Arts Editor: Christopher George
Andy Warhol projected an ambiguous narrative of himself, this self-editing has kept the press and public fascinated with Warhol, even 30 years after his untimely death at the age of 58.
From an early age, Warhol was aware of public image, and he based his career on the projections of religious icon, saintly portraits and movie star images that he grew up with.
Warhol created religious art for a secular culture via his celebrity portraits and use of commercial objects. His early Marilyn is now one of the most recognised artworks ever.
The religious icon and saint style portrait that he took this inspiration from go much deeper than the facade Warhol would have liked us to believe. His entrenched religious background was what he lived with and believed in to his core, deepening further close to his death with the works that he was producing.
Religious iconography is apparent from the churches he would visit as a child with his mother Julia, who was a devoted Ruthenian Catholic. The icons and saints would be placed next to each other on flat backgrounds row after row.
In his art we are witnessing the religion of celebrity that Warhol was presenting to the world in his pop art portraits. His childhood was a mix of religion and movie star portraits that he adored and which inspired his work throughout his life.
One of the key subjects for Warhol was America, where the Warhola family had emigrated to from the rural hills of Poland. Warhol, as he became by dropping the ‘a’ from Warhola, is still one of the most famous Americans, let alone artists. So it is poignant today with the struggles America is having with immigration and racial issues during the current Trump administration, that Warhol was of immigrant heritage, brought up in an impoverished ghetto in Pittsburgh.
Today Warhol would not be surprised where we have arrived in the world over 30 years after his death. During his life he was projecting and predicting much of the cultural, technical and philosophical issues that we are now living with on a daily and global basis.
This new exhibition at the Tate Modern, the first in nearly 20 years examines Warhol’s background along with his queer self.
His escape came at 12 years of age after his fathers death and a small amount of money had been left for Andy's education. The family gathered around Andy and gave the youngest of 3 boys their support and an opportunity. This opportunity created one of the most successful and famous artists ever.
Andy produced works during times of immense social, political and technical change. It could be said that Warhol was the creative vessel that modernised culture and the way we have lived the past 50 years and beyond.
Exhibiting some of his most recognisable works, the Tate Modern examines the experiment Warhol was attempting in his early career to break through as a serious artist by using commercial objects.
This was the lead up to his ground breaking screen prints that we now know Warhol for. These are the works that broke him into the art world as a serious artist from a successful but unsatisfying commercial art background.
Focusing on religion, death and identity, were Warhol’s three most used themes in his work, we get a better understanding of the man beneath the white wig.
Understanding the supermarket he created of the arts, disposing of the Mona Lisa and replacing this icon figure with the figures of Debbie Harry and the Campbell soup cans. His creation of ‘Common’ism’, where we all have accessibility to art, classifying the Coca Cola bottle accessible as much to the richest in the world, as it is to the poorest. Everyone can own one.
Several themes of the show work on the importance of the Factory. This space allowed ideas and people from all walks of life to gather, from the socialite and drag queens, to the distinguished, the celebrity and the drug addicts. All these people became the raw materials Warhol thrived on and creatively exploited throughout his career.
The recreation of the Factory, along with The Velvet Underground and NICO film clips projected allows you to immerse your senses in the visuals, the sound, the creativity and the madness of Warhol’s Factory environment.
In the last section of the exhibition we get to examine his final years and his journey back to religion, at a time when the AIDS epidemic was at its height, and mortality was on everyones agenda with death heavy in the air.
“We are all processed through life”
Andy Warhol died in1987 leaving a fascinating legacy we are still trying to understand.
12 March – 6 September 2020
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Artist and film maker Steve McQueen is recognised for his vision of story telling.
Born in london in 1969, his arts take a stark view and project the social and political landscape we live in, in a harsh and direct way.
Since 2008 McQueen has directed 4 feature films, with his Academy Award-winning ’12 Years a Slave’ portraying the abrupt and brutal reality of slavery in Southern America.
His first exhibition in London since 1999, brings together works from a 20 year period and are showcased in the current exhibition at the TATE MODERN. Paying close attention to an alertness to sensory feelings and emotions, along with emerging pain and feelings of encapsulation.
Ghostly appearances, vague and mildly disturbing imagery with uncomfortable situations, immerse your attention while viewing the cinematic film clips. Yet at the same time radiating compassion and tranquility in acceptance of the situation- resulting in an experience where it’s not what you see, it’s what you feel.
McQueen is a patient observer of feeling, thoughts and human struggles, much like the conscious spirit that’s always observing the inner and outer world. Obsessed with observation and voyeurism, his stories come via spiritual portals, where he is the vessel of communication for the stories of humans.
McQueen “The fact of the matter is I’m interested in a truth. I cannot put a filter on life. It’s about not blinking”.
An extraordinary artist of our times, and the only artist to win the TURNER Prize as well as an Oscar for his feature film works.
February 13th March - 11th May 2020
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Harold Feinstein may have admired the work of W. Eugene Smith and Henri Cartier-Bresson, but he was not a photographer who would stand back and observe, unnoticed by his subjects. In fact, in nearly every image, Feinstein’s proximity to his subject is clear. It is this physical closeness, an extension of Feinstein’s profound connection to his subjects, that sets his work apart from other street photographers from the same period.
Where his contemporaries – photographers like Diane Arbus, Walker Evans and Garry Winogrand – documented the plight of the human condition without their subjects’ awareness, Feinstein celebrated humanity with his subjects. From the glittering lights of Times Square to the streets of Harlem; from the smoke-filled coffee shops to subway cars; from city stoops to crowded beaches, Feinsteins’ desire to connect with the world around him and share the experiences he saw is evident in every composition.
A renaissance of his remarkable work is currently underway though, as evidenced by the 2019 feature length documentary Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein, which had its world premier at DOCNYC to a sold-out crowd. Thanks to this, the black and white monograph, Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective (Nazraeli Press, 2012), and numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, Feinstein is starting to receive the critical and public attention he richly deserves.
DAVID HILL GALLERY
345 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HA
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Loribelle's Journey as a contemporary artist began with realism and photorealism where she honed her painterly skills and came upon the particular combination of acrylic and oil paints that have become a hallmark of her creations. Photorealism soon gave way to surrealism as she increasingly sought to explore personal emotions and anxieties through art. As Loribelle puts it, her art is "...an attempt to externalise internal conflict, creating a juxtaposition of movement and stillness that forms an unsettling effect..."
Born in the Philippines in 1990, this Australian artist has fascinated audiences at home and abroad with her distinctive style and approach to contemporary portraiture. Though admittedly intuitive, Loribelle's artistic style is also decidedly cerebral, rooted in the myths, music, literature, pop culture and experiences that inspire her and make her art resonate with viewers.
Her most recent works are surreal explorations of the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit. Inspired by her experiences as a migrant in Australia, a sense of claustrophobia is unmistakable in these works. Also, she increasingly employs disjointed bodies and hollow forms, amplifying the introspective pull of her art and compelling her viewers to confront and contend with their own emotions. Indeed, the role of the viewer is critical to Loribelle’s work. In ‘Love, Death and the Time I knew You’, she recognizes viewers as ‘meaning-makers’ without whose participation her artwork would be incomplete.
27 November – 11 December, 2019.
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Socially, politically, and economically - we are living in trying times. These difficulties create division, and division breeds competition. Both Delphian and Guts endeavour to support all art-world practitioners wherever possible, whether they reciprocate or otherwise, and to collaborate with what would be called generally their direct competitors.
Sharing a whole range of information on art-world events through their platforms, be it exhibitions to workshops, connecting people through a strong community of art world practitioners.
They believe that the art-world would be a much more open, supportive, and progressive place to work if we started working together, rather than pulling apart. Sound like an idea our global politics could work towards.
“We noticed that the art-world can sometimes be a very closed and lonely place, on one side, artists work away in their solitary studios and on the other, galleries can often close ranks to protect their interests. We wanted to show that galleries can work together on projects that bring together incredibly exciting artists from different countries and backgrounds in an exhibition that is open and welcoming to all.”
The exhibition is being presented at The Factory in Dalston, a new creative complex that consists of studios; shops by independent artisan makers; a cafe, and exhibition space. They feel that this buzzing creative hub fits perfectly in its ethos as a location for Delphian X Guts.
The work from the thirteen selected artists spans from sculpture to painting over an extremely diverse range of styles, and all the artists are tied together in their shared outlook on collaboration.
21-31 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2DA
29th Nov – 4th Dec 2019
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Sassy Luke is known for being a master of adornment of the icons that wallpaper our every day lives. Tired old images of Queen Elizabeth II and Jesus H Christ are given a right good snazzing up with wicked humour and precise skill. Comforting, but completely new and better... and blasphemous... and riddled with treason.
But this show marks her serendipitous, yet harrowing new path for Luke. Through a mixture of poverty and luck she was charged with the task of clearing out the former 'home' of an addict. What she documented and cleared out became an entire art project. A seemingly fully functional member of society when met face to face, but the tidy up operation revealed a trail of theft from the other residents of the building in order to fund a serious habit. The poignant words above the bed, usually found in some kind of family home, are a stark contrast to the layers of hazardous filth that the artist was wading through both emotionally and physically.
This is not the exploitation of an unfortunate junkie, but a very first had documentation of the horrors of addiction and forces the viewer to think about our own addictions and how we perceive us to be different from other junkies.
This show is guaranteed to take you on a journey through a range of emotions in a beautifully uncomfortable way.
SEA SPRAY GALLERY
Saturday 9th November - Thursday 5th December 2019
Private View Saturday 9th November 6pm - 8pm
THE BRITS LOVE TEA. At any time of day!
By Sara Darling
So when we were invited to sample the best of the UK’s Afternoon Tea at the fourth annual Afternoon Tea Awards at the Rosewood in London, it wasn’t too much of a chore. Founded by Keith Newton, an afternoon tea connoisseur and businessman, it is the icing on the cake for purveyors of stylish tea and cakes.
This great British custom was started by the Duchess of Bedford in 1830 when she ordered a light meal to stave off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner, and the tradition of scones and gossip still prevails at some of the most exclusive meeting points in London.
Narrowing down the favourites from some of London’s top hotels and eateries to the top four could not have been easy. With each judge (including top pastry chefs and food writers in the hospitality industry) visiting twice to ensure consistency.
From over 60 of the UK’s finest hotels and restaurants offering afternoon tea, the cherished awards recognise the best in tea, food and service and were whittled down to four winners which were commended for their impeccable service, taste, setting and creativity,
The 4 categories showcase the most outstanding experiences from best tea service, best theme, best contemporary tea and best traditional tea, which were judged over a period of 6 months, and considered all aspects of the afternoon tea experience from booking to departure, with a strong focus on the food, tea and service.
Best Traditional Afternoon Tea – The Savoy
The judges said:
“Everything about the setting for this afternoon tea experience exudes elegance.”
“Combining exquisite food with a service which made everyone feel as though they were the most special person in the room is a real talent and made for a perfect afternoon of elegance.”
“A memorable experience which is worth every penny.”
Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea - Adam Handling at Cadogan’s
The judges said:
“Fantastic afternoon tea, with amazing food and service.”
“The tea stand was not only unique and stunning, but also cleverly designed.”
“The best afternoon tea experience I have had for a long time!”
Best Themed Afternoon Tea – The Berkeley “Prêt-à-Portea”
The judges said:
“This afternoon tea has been a true highlight for me.”
“I was incredibly impressed with both the genuineness and knowledge of the staff.”
“An astonishing level of detail…the cakes truly were art itself.”
Best Tea Service - The Roseberry at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
The judges said:
“I was very impressed with the variety of teas on offer - it looked as if the pages would go on forever!”
“I liked how much detail our server went into to explain the teas and the food pairings they would complement.”
“Fresh cups were provided with each new tea and our waiter was keen for us to try many options.”
With further notable additions: The Berkeley, Rosewood London, The Dorchester and Kona; Commended winners included Fortnum & Mason, The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe, COMO The Halkin and Le Méridien Piccadilly.
Regionally, the ‘Award of Excellence’ winners were:
Pennyhill Park, Surrey, Coworth Park, Berkshire, Café at the Palace, Edinburgh, Lainston House, Hampshire, James Martin Manchester, Laura Ashley Coventry, Laura Ashley Solihull, Foxhills, Surrey, Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, Hertfordshire
For more information, check out
A COMING OF AGE MOVIE WITH ADDED CARP OBSESSION
BY SARA DARLING
The nineties might strike a chord for the music scene- acid house, punk, emo and northern soul were rife. but in industrial, working class Yorkshire, friendships take priority. And music is secondary to this close knit group of teenagers who star in the first movie by acclaimed theatre director Bill Buckhurst.
The film begins in a sleepy mining village just outside Doncaster, in the heatwave of 1994. Bored, skint, teenagers fill their long summer holiday with sibling rivalry, teenage dramas, crushes, betrayals and first love, around the decidedly unglamorous estate where they have grown up.
In keeping with the era, youths listlessly hang out on street corners, revving up motorbikes, blagging cigarettes and heavy petting in alleyways- whilst listening to music on cassette tapes. Parents on the other hand are equally apathetic socialising at the local Miners’ Welfare Club, where the highlight is making jokes about Tony Blair.
With a mis-matched group of friends, the story sways towards the character of Trevor (Tom Varey), who as one of the older members of the gang, is ready to leave the suffocating town after one last summer. His priority is looking after emotionally fragile Pogo (Esme Creed-Miles), who has a major crush on him, and is constantly on the verge of an anxiety attack, whilst his wayward sister Cassie (Daisy Edgar-Jones), has moved into his old room and is embracing her new freedom.
Geeky Malcolm (Angus Imrie) is besotted with Cassie, but she is only interested in bad boys, demonstrated in her passionate snogging sessions with Maurice (Abraham Lewis). As a coming of age film, the unrequited love establishes how fickle teenage romance is, and how easy it is to get your heart broken.
Away from the oppressive cement of the estate, the local woodland has a pond, which rumour has it, is the home of a giant carp, nicknamed Nessie. As a last ditch attempt to make something of his life in the area, he is determined to catch it once and for all before he leaves the town to search for work.
A film about fishing might not seem super exciting, but it’s the relationships which bind the town together that make it memorable. In order to leave his legacy, Trevor initiates an overnight mission to lure the fish on an overnight fishing expedition.
Tweenagers Shane and David, are also obsessed with snagging the carp- almost as much as Shane is hooked in spying on snogging couples, and are almost a comical aside to the drama. With a particularly poignant scene when randy Shane has stolen his mothers stockings and suspenders to wear (he was told anglers wore women's tights to keep warm) and almost gets rumbled by Maurice!
Pond Life will no doubt take you back to the nineties, and is a modern, nostalgic kitchen sink drama.
Watch it on Verve Pictures on DVD now.
A MOVIE ABOUT LOVE
BY SARA DARLING
A bittersweet romance by Simon Amstell. Yes, Simon Amstell the comedian.
This semi-autobiographical love story takes us through lust, love, relationships and heartbreak in ninety minutes and provides a voyeuristic look into leading man- wannabe filmmaker, Benjamin, uses his disastrous relationships as the material for his work.
With one award under his belt, we join the skittish movie maker in the week of release of film number two, and although he is likeable, he is also really annoying because of his insecurities.
Benjamin, played by a bashful Colin Morgan, is Amstel with an accent, and the viewer may easily question if he has the competence as a filmmaker, as his social skills are painful.
However, urged to go out and network by his hyperactive publicist Billie (played fantastically by Jessica Raine) he sets eyes on a delightful French musician, Noah (Phénix Brossard), who woos him with his sultry voice and eye contact from the stage.
Not having the confidence to go and speak to him, there is a camp element to the narrative, and the awkwardness of the crush is actually very cute.
Meanwhile, the latest movie is a flop, with critics on the scene dropping him like a hot potato, which adds to his self-destruction. Even his publicist didn’t watch it all the way through!
Adding to the stress of making a comeback in the industry, and facing the media, he underestimates his feelings for Noah. What seemed to have so much promise at the start, begins to fade fast and crumble with high and impossible reassurance demands.
Exposing the fickle nature of the film industry, the comedic elements, spiral from the failed movie and the secondary affair that Benjamin's best friend and co-writing partner is having with Billie, who wants nothing more to do with him in the daylight! Bed swapping, back stabbing and some jolly good tunes....
Above all it’s a film for anyone who has put their heart or soul into a vulnerable situation, anyone who doesn’t have thick skin, and anyone who has ever been in love.
Benjamin / released on DVD 12th August.
WE THE ANIMALS, DIR BY JEREMIAH ZAGAR
BY SARA DARLING
A beautiful real life story of a young boy discovering manhood based on the autobiographical book by Justin Torres.
Set in the flatlands of remote, upstate New York, there are few other characters involved in this movie, which revolves around a family consisting of Puerto Ricon ‘Paps’ (played by Freddie Mercury- moustached Raúl Castillo), American-Italian ‘Ma’ (Sheila Vand) a feisty teenage mum who had her kids by the time she was twenty, and three siblings, ranging between 9 and 14- Manny (Isaiah Kristian), Joel (Josiah Gabriel) and Jonah (Evan Rosado).
Taking place through an undetermined time period in the nineties, the family seems to be happy, making do with their hand to mouth existence in their run down house, teasing each other, but ultimately a solid unit. However, there is friction within the monotony with their parents, who constantly wind each other up. The boys, sleeping like feral wolves, in the same room, are well aware when their alpha male father beats their mother up after they have gone to bed.
After a particularly harrowing incident when Paps, tries to teach the youngest son, Jonah to swim, and he nearly downs, the air is heavy with blame. Sent off to bed, the boys expect a big row, and the inevitable fight leads to Ma getting a smashed up face. Paps knows is one step too far, and he grabs his bag and leaves, telling the boys that their mother had teeth removed at the dentist and they should stay quiet around her.
From the outset, the main focus is Jonah, who as the youngest is his Ma’s little treasure. However, with two older brothers and an unpredictable Paps, he has conflicting views on what is right and wrong; The violence, followed by consequent passion and tenderness is a cycle which is hard for anyone to get to grips with, and puts pressure on his relationship with his mother as he tries to work things out for himself.
In order for Jonah to try to understand his feelings, he crawls under the bed with a flashlight every night to scribble in a notebook, frantically creating illustrations which come to life as realistic animations. Depicting violence, sex and his family, this is a clever way for the viewer to bond with him, as however close he is to his brothers, he is perceived as more delicate and sensitive; Adamant to keep his journal secret, he stashes it carefully under the mattress so no one can see his true feelings, and sexual thoughts.
Being the youngest of three brothers, and having a mother who is suffering from depression, and a father he is not sure he should like, makes Jonah grow up fairly quickly; So when he accidentally meets the stoner grandson of his neighbour (after attempting to steal from his vegetable garden) he finds a comrade. This teenager, from Philly, who is nice to him, represents normality. Even though his life involves around watching Iron Maiden videos, porn and smoking weed, he provides an alternative reality to what Jonah knows, and is a beacon of hope.
With confusing guidelines (his parents have yet another passionate reunion) and his brothers seem to be developing way too quickly and growing into versions of their father, Jonah feels even more of a misfit. And after being bullied by his siblings, he acts on impulse and takes refuge in his neighbour’s basement, where his desire takes over and they kiss.
However happy his first kiss should make him, his life implodes when he gets home, where he finds his bed ransacked and his diary has been read. With his deepest secrets exposed, and the whole family waiting for an explanation, this ten year old boy has a decision to make.
A totally mesmerising story, which will touch and infuriate you, and make you wonder what you would do in the same situation.
By Eureka Films! On general release now.
A curated catalogue of things to do and see - exhibitions, events, films and galleries.