Earlier this year I went to lively Liverpool. While there I was fortunate enough to visit the ‘Rolf Harris: Can You Tell What it is Yet?’ retrospective exhibition, showing at the Walker Art Gallery. While my personal memories of Rolf are vague, nobody could completely forget the chap with animated features, didgeridoo and charming Australian accent who kept us guessing for most of our youth. Or at the very least a few hours of our life.
The scope of work was immense! Immense! From TV snippets of his cartoon drawing to recreations of Klimt, Monet and Van Gogh, all via his own work full of brash and colourful marks. The gallery was packed and, from what I saw, a huge success!
Rolf has become something of an artistic magician, making a few brush strokes on a canvas morph into a masterpiece. While the final piece may not an exact replica of the original, the way they are formed provides entertainment and a reason to stop and see.
On the subject of entertainment, the Frieze Art Fair at Regents Park this year was equally spectacular. The array of galleries and artist work was brilliant, and the addition of the Frieze Masters provided the wonderful experience of bringing historic art to the new from around the world.
Some of the most memorable pieces had that air of “Can you tell what it is yet?”. Not because Rolf was painting in the Middle of the Frieze Masters with a clear canvas and bucket of house paint, but
Because they all had something a little bit different about them, something that made you glance a second time. Whether it was a painting of a man that looked like he was made of fruit, images made of beads, gigantic organic forms made of rubber or abstracts that looked like they were made of googly eyes (on closer inspection, the latter were black and white circles pasted on each other). There’s certainly something to say for images which keeps us guessing, and which mysteries stop us in our tracks so we can find out that bit more.
The same can be said for some of the photographers that Publicis Life Brands Resolute have had the pleasure of meeting, and whose work has been exhibited around the Kensington Village offices. At the end of last year Jim Naughten astounded us with his historic images of Army vehicles which were, in fact, miniatures. Liz McBurney, from Alyson Jones, provided some still life photographs that kept us intrigued while we found what she was really knitting. The lovely Carl Warner from Metcalfe Lancaster kept us entertained with some of his fruity photography, while currently, Lucid Representation’s two fabulous photographers are being exhibited. Alistair Hood provides us with the perfect escape to an unknown land with his landscapes, and Mark Harrison’s detailed portraits leave us wanting to know more about the sitter.