24 June 2016

Not your typical London Galleries

Okay, so I didn't know what to title this post. Actually, that's a lie - I wanted to call it "Art that isn't at the Tate Modern or the V&A which is still pretty cool", but that was too long. So now we're all stuck with the smaller, more awkward version. But it's not about the title, it's about the art, right?

I'm not going to pretend I'm an art historian, because I'm definitely not, but as I've mentioned numerous times before, one of the reasons I love London is that there's always something fun and different to do. Admittedly, I *am* desperate to check out the new building at the Tate, and I still haven't checked out the lingerie exhibition at the V&A, but if you're after a less crowded approach to London art, there are plenty of alternatives on offer.

Here are my top 3:

Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro, Old Street

One word: pumpkins. Only two of her installations are based on pumpkins, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they are what you see if you search #yayoikusama or #victoriamiro on Instagram. And to be fair, they are pretty spectacular.

First word of warning: do not touch the pumpkins. They are so beautiful that you'll want to touch them, but just... don't. I almost got thrown out for putting my finger on the golden pumpkin because I was curious as to what it's made from (bronze, FYI).

Second word of warning: you are only allowed in the mirrored rooms for about 15 seconds - if that - depending how busy it is. Yes, yes, I know I said this was a "less busy" option, and it would be, if you went on a weekday and *not* a Saturday, like we did.

Yayoi Kusama: Sculptures, paintings & mirror rooms is exhibiting until 30th July. The gallery is closed on Sunday & Monday.

Bradley Theodore at Maddox Gallery, Mayfair

I stumbled across this by accident and was positively jumping around in excitement when I spotted the window. It was a vibrant skeleton Kate Moss, equal parts macabre and modern... So basically, I was in there like swimwear.

Inside just got better and better.

Worth more than my university tuition, I couldn't stop staring at this piece. A gun, embellished with painted butterflies to resemble the French flag.

Inside the bullet were the causes of war - gold, blood, oil, tears (really), cocaine (seriously), amongst others. It was terrifying but stunning.

 Karl and Anna were sold, alas

What can I liken it to... Psychedelic skeleton pop art? Oh, and another gun, covered in money. Symbolism, guys.

Although my friend and I obviously couldn't afford a single piece in the gallery (not even a butterfly), the curator was so lovely and had a lot of time for us, talking us through each piece and answering any questions we had. Definitely not the kind of person you'd assume would work in an upmarket, boutique Mayfair Gallery.

The Maddox Gallery Summer Exhibition runs until 26th August 

Lights of Soho at Brewer Street, Soho

If you've ever heard of "God's Own Junkyard" (they have an area in the home area of Selfridges, it's awesome), then you may have heard of Lights of Soho. A cafe by day and private members club by night, it also happens to house a selection of lights from "God's Own Junkyard" and declares itself "London's first light art gallery", i.e. neon light porn.

Did I say porn? There's an installation for that...

Upstairs feels like you've walked into an edgy Shoreditch establishment.

And then you descend downstairs...

Into the bar, and check out the pieces. This one was my favourite - "Life" by Rebecca Mason

You can't reeeeally tell, but behind the letters were words and phrases do with just that: life. If anyone is looking to treat me: this would look great in my new lounge. Just saying.

Unfortunately the bar at night is members-only, which is a shame because it would be very cool to be sat amongst all this - and the pieces are interchanging too, depending on what the theme is at the time. So maybe worth the membership cost? I'll leave that decision to you.

Contemporary Vanitas ended on 18th June at Lights of Soho but obviously more amazing lights will occupy the space, so go anyway!

I'm always on the look-out for more awesome galleries and exhibitions, so please tweet me @sofiesays_ or email me sofieeliza172@gmail if there are any I need to visit.

No comments

Post a comment

Blog Design Created by pipdig