The most popular women’s sport in Afghanistan right now? It’s not soccer or cricket. It’s not track and field. Afghan girls aren’t picking up tennis rackets or hockey sticks.
They’re hopping on skateboards.
Girls are skateboarding in Afghanistan? They are. And the country’s young female skaters will be rolling into the spotlight next month when the Saatchi Gallery hosts an exhibition of UK photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s portraits from her series Skate Girls of... [more]
Opening tonight in East London is the first-ever London exhibition by Brazilian duo, Bicicleta Sem Freio. The artist pair have crossed over from graphic design and illustration to muralism and back again.
Entitled FERA (meaning "wild" in Portugese) Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira will bring an eye-exploding dose of color to London through new works on canvas and paper. The guys are big '80s fans, drawing not only on the gaudy color clashes of the era but also on its iconography, full of capitalist op... [more]
There is a certain subset of art that sustains the moment prior to critical thinking: that place before or beyond thought. Aesthetically attuned, the spectator is an empty glass resonating with vibrations, an orange pricked by a thumbnail, but not yet peeled. It’s a sweet pleasure to immerse myself in visual and aural sensations without probing them, questioning them, demanding the things of them that we must demand, as the socially responsible culture consumers that we are.
Biweekly perfo... [more]
Depressing and conflicting news comes from several London sources in recent weeks, reporting that Eduardo Paolozzi’s sprawling mosaic at Tottenham Court Road Station is being eroded to make way for the new station serving Crossrail. Speaking of the loss of the decorated columns (previously thought safe) at the entrance to the station as-was, the 20th Century Society—campaigners to save the oft-unloved architecture that has sprung up since the First World War—said in a somewhat bittersw... [more]
"Let's split this motherfucker!"—thus was the cry from the mouth of artist Theaster Gates, the winner of the UK's biggest cash art prize Artes Mundi 6. Gates made the announcement in Cardiff, Wales, last night that he would share the winnings with all of the other nine shortlisted artists. Such benevolent acts of generosity are rare in the money-centric art world. If evenly divided up, they'll each end up with 4,000 GBP—quite a downgrade, compared to the £40,000 GBP Gates would h... [more]
His delicate large-scale paintings have floated on canal boats and he's one of Complex mag's favorite muralists of 2014—part of a street art sub-genre we like to call "sensitive graf." Borondo, who lives and works in a former pub in Hackney, uses his art to express the melodrama of human living, the soaring peeks and plunging troughs of our mortal condition—one reason he was drawn to the character of Ophelia in his now well-known floating work.
From February 5th, the young Spanish a... [more]
The London Art Fair, sitting comfortably in the middle ground between Frieze and the Affordable Art Fair, is geared towards the soild mid-range collector, a fact reenforced by its middle class location in Angel Islington. Whether you're new to the game, an emerging dealer, or a fastidious collector of the kind of Modern and Contemporary British Art the fair is dedicated to, the London Art Fair caters to your taste. For this 27th iteration of the fair, we've selected our recommended buys for a r... [more]
The Catlin Prize and Guide is one of London's primary art prizes for recent graduate artists. The guide launches in January each year at the London Art Fair—with the prize winners announced at an exhibition in May. Founder and Director, and former ArtSlant Prize Juror, Justin Hammond, selects his favorite works from this year's edition, also on show at the London Art Fair 2015.
The Catlin Guide 2015
We're back in Art Projects at the London Art Fair to mark the publication of T... [more]
So, I put a message on Facebook: where is good to hang in Islington? The responses are many and immediate, with more than one of my friends highly rating the cocktails served in 69 Colebrooke Row. In addition, I find out Akari is as good for sushi as Le Mercury is cheap and chearful. Then it hits me: what exactly do I know of this most intermediary of London areas?
Regent's Canal, via Flickr user Nick Kenrick
Yeah, there have been blurry nights dancing to Motown and New Wave in the fantasti... [more]
I went to a lecture the other day at the Royal College of Art, which although about art as resistance, mostly addressed its opposite, a phrase I have heard more and more lately in relation to the art world and art education: "the manufacture of hopelessness." The phrase sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Expressed by many students at a school that now costs thousands of pounds a year, it’s the feeling that the capital A, capital W, Art World is an impenetrable whole, top fed by astron... [more]
We've not been hugely supportive of institutional presentations of graffiti previously: too often they put out unresponsive, stale, or simply haphazard exhibitions that do not render context or format. They assign too much concept or none at all, and each is as bad as the other.
But this massive group show, Mapping the City, in association with A(by)P at the new wing of Somerset House, London (ironically, a former tax office) looks like a well-balanced approach to circumventing this problematic art fo... [more]
Launch Pad was founded in London in early 2014. It is described as a commissioning program intended to serve as a platform for emerging artists who have not previously exhibited in the UK. Three artists per year are invited to create a new work that responds to the domestic space, history, or environment of the founder’s home. The founder is Sarah Elson, an art historian and seasoned art collector as well as an active philanthropist.
The project sounds simple enough: publicly accessible... [more]
Peckham's Arcadia Missa, founded by Rozsa Farkas with Tom Clark as assistant director and head of publishing, and Tenderpixel, founded by Etan Ilfeld with Borbála Soós as director and curator, are two broad and interesting London gallery projects worth getting to know. Both have evolved over the past few years beyond the typical gallery's scope, by pushing strong research collaborations and rigorous publishing programs. As such they both represent unconventional and expansive gallery m... [more]
Opening this weekend at Raven Row London is a series of events about the intersection of literature and art called Plastic Words, which will run throughout December and January. There has been a resurgent interest in the overlap of contemporary literature and art recently. The development of the independent Art Writing MFA at Goldsmiths and its swift subsumption back into the MFA in Fine Art neatly demonstrates the sometimes contested, sometimes happily shared, ground these modes of working occ... [more]
On the wall of the gallery space at Chelsea College of Arts there is a screen on which a monochrome film plays out. It’s a transfer from an old tape marked at the edges with braided lines, strange interference artifacts of spooling marks in stark black and white framing the scene.
The image of a room looks smoky, misty, colloidal, but that’s just the video. A man with a tight buzz cut stoops over a fire bucket, poised, an end-blown flute to his mouth, using the opening and the moveme... [more]
From Emma Watson's recent "game-changing" UN speech, to Petra Collin's banned-from-Instagram bikini line debacle, gender equality is back on the mainstream social issue agenda—and of particular concern in our visual-centric culture is how to reinforce positive images of women.
The radical French feminist writers Helene Cixous and Anne LeClerc theorized about women's bodies as a currency in advertising, refering to the process of "tampaxification"—an example of the oppression of women... [more]