People Like Us at No More Grey
The smell of white spirit is cloying around my nose still, having spent the morning daubing pink, white and yellow paint off my coat. I suspect I'm not the only one. Last night was the opening for new gallery space No More Grey in Redchurch Street with a bunch of gunslingers brought in from the badlands of West London and Sartorial Contemporary Art. It's a good, busy night, although the place seems filled with people who have applied to work for me and I've rejected. Always great conversations to have. And these are the ones who made it to interview. God knows how many more of you there are out there who never got that far. So, hey, I'm sorry, it obviously just wasn't the right time. I am truly sorry. Now give me a break...and get me a beer. Here we go.
The place is a good size and there's even access to a backyard where there are paintings attached directly to the outside brick walls; there's a dj and a bar and a couple of toilets (oh yes!). Dominating the end wall is a big new painting by Stella Vine. It's a large breasted, naked stripper pushing money into herself (if you get my meaning). We like this a lot. Stella's stuff is always so big, garish, full on and unapologetic that it totally suits a banging private view like this. Where other works get lost, broken, suffocated (and smeared across my coat), Stella's piece is up for the party. It's easily the headline act in tonight's line up. I'm guessing she's referencing that Tracey Emin photo of her doing the 'money shot' herself. It's a telling resonance.
There's other pieces here worth a note: Harry Pye has some small delicate stuff in the far corner which I'm sure I'd like if I could actually see it. Harry has also produced a new fanzine for the night called The Rebel (inspired both by Albert Camus and Tony Hancock). He's been chipping away at the art landscape with intelligent and interesting stuff for a good few years. I remember his art fanzine from back in the day: Harry Pye's Frank Magazine, a black and white, scrappily photocopied thing which bore a strapline something like 'europe's leading arts and culture magazine'...
Other works: a car full of books by Martin Sexton, and some paintings by Gavin Nolan which were good.
I bump into Luke Carson who runs this space. That's a photo of him at the top of this column with his grandmother. Sorry, no wait, that's his mother. Forgive me. But forgive him more, as he made the same mistake. You can imagine how happy she was. On the far left, in the background is his girlfriend (thankfully he got that one right). Anyhow, I commend him on the show, the space, the music and the barman James, who has singlehandedly been pushing out beers all night. James is certainly in the running for my 'Best Barman at a Private View Award' for this year.
Then I bump into a painting and Luke gets a worried look on his face. I start to head off while other people trawl themselves along the brushstrokes. By the end of the night it will be a completely different painting from the one that started here...not sure if that's what was intended, but it fits with the feel of the view. I think it was Sarah Dwyer's work, but I can't be sure. If it was, big apologies, Sarah. Never mind No More Grey, think No More Pink...White...Yellow...