This week sees the opening of Autumn’s most high profile street art “exhibit” at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. I say exhibit loosely since Urban Contemporary is a ten day show culminating in the 150 works being auctioned off by Dreweatt’s on October 10. As usual, there is a mix of crap and some rare works that haven’t been seen in a while. The two that stood out for me is JR’sAdama, Montfermeil, Portrait d’une generation (2006) and the Charming BakerPanda Boy Remix (2007). Not only is the piece an early Baker, but this is also the first time (I cannot find evidence to say otherwise) one of his works has cropped up in the secondary market. Other artists in the show include D*Face, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Blek le Rat and Eine.
The show opens September 30th at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch.
Last night might have been my busiest 1st Thursday ever, and I didn’t even stop off everywhere I wanted to. Either way, I’ll have to go back to a few galleries this week to actually look at the art properly. Even with a cursory glance though, the Charming Baker show was the highlight by a mile. I’m not sure how sustainable it is to sell paintings at the prices they sold for last night, but damn it looked good. Here’s a few things I could have posted about last night, had I not been out being a gallery-hopping scenester…
It looks like Charming Baker’s current solo show Stupid Has A New Hero at NY Studio Gallery has put Baker at the forefront of the New York art scene. The Telegraph reports that there were about 1000 people at last week’s opening, the show sold out almost instantly and buyers included art-world heavyweights like Alberto Mugrabi (a mega-collector and son of mega-collector Jose Mugrabi) and Damien Hirst. Well, whatever. The important thing for those of us without the £16,000 to buy an original is that the paintings look great as usual and the show is on through May 29th.
Charming Baker is one of the few “urban artists” that I post about here. Mostly because I think he’s a particularly interesting painter. After his London solo show last year, I’ve been eagerly awaiting more new canvases from Charming. Unfortunately I won’t be able to catch this show in person, but art lovers in New York are in for a real treat next month when this pop-up opens. Arrested Motion has more pictures.
The Jealous Gallery has a booth at the London Art Fair, which opens tomorrow (and closes on Sunday). I’m not sure about everything that will be at their booth, but two prints should be mentioned. First of all, Jealous were the folks who printed Hera’s lithograph of The Answer a few months ago for The Thousands, so there will be a few of those prints at Jealous’ booth. I think that they are selling the prints without my book, so the price will be a bit cheaper than usual.
They will also have a new print by Charming Baker called “What Beautiful Thing Life Turns Out To Be (Grey)”. Here’s what it looks like:
This week there were a number of great art openings in London. My friend and I went to 3 of them.
First was Charming Baker‘s show “The Meaning of Everything” at The Gallery on Redchurch Street. I know they say to save the best for last, but we decided to mix it up and start where I thought we would see the best work. I was right. Charming’s show was extremely cool. For me, his paintings either click and I think they are just fabulous, or they don’t click at all and I think they’re boing. Not much middle ground. Luckily, this show is full of pieces that really click with me. And the prints are extremely well made, which is always nice. I even went back today to check it all out in more detail. My only real criticism would be that the prices seem a bit high, even though the pieces are big. I saw a few works have already sold, so I could be wrong, but I don’t expect the show to sell out. Here are a few of the paintings. Photos are from S-Butterfly, and here is the rest of her set: