A Japanese living in London writes anything about everyday life in UK – cafe, restaurant, design, stores, politics, news, events, art/museums, films, food, fashion, travel etc. イギリス暮らしもかれこれ10年。カフェ、レストラン、デザイン、お店、政治、ニュース、イベント、アート／美術館、映画、食、ファッション、旅行等々、ロンドンでの日常生活や、英国に関する情報を思いつくままに綴ります。
ヒュームは、鮮やかな色を好み、時に不調和と思える色の組み合わせを用いる。作品のモチーフは、母親や赤ん坊、友人、有名人などの人物、花や鳥などの自然や、雪だるまなど子供時代の思い出など。原形をわずかにとどめているものの、抽象画に近いほどゆがめたり細部を省略して、その主題を表現する。主な作品は初期の代表作・ Tony Blackburn (1993. photo galleryの4作目) や Blackbird (1998. 写真上)、そして最近の作品 Red Barn Door (2008) 等。
Hume uses strong and sometimes dissonant colour combinations, with recognisable images often fragmented to near abstraction. His favoured subjects are figures such as mothers and babies, friends and celebrities, as well as images drawn from nature or childhood including flowers, birds and snowmen. Highlights include iconic early works such as Tony Blackburn (1993. 4th on photo gallery), and Blackbird (1998. photo above), as well as recent paintings such as Red Barn Door (2008).
I like his use of candy or gelato colours (look yummy), and his paintings on flowers and animals such as Tulips (2009) and Blackbird (1998) are very impressive. However, some of his portraits and faces, such as Michael Jackson and Angela Merkel (below), are rather dark and make me feel uncomfortable.
イギリス現代アート界の風雲児、ダミアン・ハーストの大規模回顧展「Damien Hirst」が、9月9日までテートモダンで開催中だ。90年代に台頭したヤング・ブリティッシュ・アーティスト（YBAs）の第一人者である彼は、大手広告代理店サーチ・アンド・サーチ社長／美術コレクター／サーチ・ギャラリー創設者である Charles Saatchi（チャールズ・サーチ）氏に、その才能を見いだされ、動物のホルマリン漬けや腐乱死体など「死」をテーマにした作品でアート界に衝撃を与えた。これらの作品に対する評価は賛否両論。それでも現代美術の数々の賞を受賞し、世界にその名を轟かせた。1999年以来、盗作疑惑も取りざたされたりもしたが、トップアーティストの地位を確立、現在彼の作品はコレクションのみならず投資のターゲットとして億単位で売買されている。総資産額（2010年調べ）はなんと2億1500万ポンド。イギリスで最も金持ちのアーティストでもある。
展覧会では動物死体のインスタレーションの他、白いキャンバスに様々な色の水玉を規則的に配置した「spot paintings」、回転する円形のキャンバスに描いた「spin paintings」、そして薬局を再現した「Pharmacy」、蝶をモチーフにしたカラフルな絵画、タバコの吸い殻を使ったインスタレーション等々、ハーストの代表作が一挙展示されている。ユニークなのは、たくさんの生きた蝶を展示室内に放したインスタレーション「In and Out of Love (White Paintings and Live Butterflies)」（1991年）。展示室は温室になっており中は蒸し暑く、蝶が飛び交っている。でも、死んでいる蝶もいて、ちょっと可哀想。
ダミアン・ハーストの作品はあちこちで目にするので食傷気味、大きな期待をせず見に行ったけれど、これだけの数の作品が一堂に揃っているとやはり圧巻。大きな作品も多く見応えがある。ただ、動物愛護主義者じゃないけれど、牛や羊、サメのホルマリン漬け（科学博物館じゃないんだから）やハエがたかった動物の死体（かなり生臭いので、鼻の利く人は注意）、煙臭い吸い殻の展示は意味不明でいただけない。残念だったのは、待ち時間が長過ぎて、地上階の小室に置かれた「For the Love of God」を見られなかったこと。しばらく前、この作品に似た、ダイアモンドっぽい石で飾られた頭蓋骨がガラスケースに入れられて、オールドストリート近くの建物から運び出されるのを見た。警備員も付いていなかったので本物じゃないとは思うけど。
The most prominentmember of the Young British Artists (YBAs) and best known British modern artist, Damien Hirst‘s major retrospective, ‘Damien Hirst‘ is currently running at Tate Modern until September 9th. His talent was founded by Charles Saatchi, a co-founder of global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and famous art collector who opened the Saatchi Gallery. He became famous for a ‘death’ theme series of preserved dead animals, which caused the sensation to the world of modern art. Some people love him, and some others hate him – but he won some prestigious art prizes and now he established a status of one of the world’s leading artists whose works are in high demand, both for collections and for investment, and are sold for millions of pounds (though he has been accused of plagiarising several times since 1999). His wealth was valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List, which made him Britain’s wealthiest artist.
The exhibition gathers Hirst’s major artworks together with above mentioned “dead animals”, such as “spin paintings” created on a spinning circular surface, “spot paintings” with rows of randomly coloured circles, installation of pharmacy recreation, colourful paintings with butterfly motif, and installation of cigarette butts. The unique one is “In and Out of Love (White Paintings and Live Butterflies)” (1991), a temperature-controlled room (hot & humid) with dozens of live butterflies flying all over. It was sad to see some dead butterflies, though.
Before going the exhibition, I didn’t expect much as I saw his works everywhere and thought it was too much. However, seeing a large amount of his works in one place was quite impressive and actually I enjoyed the show – though I hate the smell of cow head full of flies (really nauseating!) and believe that installations of stinky cigarette butts as well as dead animals like shark, sheep and cow in immersed in formaldehyde (it’s not a science museum!) are bad taste and pointless. One regret is that I missed to see “For the Love of God“ exhibited in a small hut located on the ground floor, because of a long queue. A while ago (few years ago?), I saw someone carrying similar looking diamond-decorated human scull in a glass case, out of one building near Old Street. I am not sure if that was ‘it’, but I doubt as there was no security guard around…
オープンから約1年半経つのというのに、この新しいギャラリーに来たのは、実は今回が初めて。今回観た、イギリスの現代アートを紹介する「Newspeak: British Art Now Part II」は、強烈な印象を持つ作品や心に残る作品が見当たらない、少し小粒な展覧会だったけれど、4フロア計13室の新しいギャラリーは以前の少し薄暗い建物に比べ、明るく広々としていて、気持ちがいい。入場料も無料なので、気軽に足を運べるのも嬉しい。ただ、ギャラリー前の公園は立ち入り禁止なのが残念。アート鑑賞後、リラックスするのに最適の場所なのに。
It was the first time for us to visit the gallery in this new location, though it reopened a year and half ago. “The Newspeak: British Art Now Part II“, exhibiting emergent British contemporary art, didn’t offer us much without any strong impression nor eye-opening experience, but new gallery space with total of 13 rooms on four floors is bright and airy, and pleasant place to enjoy art, with a big incentive of free admission. It is a shame that we couldn’t relax in the park in front, which was off limit, after stroll around this large gallery.
My favorite work in the gallery, “20:50“, created by British artist Richard Wilson. This is the only permanent installation at the Saatchi Gallery and has been continuously shown in each of the gallery’s venues since 1991. The room 13 is entirely flooded in thick and pitch black oil, which the title “20:50” takes its name from the type of recycled engine oil used – it reflects the architecture of the room. Thought the floor was made of black mirror – great idea.
Rude Britannia presents British comic art from 1600s to to the present day. From painting, drawing, sculpture, to film and photography, by historical and contemporary artists like Hogarth and YBAs, the works are divided in a category such as ‘Absurd’, ‘Bawdy’, ‘Politics’ and ‘Social Satire’. One room is dedicated to ‘The Worship of Bacchus‘ by George Cruikshank, and the room on the Absurd is curated by comedian and TV presenter Harry Hill. The subjects are varied from ordinary citizens and aristocrats to historical figures such as Napoleon and Hitler, and successive British prime ministers like Thatcher, Major, and Blair are not an exception as a target by the comic artists. →Click here for more photos.
Caricatured figures are often grotesque and look ridiculous, and ‘bawdy’ art can be obscene and indecent, but comic art reflects people’s interests and concerns, lifestyle, politics and social circumstances of the time and British sense of humor, and it is quite interesting to look at. However, in compare to usual large scale impressive exhibition of Tate, Rude Britannia is rather small and less spectacular, I think.
Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson’s “Death to the Fascist Fruit Boys” (2010)
Cool Britannia is a media term that was used during the mid-to-late 20th century to describe the contemporary British culture. It is a pun on the title of the British patriotic song Rule, Britannia!, and the phrase “Cool Britannia” was first used in 1967 as a song title by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. The term was commonly used during the 1990s, when the country was enjoying growing economy and good vibes. Britpop groups such as Blur and Oasis hit the world’s charts, and Young British Artists (YBAs) like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin created a new wave of unconventional contemporary art (although personally I don’t fancy them). Young fashion designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen (whose sudden death, possibly suicide was reported today) grabbed the spectator’s attention on catwalks around the world. M and I also attracted to the simple but stylish British Graphic Design and the energy of “Cool Britannia”, and decided to move to London. Cool Britannia was closely associated with the early years of “New Labour” under Tony Blair, who won the election in 1997 and became a prime minister. Blair tried to incorporate the trend in his policy and launched the Creative Industries Task Force, intending to sell ‘Cool’ Britain to the world.
But!! Today I found a shop which completely misuse the concept of “Cool Britannia” in the center of Piccadilly Circus. In the middle of the shop, you see a Mini with British flag on its rooftop and a sad-looking man in Beefeater costume, being photographed by some tourists. You may get an impression that the shop carries full of cool British brands and hip products, but in fact there is full of cheap trash made in China. It is sad to see some tourists were shopping around quite happily. There are not many decent souvenir shops in London, but lots of South Asian (look like) owned shops selling cheap, bad quality and terrible designed goods. So when I saw the “Cool Britannia” shop at first, I thought finally I found a nice place to buy a souvenir….
When you want to buy a souvenir in London, ignore these trashy shops, and go to department stores, specialty stores, or museum shops – more costly, but much better quality and design. If you only have a small budget, go to supermarkets and drugstores. You can find products in nice packages with small price tags.