Last week, I went to the opening of Nick Walker’s latest solo show. In Gods We Trust is on now at Art Sensus (formally Orel Art UK) in London. Nick Walker’s 2008 solo show was (I think) the very first art gallery opening event that I went to in London. This blog’s name comes (in part) from Nick’s Vandal character. Still, I think most of Nick’s fans can agree that it was time to find something new after The Vandal. This was meant to be that new direction.
Some of the work in In Gods We Trust are the same images that Nick has been putting outside recently, and outside, most of them are okay. In a white walled gallery, they don’t stand up as well. Banksy once said “I can’t help feeling it was a bit easier when all I had to compete against was a dustbin down an alley rather than, you know, a Gainsborough or something.” Well, he makes a good point which applies to many street artists, and I think it applies to this recent body of work from Nick Walker and could have been the toast of Frieze, had the paintings been shown there.
That said, there are two very notable exception that more than offset the rest of the show. There are two pieces that work purely as indoor works, and I think they are screenprinted, not stenciled. Nick’s two Warhol Towers are pretty much what the title says: the paintings that Warhol would’ve made had he been alive for 9/11. I mean that in the best possible way. The image of the twin towers, repeated over and over in black and grey, is maybe the most serious and best work that I’ve ever seen from Nick.
In Gods We Trust is on view now at Art Sensus in London. The gallery is open on Saturdays from 11-5pm.