Digital Retouching

I went to see the Seth Price show at Sadie Coles HQ gallery. This took me in to a zone of central London I haven’t seen too much of. I first of all went to Davies Street, and took a long time figuring out which unmarked door led in to the gallery. There I learned that the Seth Price works were in a different branch, over by Carnaby Street. This also took a while to find, but at least it did have a name on it, though workman were busy painting the walls outside.

There is a press release:

The pictures:

One feature of these pictures is that they look better through a digital camera. This is particularly so with this one: the upside-down face pattern just seems crude when viewed through unassisted eyes, but the digital processing done in a simple smartphone synthesises a stronger image. a similar effect happens with the “smiley face” painting.

Close up the brush work on these screens seems crude (sometimes no more than amateur art class standard) and inferior to pop art air-brushed versions of similar effects, as this is all very much in the area of 70s album sleeve art.

A school trip to France long ago we stayed at a hotel in Brittany, where the walls of the restaurant featured works by the chef, who was also an amateur painter. He favoured rather abstract pieces in which coloured forces and whirls seemed to be breaking through a plain surface in some void. I have no idea who he was but this is the first time I have seen anything that seems to be working in a similar spirit.

On the way out I see books collecting the work of the artist, and his own writings:

One advantage of going to the wrong place at the start is that I had a chance to see the fairly recent rebuilding in Davies Street with had the side-decoration shown in the image at the start, here is what it looks like from the side:

Words by Saint-Just. The building is 21 Davies Street

As I left Kingly Street the painters were still painting the wall outside, with no chance of getting their own show indoors.

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