“A Sequence of Events” is Nick Walker’s new book, due to be released this spring, and in conjunction with the book, Walker has a solo show at Black Rat Press.
The show, also called “A Sequence of Events” opens May 28th, and there will be 2 screenprints released on that night.
They’ll kill me for saying this, but start lining up outside of BRP soon, and bring tents. Camping out overnight may be the only way to guarantee your chance at one of Walker’s highly-in-demand screenprints.
A little over a week ago I had the chance to see with Matt Small and we spoke about his show Youngstarrs, which is currently on at Black Rat Press in London. Here’s part one of that interview, the rest will be coming online in the coming days. The audio isn’t great, so below the video you can read the transcript.
RJ: Okay, so we’re here with Matt Small at Black Rat Press for what’s the show called?
Matt: It would be called Youngstarrs.
RJ: Right. It opened last week, and I guess you’re gonna explain to us some of the paintings.
Matt: Well, the show, Youngstarrs, kinda I wanted to do a project about kids I suppose. At the end of the day, these kids are us. Because that’s who we are: big kids. I just thought I thought it would be lovely to have this huge theme of young people. Young people that are living and growing up in today’s society. These young kids who walk round up the roundabouts and they’ve all got their futures ahead of them. You know whatever in the end, whatever negative things, so many worrying stories about what’s happened with our youth and we worry about where they’re gonna be. I’ve got a young child myself, he’s seven. He’d say that’s your formative years. You know that’s really where you become who you are as a person. That’s where [inaudible]. That’s where futures start to really kind of, you know, to be cemented and such. As well as [inaudible] you really kind of becoming you as a person, which is like: do we believe that, [inaudible] we can tell with the recession and [inaudible] and this crime and do we think that our little kids are gonna be down in the scrap heap or do we just see them as these beautiful little angels like “young stars” as such? They’re like stars in the sky. They’re shining bright and that be me is what I think that my little kid, that’s what I thought of him. I can’t see him in a negative way, I can’t see his friends in the negative, I can’t see their futures in anything but the positive, a positive termed vernacular, because I think that that would be failing them. And I’m getting sick and tired of The Daily Mail and all those sort of papers that just talk about how everything’s terrible and the world’s gone to pot because I can’t think like that. So that’s more than your [inaudible]. That’s in the same vein as like, the concrete people, and I’ll do my best to sort of make my kid’s future as bright as possible and I think that’s the [inaudible] in kids. That’s the potential of them all. I think that that should be giving the right message that I’m trying to say, and it is saying that we’ve all got stories, we’ve all been somewhere, we’ve all wanted to have something different in our lives and [inaudible] sometimes takes us to where we don’t wanna be [inaudible] everyone’s got a story. And I’d like to think that when people look at this they sort of see themselves in them. These little young people. It’s like, well, I had the whole world ahead of me, and my story is still continuing but things I might have wanted to do or things that I think I can’t do, I didn’t get the chance, or I wish that this didn’t happen. I might be this place. Or I just think it’s really interesting to think about these children who, they are us. They got the world ahead of them. I think of these as self portraits. They’re all me. I was that little kid once. I don’t know why what happened to me [inaudible] there’s things I could have done I didn’t do it because of life’s little scenarios and what we thought we couldn’t achieve if someone’s saying you can’t do it. And that’s what I’m saying, life starts to inform your mind and tell you what you can and can’t do and I just think, I don’t want that to happen around my kid. I think each one of these kids has got the potential to become world leaders and something incredible [inaudible]. It doesn’t matter if they’re from dodgy or a bad estate or bad area or they’ve got bad things happening around them. They’ve got the chance to grow in a positive place. These are the young stars.
RJ: So it’s sort of like right before, or right as they are sort of realizing that the world might not be that perfect place, but at this point, it still is for all these people.
Matt: It’s totally that. That’s what I see. Like within contemporary London (for me) or wherever you live. You think that these kids are gonna be all savvy and they’re gonna be all different to how we were when we were as little kids. They’re not. They’re still playing tag and they’re still very cheeky and funny and they haven’t been burnt yet. They haven’t had their fingers singed. They’ve still got a lot of energy and a lot of potential. I think that’s exactly what I see every day. As I say I’m at my child’s school. I see that.
Finally made my way down to Black Rat Press today for Matt Small’s show “Youngstarrs”. Really fantastic stuff. Here’s photos of some of my favorite pieces thanks to WallKandy (more from this show on flickr):
I really loved this show, and everybody who can should try to see it. In a few years time, when Matt Small is a huge name in art, you will be kicking yourself if you miss this show. It has a variety of work which showcase Matt’s different styles, but it still feels like one body of work with a unified message.
Matt Small’s solo show, “Youngstarrs,” opens at Black Rat Press next Thursday. I’ve just been sent some preview pics of the show from Matt’s studio. This show is really shaping up to be something special. Personally, I think Matt’s portraits are some of the most powerful being made today.
I’ve seen a couple of the pieces from “Youngstarrs” and they have impressed me to no end. I would show you a blury photo I took with my iPhone, but twitpic.com seems to have lost the image. Oh well, these preview images are better quality anyway.
The cool thing about the above painting is that it is done (I believe) on concrete. The end result is probably my favorite style of work that Matt has ever done.
This Saturday (the 21st) is the opening day of The Black Rat Press’ first show of the year. Their annual print show will feature work from Matt Small, D*face, Sweettoof, Brian Adam Douglas, Gaia, Lucas Price, Nick Walker, Blek Le Rat and Slinkachu. The show will also feature their “largest and most complex print to date.” I’m guessing it is a Matt Small.
I won’t be in town for the opening, but I’m looking forward to seeing the show (and work from Sweettoof and Gaia in particular) as soon as I’m back in London.
Next Tuesday the London Art Fair opens, and the world is watching. Bloomberg, Animal New York, The Art Collectors Blog, Artbleat, and others have all been talking about Black Rat Press’ print release Tuesday evening at the private opening: Nick Walker’s latest “Morning After Series” print. this one feature’s New York city and the Empire State Building. It’s an edition of 175, for £475 each.
Besides just a print release, this particular print is being viewed as a sort of barometer for the state of the art market. Usually, Nick Walker prints are instant sell-out items for Black Rat, but nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen with so many collectors reluctant to spend. Continue reading “Nick Walker and Gauging The Street Art Market”
So last night was the opening of Black Rat Press’ White Noise show. Most of the work was from Lucas Price/Cyclops, Asha Zero and Brian Adam Douglas/Elbowtoe, but there was work from Blek le Rat, Nick Walker, Matt Small, and D*face as well.
For Brian Adam Douglas, the show was a chance to introduce a whole new direction in his work: collage. These collage pieces are amazingly detailed and I can’t wait to see how the work progresses. For now though, there is at least one collage which had a crowd of people around it all night. Douglas’ self-portrait, pictured on the left, may be the perfection of collage. His other collages were good, though I prefer his older work to most of them, but his self portrait is probably the best piece I’ve ever seen by Douglas. The video below from JetSet Graffiti features Douglas/Elbowtoe and talks a bit about his collage work at the end.
Black Rat Press’ group show White Noise opens tonight (in a few minutes actually), and as usual, I’ll be twittering live.
The show has work from a very diverse group of artits, from Matt Small to Blek le Rat.
Just a reminder for those who are a bit confused when I say I’ll be twittering the show: Twitter is a “micro-blogging” site, and when I go to openings, I post comments and photos live at http://twitter.com/vandalog. That means that even if you can’t be at the opening you’ll be among the first to see images and hear about it.
This Friday is the invite-only opening of the new show at The Black Rat Press. White Noise (2) is a group show with six artists: D*Face, Nick Walker, Blek Le Rat, Lucas Price, Asha Zero, Matt Small and Brian Adam Douglas. The show opens to the public on Saturday.
I’m looking forward to this show for a few reasons:
1. The Lucas Price works are great, and they really need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
2. Asha Zero is showing in the UK for the first time (I think). I’m not really into collage pieces right now, but his technical skills are amazing. His pieces look like collages, but they are entirely hand-painted.
3. The Brian Douglas Adams collages can be amazing.