Friday, May 2, 2014

Buncha Art

Song of the Day: A Moment's Grace, Boy and Bear

London Stuff: We had a tube strike this week. Folks weren't happy. Side note, this is what the tube looked like in 1890.

Last Friday, Kenz exhibited some work along with a few of her Camberwell peers. The Hotel Elephant Gallery is quite close to our place, so I opted to walk there in the gray sprinkly weather.  

The gallery itself is down an alley.

I braced myself for hipsters.

The exhibition was like many others I've been to: lots of people I don't know, lots of work that appears opaque at first blush, and Kenz hiding in a corner with her school friends. I was there for half an hour before I even saw her.

It's easy to spot her work, though!

Stepping on this mat produced sounds. The puppy was loving it.

The gallery is pretty cool - it's just a big warehouse, which means it feels much less pretentious than some of the other places we've been. I enjoyed walking around by myself for a bit.

Some of Ragna's work.

I finally found Kenz and the two of us hung with Ragna for another half-hour. 


This exhibition wasn't for school credit, so it had a much more relaxed feeling. With the imminent MFA, I had a five minute daydream about how many more of these I'll be attending in the coming years. I should really get better at talking to strangers about art.  


Keeping with the spirit of Friday night, we went to the Stealing Banksy? exhibit in central London. Banksy is a polarizing figure both in and outside the street art world, but his celebrity is fairly undeniable. As a result, many of his pieces either get removed for future profit or defaced within hours. The folks behind the exhibition 'took' nine pieces from building owners who had authorized their removal, commissioned repair work on each piece, and held this exhibition before an auction. They had claimed that 100% of the profits would go to charity, yet the charities haven't received money (which may be part of a larger plan). Beware, though - the article misrepresent's Banksy's claim that the show is "disgusting" - he's known for being tongue in cheek. The actual quote (from his website) read: 

The 'Stealing Banksy' exhibition in London this weekend has been organised without the involvement or consent from the artist. 

Banksy would like to make it clear - This show has got nothing to do with me and I think it's disgusting people are allowed to go around displaying art on walls without getting permission.

I read the last line as cheek; maybe I'm wrong; maybe we're complicit in some greedy enterprise that profits of the back of a well-meaning artist and we're going to hell as a result. Either way, we went to look at some of the tags we'd only ever seen in books.

A super early piece he did with another artist, Inky, called 'Silent Majority'.

Kenz hated that they had colored lights in the building. I usually scoff at her incessant curation 'notes', but have to agree that it was a poor choice - especially for the pictures.

Old Skool

No Ball Games

Girl with Balloon

I don't need to wax poetic about street art. I'm sure many of you aren't interested in the first place, maybe even thinking such a thing as 'street art' is laughable. But, I will say that it's strange to go inside to see what will be permanent pieces; I think that this genre is, fundamentally, meant to be ephemeral, seen while moving, and not examined up close. Still, though, it was neat to see some of the more popular pieces in real life.

We capped the night with a stop at Kenz's fav new sushi place. 


Two weeks ago, my buddy DeLaney sent us some pure maple syrup from Vermont. He and his wife are living and teaching at a boarding school there; they're excited for our eventual arrival to Providence as we'll only be about two hours apart (they lived in Raleigh when we were there). 

When I was a kid, I never washed my hands. That's not hyperbole. I don't think I washed my hands from age five to about fifteen. I still don't like the feel of soap or lotion of any kind, but, these days, I persevere for the sake of decorum. Anyway, what that meant was that I avoided jelly, oranges, and syrup because I knew that one misstep would lead to a full day of sticky hands. As a result, I'd never really grown to appreciate syrup - much less real syrup. 

That all ended on Sunday. Kenz made pancakes, smothered in butter and syrup, with a glass of milk on the side. It. was. glorious.

After falling into a sugar coma for about three hours, I nudged Kenz into going for a 'quick' stroll in Burgess Park. She came, reluctantly, thinking we'd be outside for five minutes. Two hours later, we returned. We had walked through the entire park, up Walworth Road, visited the Vietnamese supermarket, and finally visited a brand new dessert restaurant just down the road from us(!).

She hates the cold (it was 60).

We walked down the street behind our flat for the first time - that's us on the 2nd floor.

Vietnamese Red Bull

Kaspa's Desserts!

The inside of this place is like a disco - there's literally a disco ball spinning - with music, glitter, bright lights, and television screens blaring. I thought I'd gotten through the day without sticky hands, but each menu I picked up was covered in a film of melted sugar. Kenz and I were in awe of how many people were there and how many desserts this place had - and we both wondered how well we'd be able to resist returning in the future.

Ice cream, gelato, smothies, crepes, and waffles.

She's actually a kid in a candy store.


Last, but not least, Kenz got more rope this week. She's nearly doubled the amount, now totaling 12 strands at 25 meters each. We will be donning respirators tomorrow afternoon as we finally dip the rope in resin and fit it to the mould. I'm hesitantly looking forward to it. It's a two day process. Kenz keeps saying it'll be a 'team building activity', yet warns me that I have no real concept of how much rope this actually is. She's got a moving van bringing it to the house this evening. 

This week's shipment.

Wish me luck. 

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.