Saatchi: Huge Ants & Other Delights

Dead on arrival - Christian Rosa (detail)

I always find the Saatchi has a really interesting collection of all sorts of different stuff, and they run really concise exhibitions. I'd like to visit the Saatchi more often because every single exhibition seems to have so much variation - it's like walking around inside a big collage. It's so useful as a springboard for your own art ideas. I always find something I really like, and it's that inspiration that propels my art practice forward and gives me the confidence and delight in making my own ideas happen.

Casa Tomada - Rafael Gómezbarros
The first thing I saw when I walked into the building was this giant infestation. I've always enjoyed things that are amusingly bigger or smaller than they're supposed to be, so I find installations like this really fun. I thought the ants were arranged really well - I wonder how much Rafael studied the way ants move together.

Casa Tomada - Rafael Gómezbarros

Casa Tomada - Rafael Gómezbarros

Le Couloir de la Mort - Aboudia
There was a room full of Aboudia paintings and I had to include them here because they are so like the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, an artist who is a favourite of mine for his sprawling, childlike pieces tinged with angry disorientation and lots of colour on black. Aboudia similarly chooses bright colours and makes use of every inch of his canvas in creating chaotic scenes.

Lugares en Fuga - Fredy Alzate
It's a brick ball, what's not to love? It's the coolest slightly weird object.

Dead on arrival - Christian Rosa
I really liked this piece by Christian Rosa because it has such a harmonic selection of mingling colours and shapes and textures. I find it so satisfying to organise such a composition of visual objects like this, whether I've drawn them or am collaging them from another source. There is something mesmerising and satisfying about it. I think the generous amount of cream space is a nice, calming touch. I also like the fuzzy smudges of red around certain shapes as they remind me of the way blackberries stain your fingers.

Dead on arrival - Christian Rosa (detail)

Dead on arrival - Christian Rosa (detail)

Madre Perla V-11 - José Lerma
Lerma's work caught my eye based on two things - the cathartic biro scribbling and the fact that his canvases are placed on top of keyboards. The canvases themselves remind me of drawing on the back of an envelope whilst on the phone - the kind of mindless artistic activity which I have a deep fondness for. Mindless art is so fascinating and special to me because it gives unique insight into the subconscious. Automatic art is like a special, external part of a person - an unthinking expression. The keyboards give the installations a touch of slight unexpectedness - and they made me laugh, which is always nice in art.

Madre Perla V-11 - José Lerma

Samuel Bernard - José Lerma

Ben Quilty
The scope of Quilty's work is incredible. I love his rich depth of colour choices, and the spindling, oft shadowy, expressive style which lends itself so well to characterisation. This expansive piece, consisting of several small-ish canvases working their way from demonic, abstract chaos on one side, through straightforward portraits bathed in nightclub lighting colour, to milky absences - all of this reads as a cycle through Quilty's artistic range. From abstract madness to simple (but richly expressive) portraiture, to a watery abstraction playing on each previous painting. Quilty utilises the form of the series in captivating ways, making paintings and sitting them next to near-identical copies of themselves with stylistic removal of details, or pushing one incredible portrait into a blank canvas to make a beautiful mirrored set as in Smashed Rorschach Self Portrait.

Ben Quilty

Ben Quilty

Ben Quilty (detail)

Ben Quilty (detail)

Self Portrait Smashed Rorschach - Ben Quilty

Self Portrait Smashed Rorschach - Ben Quilty (detail)

Thing Language - Paul Bloodgood
Like Rosa's piece, this caught my attention due to its pretty arrangement of various shapes and colours. This piece is evocative of a landscape, and looking at it I can see two flying creatures in red and blue. There is a great beauty to imaginative interpretation, and an abundance of shapes arranged in this way makes it so easy to imagine scenes inside the drawing. A child can imagine almost anything with little stimulation. Children have an almost endless imaginative capability, but adults seldom imagine without closing their eyes. I think it would be a fantastic venture to create images which encourage in adults the ease of imaginative wandering that children frolic in, and Thing Language has this effect on me.

Thing Language - Paul Bloodgood (detail)

2 comments:

  1. You've just reminded me of how seldom I go to the Saatchi, and I'm not sure why! I really need to stop in again for a bit of inspiration. I really loved that biro-doodled artwork. Thanks for sharing it! X Jane

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, get down there and have fun! :-)

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