Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Francisco Goya

I managed to see the Francisco Goya exhibition 'Fantasies, Follies and Disasters' at Manchester Gallery recently before it ended and that was fantastic. I was disappointed with the size of the exhibition as I expected it to be much bigger considering it was advertised so much but it was still excellent.

I think I was really excited by the etchings because the content was so creepy and grotesque. I loved all of the scenes of cloaked figures looming over people and the dark shadowy creatures lurking in the background as though they were part of the victim's imagination. I really loved the detail applied to the creatures and the expressions on the human faces, there was real horror captured in the images. I preferred the more mythical/fantasy based images rather than the pure torture and war atrocities but it was all really amazing.

I was also really impressed with the Chapman Brothers piece 'Disasters of War' which was based on the Francisco Goya etchings. I've always been quite skeptical of the Chapman brothers work as it always seems a bit too disgusting, too much shock value for my liking but this piece was really fascinating. The artists depicted scenes from the etchings in tiny figurines, similar in a way to toy soldiers, at first glance it looks like a collection of any small figures but on closer inspection you can pick out the specific details from the etchings and it was really interesting to look at as there were so many details.

Alan Fletcher

I visited the Alan Fletcher exhibition at Cube Gallery a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't really sure what to expect as I'd forgotten everything I ever knew about Alan Fletcher but I found his work so inspiring!

I loved the simplicity of his work the most, it was the kind of work that you look at and think that anyone could do it but when you look closer you realise how much thought and attention has been put into everything. I think a good example of this would be the calendars: 3 different themes (weather, events and horoscopes) all of the imagery was made up of simple shapes in block colours but they were really fun to look at and had such a strong aesthetic - straightforward but without losing any charm. A lot of the London Underground posters had the same style, very loose and illustrative but really simple.

An image from one of the calendars (Aries)

My two favourite pieces were the Pirelli slipper holders - illustrated dogs that folded out into stands with a gap in the mouth of the dog to hold a pair of slippers. Again this is a great example of a simple idea with a clever thought behind it. Everything to look at makes you think 'why didn't I think of that?' sort of the obvious idea because it's so uncomplicated. I also loved the 3D monster characters that Fletcher had made for his grandson, originally meant to be something to play with but he thought they were too precious and kept them for himself. I could relate to this work after making so many 3D pieces out of papier mache for my personal project; I liked the fact that he used such childlike working methods, his sketchbooks that were placed next to the models had the same aesthetic, very free and experimental which is the way that I've been finding myself working.

The monster/character models

Pirelli dogs (image from Maxim's photos Flickr)


I now have another blog,

follow follow!