I’ve always had my issues with the Saatchi Gallery but have come to realise that in general or even intellectual conversation, they may well need some grounding other than, ‘It’s…well, he’s just…it feels like…um…I mean, come on! He didn’t even bloody appear on his own bloody programme!’ You see what I mean I’m sure. So attend said gallery I did, and a few more revealing arguments I did find. Why do I so resent all that the gallery is and why, when I last went a mere month ago, was I so dead inside when I left? The first and most detectable sensation upon crossing the threshold of the Saatchi Gallery, was the smell. Nothing comparable to something that I could put my finger on but probably something to do with the recent kerfuffle of the new installation of artwork; you know, the smell of dust and paint or…lunatic asylums..? Anyway, after bypassing the desk which brandishes all you will need to understand the world of Saatchi in a neon pink catalogue, for a pound and fifty - STEEP! - I enter Gallery 1. And if you don’t purchase the catalogue (and I have tried not to) you will run the serious risk of contracting the ‘I am completely in the proverbial contemporary visual arts dark’ virus as soon as you set foot in any one of the cells. Sorry. Rooms. Unless of course, you are Damien or Charles themselves. So what now? Well, I shall tell you. Something that made me LOL, (I hate that anagram) but it did actually happen, was the painted work that looked like this and was called, ‘Arse Flowers in Bloom’.
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Have a good look, oh…yep…there we are...arse flowers, blooming arse flowers! Brilliant! No seriously, along with ‘Head with Bottles’ representing the sensation of The Greater Spotted Hangover, I was enjoying this artist’s sense of humour.
Photobucket Ansel Krut - Head with Bottles
Then came the work that, even when surrounded by life and soul sapping white walls that arent even well painted and support teeny tiny unhelpful little labels, comes this…
Photobucket Steve Bishop – Christian Dior - J'adore (Mountain Goat)
Taxidermied white goat – CHECK. Recognisably iconic bottle – CHECK. Brilliance in a world gone artistically mad – CHECK. I love this piece by Steven Bishop. He spoke to me. He said ‘Chrissy, Baaaah! I know you love goats and an excess of taxidermy, so I’ve gone and made this just for you. Baaaaah.’ Something I didn’t love was the space around my goat, that contained this…
Photobucket Anna Barriball - Black Wardrobe
A wardrobe taped over with black tape. I have little else to say on this. I wasn’t free of monsters yet though. What I came across next has given me recurring night-frights ever since. Alexander Hoda’s offering…
Photobucket Alexander Hoda – Shoehorn
Followed by this…
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Feast your eyes, and then visit the Will Smith at MIB headquarters to get your memory erased. This mass of writhing and tortured alien lifeforms, simply towers above the viewer brave enough to get a close up. It is actually painful to look at; your eyes feel watery and you come away feeling as if there may be a serial killer or psychopath somewhere in the building with you and you are looking at his recently tarred and tortured victims. There is no relief or enlightenment as you exit nimbly into the hall of stairs, looking and feeling distictly like the stairwell of some soulless London flats. The mosaics underfoot are well, cracked and bland and you wouldn’t be berrated for thinking maybe that’s it for today, seeing as there is no visible room to try next when you look up at endlessly more cold stairs, or down at another two flights. For me, this exhibition NEWSPEAK: BRITISH ART NOW, is better than the last, but still suffers from soulless, and confusing transitions from one space to another. Everything is grey, not even white but at least some of the current exhibition’s offerings does it some favours. Finally, look at this;
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This is Tessa Farmer and her work ‘Swarm.’ Hundreds of little men ride bee and bug-backed in a glass tank, slightly Mr Hirst, but fundamentally, an ingenious and crafty little set up. It took me three circulations of the tank to even notice that this wasn’t just a tank full of dead flying insects but a swarm of violent, mischievous skeletal mini warriors! The Saatchi art bank left me cold, as I have come to expect of the shell of the British Art institution itself, but these works are definitely worth a visit to Sloane Square, that is for sure!