Self-taught artist, Paul Benney, will make his Venice Art Biennale debut from 13th May with his monumental installation, Speaking in Tongues.
The 12ft by 8ft painting on show at the 14th century San Gallo Church, just north of St Mark’s Square is the centrepiece of an installation that includes sound and other smaller works in oil by the artist. Curated by James Putnam and Flora Fairbairn, this is the first time Speaking in Tongues has been shown outside of the UK.
The work itself is secular but draws on the New Testament story of the Pentecost in which the twelve apostles encounter the Holy Spirit and then begin ‘speaking in tongues’. Modifying and updating this familiar interlude, Benney has painted twelve artistic contemporaries of various ethnicities and religious backgrounds, with the aim of capturing a collective state of spiritual awakening.
Playing with the idea of narrative painting, Benney introduced a sound element to the work, inviting each of the subjects to record themselves sharing transformative moments in their lives. These are relayed through holosonic speakers placed around the church. At first the viewer hears hushed murmuring, however, when they stand in a precise spot they hear individual voices, an effect achieved via sound-focusing technology that isolates the viewer from their own reality and the outside world. Then come the subject’s revelations. These are poignant and sometimes shocking – one man tells of how he accidentally shot dead his best friend; another reveals the joy of becoming a father – and, in the context of a religious setting they create the experience of receiving a confession.
Keith Coventry‘s latest exhibition at the Pace Gallery in London, ‘White Black Gold,’ will be on view at the ground floor galleries of 6 Burlington Gardens until 28 May 2016.
The artist archly monumentalises the bleak debris of our cultural landscape with an exhibition which ‘ennobles the ignoble’.
McDonalds ‘Golden Arches’ are now a well-worn emblem of late capitalism, so programmed into the popular imagination, that Coventry need only depict a colorless fragment of the golden ‘M’ for his audience to be bombarded with a litany of red, yellow and white memories – of bombastic adverts, Happy Meals and any host of relatable motifs that have come to represent 20th Century American capitalism.
You can imagine my surprise upon walking into my now fiance’s flat for the first time and being greeted by a giant portrait of Margaret Thatcher. Upon closer inspection, I came to realise that it was not a typical depiction either;instead of your standard lines and shading making up the former Tory PM’s face , a sort of mosaic of sex toys, skulls and Tony Blair masks came together to depict that unmistakeable visage. Let’s just say, she made an impression!
Well, thanks to Shapero Modern and acclaimed British artist, Marcus Harvey, you too can greet your visitors with a bang!
Shapero Modern presents a new print by the acclaimed British artist Stephen Walter.
Entitled Nova Utopia, the artwork is inspired by Thomas More’s philosophical novel Utopia, and a map of the world he imagined drawn by Abraham Ortelius. More’s book, which was published 500 years ago in 1516, depicts a complex, self-contained world set on an island in which communities share a common culture and way of life. Walter’s map updates this to the 21st century, showing a world of mass tourism, package holidays, retirement homes, luxury resorts, banking districts and cultural hotspots.
I had the chance to speak with Stephen about his new creation, as well as his artistic practise.
CNB Gallery present Britannic Myths, the gallery’s second solo show by the acclaimed British artist Joe Machine.
The twelve paintings that make up the exhibition have been created in collaboration with the academic and writer Dr Steven O’Brien, and are based on a dialogue around his soon to be published book, Britannia Stories.
I had the chance to speak to Joe about the exhibition and his artistic practise.
Essex Road II at Tintype gallerybuilds on their hugely popular inaugural event last year, with an array of leading artist-filmmakers providing compelling films.
The second edition of Tintype’s Essex Road Project is comprised of eight specially commissioned short films, each inspired by the North London street from which the project takes its name, and where the gallery is also located. With subjects ranging from Helen Benigson‘s visceral celebration of the female ritual of the hen night, to Uriel Orlow’s film based around playwright and authorJoe Orton’s fictional alter ego Edna Walthorpe, filmed on his doorstep.
I had the chance to speak to Tintype director Teresa Grimes about the project.
I wonder how many people reading this have ever sat down and thought, “Hmm, I could be the next Banksy.” The truth is, there is major appeal in street art — the secrecy, the rush, the message, the money. Many individuals, both artists and non-artists (think Mr. Brainwash), have been attracted to the art of graffiti, whether for creative, adrenaline-based or financial reasons. But as up-and-coming LA-based street artist WasNMe will tell you, it’s not as easy as it seems!
We sat down with the British-born ex-photographer who is now making his mark (literally!) on the streets of Los Angeles to talk about his journey and get an inside look into what it’s really like trying to make it in street art.
Inside Outside at l’étrangère presents a new body of work encompassing painting and sculpture by the British artist, David Ben White.
Absorbed within the language and aspirations of modernist architecture, design and art, White’s paintings and sculptures disrupt the self-enclosed logic of this prescriptive legacy through a subversion of its objects and spaces. For his first exhibition at l’étrangère, White will treat the spaces of the gallery as subjects to be reinterpreted; the homogenous model of the white cube is reformed via signifiers of a familiar, domestic interior. Upon entering the gallery, a constructed environment comprising painting, sculpture and vinyl installation draws the viewer into a re-configuration of the relationship between gallery, artwork and spectator, one that gestures towards an interior design logic.
I had the chance to speak with David about his artistic practice and forthcoming exhibition.
Metaphors for Mankind at Mark Hix‘s CNB Gallery presents a new solo exhibition by the acclaimed British artist Miranda Donovan.
The assembled works, which the artist describes as ‘sculptural paintings’, are drawn from three series: her meticulously detailed brickwork pieces, skilfully created by carving out miniature bricks from building materials, her ‘steel sheet’ with rivets works which are in fact made from resin, and her smaller figurative works done on either cement or computer motherboards.
Gallery director Rebecca Lidert explains, “The power of Donovan’s work is that it reflects man’s ingenuity, his skills and strength, but in doing so lays bare its temporality, portrayed through the erosive and gritty imprint of decay.”
I had the chance to speak with Miranda about her artistic practice and forthcoming exhibition.