Many a potential tourist lines up their very first UK visit with visions of Buckingham Palace, Stone Henge, and Big Ben dancing around in their heads, but Britain is much more than that. In addition to the fish and chips, all those limey bastards across the Atlantic have so much more to show you than royalty, a bunch of old rocks and the River Thames. You might not necessarily have seen it in your precious guide books, but that’s okay because the fine folks at Ogilvyone Worldwide Singapore have launched a site to show you “the other Britain,” the Britain of cultural innovation and much, much more. From fashion to music festivals to football, it’s all on glorious display at their alternate tourism URL that champions all things united under the Union Jack for aspiring anglophiles to eat up on their impending holiday. Enjoy, mate.
We really do love urbanism, but this isn’t just about our love of cities, it’s about an art opening. The Dalston Superstore is cutting the red ribbon with a show featuring five artist’s creating in cities around the world. Martin Wolerstam, Julia Corsado, Alex Bartolomei, Alex Nobel and Bigote Rojo (sorry no online presence) have all focused their lasers on art inspired by their urban surroundings. Very fitting for the ultra urban and uber hip Dalston district of London.
On May 1st, Selfridges, the high-end UK department store, celebrates its 100th birthday in style. Over the last century, Selfridges has remained on the edge of fashion and culture by collaborating with luminaries like John and Yoko, Salvador Dali and Vivienne Westwood. In October of last year, they opened a designer toy lounge in conjunction with Kidrobot.
For their 100th birthday, Selfridges commissioned exclusive apparel, accessories and products in signature Pantone 109 yellow. The collection, which will be sold in the store throughout May, features pieces by Ralph Lauren, Levi's, Converse, Simon Carter, Fender and Moleskine. In addition, the Big Yellow Festival (including music, fashion, cabaret and gay bingo) kicks off May 1st. If you’re in the old city, be sure to stop by!
One of our favorite London galleries Elms Lesters is featuring Ron English in his first solo show in England. Ron's style has created a lot of buzz for his comical and provocative take on current political and cultural issues. He titled this upcoming show LAZARUS RISING, focusing on the economic times along with a heavy religious reference. His paintings are getting more expensive with each show, but they make amazing prints and books. Rob will be at Elms Lesters gallery on May 7th for a private opening 6 to 9 pm and signing books on May 9th at noon. The exhibition runs from the 8th of May till June 6th. Hope to see you there!
Concrete Hermit is a gallery, shop and publisher based in East London that has been holding regular exhibitions of emerging talent and artists since 2007. They primarily work with graphics artists and illustrators to produce and promote talent through t-shirts, books, prints, exhibitions and related products. They hold regular shows in their own space, but also have a network area of their website where people can create a profile and collaborate on projects and promote their own work.
Pictured above are two of examples of the latest t-shirt designs for sale by artists Jody Barton (right, business name) and Supdermundane (left, owl). In June they’ll be relasing a project with the Tate Modern in London that showcases the work of three artists through exclusive t-shirts and prints– those artists will be Ian Stevenson, Anthony Burrill and Andrew Rae– we look forward to checking those out soon!
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac might have a remarkable name to say (try it) but he also has quite an impressive rap sheet considering this as his first solo show as an artist. Coming from a high profile fashion background, his artwork makes several references to his fashion career (as in labels everywhere). In fact, it isn’t just labels but brands of all kinds that infest themselves over classic art pieces. Thought provoking work to say the least.
The show is at gallery Paradise Row, a small gallery in deep East London. It is totally worth the trek through apartment buildings because once you get inside the space is amazing. Castelbajac’s show is paired with a Mad Max-type installment of wood shops and houses. The show only runs till 2 May, so get over to it quick!
London’s got a reputation for having a seedy underground. Anything goes: drugs, hookers, knives … bingo? Last week I ended up in the underbelly of the Underground Rebel Bingo Club. Under the guise of a neighborhood watch meeting the “too hip to trip” set up shop and play bingo. Of course there’s plenty of booze and dancing to give even the most hardcore of bingo nerds something to wake up to the next morning. We woke up with this amazing space galaxy laser cloud nebula projector. Tickets are Â£7.50 and the club only runs on the occasional weekend. Check the website for dates. The location is secret and the whole event is hush hush. I hope they don’t mind me blogging about it.
We all try to eat healthy, but what do you do when it’s mid-afternoon and you need a pickup, but you need to stay at work? Usually that means a vending machine snack. That was until we discovered Graze. It’s a simple concept: fresh fruits are delivered to your office every couple days. Their website allows you to choose the natural snack you’d like and how often. Then, whatever day you select, a little box arrives just in time. Unfortunately it’s U.K. only. Delivered boxes begin at Â£2.99, which usually is cheaper and easier than running down to corner shop, and Graze has a special promotion running for half off your first box.
If you’ve ever been a tourist in London, then surely you’ve ended up in Trafalgar Square. Amongst the statues of lions and kings and queens there is always one Plinth with some contemporary art that looks a bit out of place. This is known as the Fourth Plinth, a space reserved for contemporary artists to display sculptural work. The time has come for Antony Gormley (the guy who did this) to create a piece for the Fourth Plinth. He’s come up with a bit of a crazy idea for his sculpture … you. He is asking for people to sign up for 24 one-hour slots for 100 days in a project called One & Other. You can do anything you want with your hour, the only rule is you must stay on top of the Plinth. Sounds simple enough, and it isn’t every day you get to be a piece of art in such a landmark location as Trafalgar Square. You can register here. The sign up sheet hasn’t been released yet, but it will be soon, and I’m sure spots will go very quickly. The entire 2400 hours will be streaming online, which could make for some really good reality TV. So, what would you do with your hour?
Following the Urban Art Auction in New York we told you about last fall, Phillips de Pury and Company is gearing up to auction a goldmine in collectible toys across the pond. As part of the Saturdays @ Phillips auctions, March 14th will see art toys by Kaws, Futura, Frank Kozik, Tim Biskup, Bob Conge and many others go before the gavel. San Francisco’s extraordinary toy customizer Leecifer will be making his auction debut with an original resin figure and painting set. The work ranges from Â£70 to Â£2,000 and focuses on urban/graffiti artists and Japanese monsters (old and new). You can preview the pieces online. Art toys begin here.