Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Magic in four colours.

Art is a funny old thing. Not just the actual art, but the art scene. Lots of beautiful people (and me) wandering in to tedious white rooms, be proffered wine and then largely ignoring the thing that they are meant to be there for. Well, except for me. The thing is I lost faith, the first night scene was feeling more like a chuffing cocktail party than a chance to have an early glimpse at some art.

Good for people watching though.

Anyway, as I say, I lost faith and stopped attending openings as, frankly, they were usually full of people who think Damien Hirst is actually a good thing. Idiots. Fast forward some time. Lots of time. Well, maybe not that much but I am dealing with the single biggest upheaval of my life at the same time.

Some months back I gained a new follower on twitter by the name of Matt Forster. From time to time he'd tweet images of watercolours he'd been working on and I liked what I saw, they had a certain something, a simplicity with depth.


Time passed a bit more and I saw that he had an exhibition about to start a little way from my office. Well that had to be a good thing. I at least knew I liked what I'd seen so far and was curious to see how it would measure up in reality. This was helped by the fact that the exhibition wasn't going to be in a white cube, but a coffee shop. In SW1. Crikey.

It was going to be a memorable evening. And not completely in a good way.

My plus one would be my bezzie, oddly this is only the second time I've dragged her kicking and screaming to an evening of art. And last time it was erotica. A bit different.

We started the evening in the Tom Cribb on Panton Street so we could cover the important business of the evening, namely love interests, in my case non-existent, obvs. And maybe have a little wine. Before we had more wine. Look, it never does to turn up on time and I never do!

Time passed...

...And then we wobbled off to Charles II Street to the Borough Barista which was to be the host for the evening reception and ensuing month long showing.

The interesting thing about this place was it seems to be downstairs so as you walk down said stairs you actually get a quick chance to view all of the art at once. Which I liked. I also like what I saw, especially one piece lurking in the corner, but more of that later.

As expected the beautiful people were out in force, which is quite tedious, but, unexpectedly, we were warmly greeted by Simon de Pinna of the Town and Country Gallery. Now this was nice, genuinely and does mean you know who to collar if you see something you like. Smart.

Artist holds head shocker...
So, there was just enough time for Simon to introduce us to the artist and have a very quick, yet detailed, chat about what we were here to see before it was abruptly halted for the inevitable speeches. Yep, we were that late. What I hadn't realised was this was the first proper exhibition that Simon and the T&C had put on, he went on to explain that he wanted somewhere different, a place that would make people feel comfortable.

It worked.

I was getting a little tetchy though. As Matt was explaining his technique and what it was that made his paintings so special the beautiful people were busy fannying about with their iBastards and not showing due interest.

Honestly people, you were being fed and wined. *whines*

After I may have said something quite rude about said beautiful people. We talked a bit more with Matt and worked our way along the wall of images until we reached the corner and the picture that had caught my eye on the way in.

It didn't have an orange dot.

Deep breaths

I made my excuses and went to look for Simon with the classic opening line, we need to talk. And we did.

The Lake Side was mine. *cackles*

Actual sheepish
After a short time secluded in the back room with nothing more than the gentle hum of a card machine to serenade me, we returned with the magic orange dot and marked the frame. Oh yes. The best thing was getting a brush by brush description of how Matt had carefully built up the image with just four colours and the order that he did it in. Utterly fascinating stuff, this is truly approaching magic in what is achieved. Needless to say the snippet of image above doesn't do it justice. Not even a little bit.

The funny thing is I know the technique well, it's an approach we took in the 90s to give new effects in videogames, though I strongly suspect this was far more painstaking and will be around long after some dodgy games are thankfully forgotten. I hope.

The pictures really do have a magical character and, which is a delight, the more you look at them the more you notice fabulous little nuances.

I'm starting to sound like an insane art luvvy. I'll stop.

Northerners. Pub. Naturally.
As the evening drew to a close we skipped back to the Tom Cribb for more of teh winez eventually being joined by the artist as we'd mentioned we were going there afterwards. What followed can't really be recalled with clarity as, well, you can guess, but did involved talking about life, art and avoiding tourists. As you do. It was the fab end to the evening that anyone would want, just such a shame it all went horribly wrong a little later when some thieving toerag decided that my bag looked fetching. But that's another story.

So, here I am, nearly two weeks later. A delightful latte in front of me, cool music playing in the background and a selection of business types holding meetings.

And my picture.

It's still glowering in the corner, the shadows giving a depth and intensity missing from the others. And you know what? Even given the trials and tribulations I suffered later that evening, I'm still overjoyed that I managed to secure such a lovely piece of art.

As for the Borough Barista, I can definitely say I like it, nicely quiet, easy on the eye staff who look like they give a monkeys and not too far from the office. I will definitely be back again soon.

The Matt Forster exhibition is showing at the Borough Barista until the 7th of October 2013, do go if you can. The coffee is pretty good too.

And don't forget to say hello to my picture!