“The Strength of Art is to be Unshackled and Try and Create New Worlds, New Realities and New Ideas.” An Interview with Philip Colbert.

Philip Colbert and the author at the opening of ‘Hunt paintings’ at the Saatchi Gallery.

 

Philip Colbert recently had a bustling show at the Saatchi gallery. At the opening famous and notoriously charming auctioneer Simon de Pury DJ-ed and Colbert was dressed in a stunning red suit. His paintings, which heavily drew on pop-artists such as James Rosenquist, were exuberantly colourful and clustered with Facebook icons. I was fascinated by Philip as an individual and how he transcended the conventional boundaries of art by engaging with fashion, painting, music, performance and virtual reality (among other media). Hence, I tried to arrange a meeting with him. Below is an excerpt of our conversation: Continue reading →

Condo London 2019: Gregor Podnar at Hollybush Gardens, works by Attila Csörgő and Vadim Fishkin

A monumental, battered wooden portal regulates access to the  refurbished industrial warehouse space of Hollybush Gardens gallery. The ground floor’s white cube space hosting Gregor Podnar for Condo 2019 is carved out between piles of earthen bricks, its rarefied smoothness set against their bulge, amidst multiple intruding wooden beams. The resulting atmosphere of suspension perfectly encapsulates the tone of the composed, slowly moving installations by Vadim Fishkin, and the floating stillness captured in Attila C​sörgő’​s photographs. Both artists investigate space in terms of its void and physicality alike, unveiling how presence is always the result of simultaneous projection, approach and repulsion.

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries: the Good, the Bad and the Badly Displayed

South London Gallery exhibition view

Although inconveniently located in South London Gallery in Peckham – and not in the ICA as usual – this year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition was very enjoyable. 57 artists, most of them recent university graduates, were given the chance to display works in a variety of media in both the South London Gallery’s main building and the recently opened Fire Station.

I really liked that the exhibition involved artists of all media. There were paintings, drawings, installations, textile-works and video-artworks all cohabitating in the same space. The diversity of media suggested that the Bloomberg Contemporaries selection committee wasn’t as dogmatic and politically-minded as the Turner prize committee was the last two years.

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Daniel Spivakov: Bible lies in the drawer of a Hilton hotel room

Light goes down when the bulb does
Light goes down when the bulb does

Much of college art I have seen in the last couple of months was utterly generic and boring. In October this year I started working for the online auction house AucArt, which specializes in the art of recent university graduates, and I must say that a great proportion of what I saw was uninspiring art which will presumably end up decorating the lobby of your nearest third-rate hotel. I am not here to make enemies with AucArt. Whilst I do think that most (but not all) of the art offered there is generic and uninteresting (I guess most college art is), I think Natasha Arselan (its founder) is inspiring for her bravery and perhaps AucArt will fill a much needed gap in the market. The art of recent university graduates is certainly something which has by and large been neglected by the market and even young not always so talented artists have to make a living off something.

I recently discovered Daniel Spivakov, a 22 year old student at Central Saint Martins. His paintings had depth and were certainly a much needed breath of fresh air from the generic ‘fast’ art I had been exposed to the last couple of months. Nothing about his paintings was generic, ‘fast’ or pretentious; no brushstroke seemed like an unnecessary filler and, frankly, I have never seen someone do art with so much obsession and dedication. He often prays before he paints and talking to him about his art I had the impression that he regarded painting as something more significant than his own existence. In fact, intriguingly, Daniel vehemently believes in God and believes that he was ‘chosen’ by God to change the course of art.

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