Nigel's Big Night
Desperate longings, missed opportunities, shameful disclosures, dysfunctional families, misunderstandings, loss, failure, confusion, death. Yes, we are at Nigel Grimmer's show at Standpoint, just around the corner from White Cube. Nigel presents all these difficult emotions and awkward psychologies through his increasingly recognisable and charateristic melange of trashy, garish toys, dolls, plastic monsters and other assorted moulded figures and bric-a-brac. I find it tough looking at so much of his work in one go, especially when he always seems such a nice man, always pleasant and polite and beautifully turned out, upbeat and jolly. I guess he puts it all into the work....oh, Heavens, time to get a beer.
It's a busy night. There's a good crowd, some drifting in from White Cube but a good many here for Nigel's work. He is looking happy. He advises me to pick up one of the badges he's had made for the show (Road Kill or Gay Doll - I take an example of each: I just love this kind of ephemera).
I look round a bit further. More Japanese dolls lamenting the pointlessness of their lives, more family members lying dead on the road...
I run into Lisa Penny who is just back from the art fair in Brussels. So I get a bit of info on that and we are joined, briefly, by Mari and Rachel. Mari is still working on Big Brother - and STILL doesn't have any gossip. He's worn out, though, poor thing and he and Rachel leave. What else do Lisa and I talk about? Growing up with an artistic temperament. Meaning, my dears, that growing up was a continual battle against letting yourself have fun. While everyone else was out at clubs and parties, having laughs and not caring, I was at home thinking. THINKING. BEING SERIOUS. Listening to SERIOUS MUSIC AND LOOKING AT SERIOUS THINGS. And, quite frankly, it got me nowhere. Nowhere but into a whole bucket of unhappiness. Nowadays I find it much better not to think at all. Consequently, I'm much happier. (That's today's first lesson, children. Learn it well).
I bump into a guy called Ru(pert) who I've met a couple of times before. (He was bar staffing at VTO's last show). He introduces me to a friend he is with. 'Hi', she says, 'I dropped my CV into you today'. I think back to Lena, my deputy, earlier today saying to me: 'Look at his girl's CV - she did Horse Studies. Horse Studies? What the hell's that???' - so I say yes, Horse Studies, what the hell's that? Well, hard to believe, but apparently, it involves studying horses. I can't now remember her name, but I can remember her qualification. (I'm not sure if there's a tip there for applying for jobs or not...)
Lisa is back, eating a fairy cake. In fact, seems like the whole gallery is eating fairy cakes. Except me. They are all gone and so too, nearly, is the drink.
Lisa and I talk some more about stuff. Back in her day, instead of going out having fun, she was listening to Karen Carpenter. What more can I say? That's a whole bunch of trouble. Songs about desperate longings, missed opportunities, shameful disclosures, dysfunctional families, misunderstandings, loss, failure, confusion, death. Yes, we are at Nigel Grimmer's show at Standpoint.
I suspect, from the excellent work on show here tonight, he spent far too much time being serious too....