No More Grey. Again.
'Vote for Pooley,' whispers Simon Ould, 'She has the best eyebrows. Go and have a look. They are the best eyebrows.' He hasn't voted for any one else, just Pooley. There's also some connection between Pooley's name and a nickname he had at school, but I can't quite remember the details of it now.
And so I do go and look at Christiane Pooley's eyebrows. Luckily, and unusually, this exhibition comes with a picture board of photos of all the artists with their names, so I don't have to go and stand in front of Christiane and come across like some weirdo; I can casually address Simon's claim by looking at the board.
And I think he's right. She really does have very good eyebrows.
But, are her eyebrows good enough to win the Zenith.06 prize? Is she the standout candidate of all on show here tonight at No More Grey?
It's a difficult decision. We are supposed to be voting for our top three. And No More Grey is an interesting but perplexing space. It's run by Luke Carson. I went to the show People Like Us here way back in March and tonight I'm here again for this show. In between times the place, I think, manufactures and sells furniture. I don't quite get this and nor does anyone else I talk to. I have a quick chat with Luke tonight but I'm still none the wiser.
I grab a beer and join Calum F Youknowwho and Simon Ould, all of us sitting at the bottom of the stairs leading to the backyard. Simon is knackered from the three legged race he's in at the moment and Calum has hurt his back on the train back from Goodwood. We sit there like a bunch of old men at a teenagers party. I guess this is how we will end up. Watching the young things glittering like stars around us as we sip our beer and mumble about what we are up to.
Calum has been doing some tattoo thing featuring Frankie his alter ego (why do people have alter egos? Isn't it difficult enough when there's just one of you?). He shows me a tattoo that is stuck in his diary. I take a photo, but only after he has covered up various scratchings with his hands. He seems to think that these would be decipherable by someone else...
Simon is two days into a three-legged race organised by Mark McGowan. He is Abu 'The Hook' Hamsa, running along tied to Charlotte Church (not the real one). The finish is tomorrow night and Simon says the cup and award money will be awarded by David 'Kid' Jensen. It's this last piece of information that almost makes me change my plans for tomorrow night...
But I don't. Tomorrow I go to George Polke.
I have a look round the show. There are a couple of pieces I like. In particular Nicola Willams' piece called 'In the Mud On Your Knees'. It's a dramatic canvas featuring a lot of pink and brown (nice mix) and the canvas has been kicked thru or torn. The accompanying blurb says Nicola was brought up on an isolated farm in Aberdeen, dominated and surrounded by men. Well, really, there you go. She was made for being an artist. It's a good piece. It seems to be real.
I bump into Barry Thompson who I last saw at his show at Rachmaninoff's. Barry is very big in Japan. I tell him this. He's perplexed and surprised. I explain about the hit counter I have set on my blog. As anyone who has a blog or a website knows, the first thing you do is set up some kind of counter so you can see if anyone is actually reading all the rubbish you post. Within seconds of downloading the programme and setting it up, the counter then takes over your life. I used to check mine practically every minute when I first set it up. Nowadays, I'm down to maybe 30 times an hour.... It becomes completely addictive. It tells you some interesting things: where you are getting your hits from (ie Referrals), how long people stay (providing they visit more than one page, otherwise they mark up as zero), what country they are logging in from, the server they are using, and some other little bits and pieces. The counter I use is called Sitemeter. Lots of people use this one. It appears right at the bottom of the page on peoples sites (scroll down to see mine). Sitemeter is interesting because unless you set the preference to 'private' anyone can click on the icon on your site and be instantly taken into all your info -not something that many people who use sitemeter would be happy with. I've done it to a few peoples sites. It's spooky. Like looking through their underwear drawer -ok, not quite that exciting - but you certainly feel like you are somewhere you shouldn't be. And you are so tense in case the person whose data you are rummaging through will somehow see you and catch you out. It's a very big adrenalin high. It's the nearest thing you'll ever get to hacking, like those nerds do in the movies when they crawl thru the CIA's most important files. This information is highly personal. Nobody likes their number of hits to be public knowledge. Including me.
But, then, I thought, what the heck. Does it matter, really?
I've just taken the privacy button off.
Click on the sitemeter logo below and you'll be transported straight into my underwear drawer...
Anyway, back to Barry. After I wrote about his show at Rachmaninoff's I noticed I was getting some hits from Japan, and not just one or two, but multiple hits, via different servers. And all of them going straight to the page about Barry and his show and almost never reading anything on any other pages. And most of the searches were coming in under the criteria 'Barry Thompson art' or variations thereof. So, you see, I know, Barry Thompson is big in Japan. (Lets see if this new entry has them logging in again...)
Less big in Japan is Brian who is with him. Brian works at Tate Modern bookshop (doesn't everyone at some stage?). We say hello. I take his photo.
I notice he has quite good eyebrows.