when this article was first proposed to me by an Editor, it came with the suggestion that I dress my partner&mdas... [more]

20141020170042-10743559_10152761391020270_879816963_n Frieze Flashback: How To Do An Art Party at Home   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/20/14

Good evening, art-appreciators! Please pull up a Beuysian chair, with a heap of fat on it, because I have something to ask you: Had a good Frieze, did you, reader? Drank some complimentary champagne? Saw at least one instance of 'is this art'? Hung out at Selfridges Hotel, in a dress with spaghetti straps? Wore a black smock instead—normcore style? Said the words "art market," and didn't even flinch at how serious you were about it? Listened, once, "ironically," to "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj a... [more]

20141016104205-fried-eggs Frieze Camden: Sarah Lucas' Fried Eggs   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Sarah Lucas at Frieze London October 15th, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Posted 10/15/14

Given that I am now older (although no wiser, perhaps) than I was when I was 21, there are very few things which can coax me over to the Camden area these days. To make your first trip back there after you've reached something sort-of-approximating adulthood is like having the lights flicked on, abruptly, in a low rent simu-dive-bar: Soylent Green may be people, but the human skulls on the bar here are made of B-grade plastic, and the candles shoved into them are melting their crania. Its patina... [more]

20140912111522-no_trespassing Sorry Bill: Ripley and Snow on William S. Burroughs' Artwork   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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William S. Burroughs at Londonewcastle Project Space August 28th, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 9/12/14

ArtSlant's resident London critics and lovers Philippa Snow and Thogdin Ripley first met at a William S. Burroughs show. They recently revisited the artist and writer's work in Animals in the Wall at London Newcastle Project Space. Thogdin Ripley: I'm going to put my cards right here on this table to start with. I've always been a big fan of Burroughs’ writing—he was one of the most inventive writers and at times one of the best, in my opinion—but I've never, never really go... [more]

20140622184848-tumblr_n7e024hr6l1tylq70o1_1280 10 Minutes of Cynical Silence   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Marina Abramovic at Serpentine Gallery June 11th, 2014 - August 25th, 2014
Posted 6/22/14

512 Hours at the Serpentine is notorious already, for two reasons: first, for the fact that the show contains no artwork whatsoever, and second, for the way in which it's inspired hysterical, snaking queues outside the gallery—queues of the kind more typically associated with the stadium gigs of her erstwhile pop-star associates Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. Marina Abramovic's medium is nothing, and as such, her critics would argue that her art is nothing, too. Conversely, her many defenders insist that to m... [more]

20140611192728-jacksr_hwlngiv2014adf_053-web-l6xbbx Made in the USA   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Richard Jackson at Hauser & Wirth (Savile Row) May 23rd, 2014 - July 26th, 2014
Posted 6/11/14

It may be important that I admit a bias towards the work of Richard Jackson at the outset of this review; I had the pleasure of interviewing the man for a longform article during the opening of New Paintings less than a month ago, and found him an ideal subject – thoughtful and vital and, above all, thoroughly uninterested in system or censorship. Unlike many of his contemporaries – Paul McCarthy say, or his good friend Bruce Nauman – Jackson has remained more or less outside t... [more]

20140427182613-50_image_installation Bat Opera   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Marvin Gaye Chetwynd at Sadie Coles HQ - South Audley St March 11th, 2014 - April 26th, 2014
Posted 4/27/14

There are certain words and phrases—certain names, in this instance, but more on that later—which carry enough of their own baggage as to throw the rest of the sentence they're carried by off-course; they're linguistic Trojan horses, derailing any attempt at rational discussion (an anecdotal example of this is a friend of mine who refuses point-blank to speak the word “croissant,” on the grounds that it forces the speaker to contort their face into an angry shape—she refers t... [more]

20140417123205-fkb017 Supreme Modern Feminist or Covert Misogynist?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Valie Export, Friedl Kubelka at Richard Saltoun April 9th, 2014 - May 23rd, 2014
Posted 4/17/14

If pressed, I maintain that the reason I keep up with news about popular culture is that, for me, it adds all-important context to the various forms of "legitimate" art that I take in as a job. Visiting Richard Saltoun’s show of Viennese feminist art (that, specifically speaking, of VALIE EXPORT and Friedl Kubelka) for instance, the phrase "proto-selfies" played continuously in my mind: not a phrase of my own design, but one coined for the exhibition by a writer at Blouin Artinfo. Women these days—famous women, typically, but also the occasional civilian (the much-discussed personal train... [more]

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, 2014 - May 11th, 2014
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, 2014 - May 26th, 2014
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, 2014 - March 30th, 2014
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, 2014 - March 23rd, 2014
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, 2014
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, 2014
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]


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