Mail Order Monsters in Shoreditch


Friday, 17 October, 2008

Content I passed through Shoreditch today, which, seeing as I used to have an office here for almost 10 years was just a little nostalgic, if only for wanting to go for another pasta at Franco's on Rivington Street.

Didn't really miss the place, although it does have a sense of energy, if you interpret this as the constant disappearance and emergence of new stores and spaces. But Shoreditch does have an "arty style" in contrast to Croydon, which is hmm, where I spend most of my days at the moment.

However, thanks to a friend's insistence of visiting the "Mail Order Monsters" exhibition at the Max Wigram Gallery in Redchurch Street, I have renewed hope in the area. Particularly if the credit crunch drives out the money men from nearby City and the ditch becomes edgy again.

From the exhibition blurb:

Mail Order Monsters

Mail Order Monsters is a traveling exhibition that explores new trends in "fucked-up figuration." Originated by Kathy Grayson, the exhibition began at Peres Projects, Berlin, moved to Deitch Projects, New York, and finished at ANP, Athens.

Mail Order Monsters 1

Every generation has its unique take on the figure and the most exciting new art seems to portray the figure as broken, decaying, fractured, and monstrous! Each artist in the exhibition exemplifies this pervasive tendency in a distinct way.

Mail Order Monsters 2

The unique portfolio/catalogue features a 26-page booklet containing an essay by curator Kathy Grayson, as well as 20 frameable prints by Mat Brinkman, Tomoo Gokita, Joe Grillo, Evan Gruzis, Ben Jones, Eddie Martinez, Dan McCarthy, Taylor McKimens, Takeshi Murata, Aurel Schmidt, Fran Spiegel, and Dennis Tyfus. Ben Jones and Taylor McKimens each contributed spectacular wrap-around covers.

The visuals on display were quite graphicky and complemented by the fluorescent green floor. Some of the works were satisfyingly gruesome, some weird, some different (such as the marble dog, not unlike Doctor Who's K9), and some playful.

But really, the best thing about the exhibition was not having to think too much and to just stare and grin at the work. I mean a couple of portraits with the subjects splattered with god knows what, and a large multi-fluorescent robot sculpture?

Excellent stuff. I think the exhibition is on its last legs, and I couldn't get hold of the spanking good catalogue on site although I'm trying to procure one online.

Mail Order Monsters 3

Mail Order Monsters 4


Events. Living in London.

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