Monday, 22 June 2015

American Buffalo : How the nickel rule (part 4)

American Buffalo
Wyndham Theatre was just a stones throw away from Covent Garden and I hadn't booked a seat but checked at their box office and luckily one ticket was available in the stalls. This Mamet production has a limited run and it has a great cast with John Goodman, Damien Lewis & Tom Sturridge. Not to be missed !

 I left entourage to Leicester square and settled down typically not really knowing much about the play. Mamet for me is Glengarry Glen Ross and the Untouchables. As I was sat on the end there would be plenty of people wanting to get by so I took a picture (though I'd left the flash on... )  as a  rule someone is bound to then tell the whole auditorium "No photography allowed" It's probably a bit more difficult to do some Sickert type paintings of theatre interiors these days. Still, it's a beautiful interior.
             I was sat next to a nice American lady Anna Beth. Now, I had the seat because her London friend was ill and couldn't come to tonights performance. I felt a bit bad about that taking up her chair as more of her friends were sat behind. But I hoped I was good company as we chatted and as it turns out I was sitting next to John Goodman's wife! This is London and it felt like I was now mixing with the Hollywood crowd... I wasn't. The Goodman's live in New Orleans :) Very much down to earth. It was interesting to hear about the rhythm of the play and how each performance adds to a new perspective. It was nice to have met Anna Beth and to hear about John and his work. His next appearance in a film is in Trumbo (a September release) and we talked about The Monuments Men too.

The theatre is an experience to enjoy and I didn't know what to expect yet it really does have the edge over film and TV (and the internet). The drama and excitement of the stage is that it lives in the moment and American Buffalo takes place within the interior detritus and assorted bric-a-brac of a period junk shop.
     Soon it becomes apparent we're seeing a snapshot in the life of small-time crooks...hellbent on robbing a nearby house of a customer who has just paid a high price for an old Buffalo Nickel. Which in turn exposes both their loyalties and opens wounds of friendship.
     Sturridge plays Bob as a snarly low life character who yearns for Don's (John Goodman) approval. Once Teach (Damien Lewis) arrives on the scene he commands and struts his way through Don's territory (being the business owner) and there is a rivalry between them as Teach in the life he leads and 'the way I live it' eventually breaks down bonds of trust between them.
      Damien adds a zest of humour to the role which lightens the mood and heightens the shock of his angry tirades. Goodman's timing on the phone to Fletcher is impeccable and both their spars of wit and comedy provides the audience with many moments of laughter. Their confrontations adds to the turmoil of loyalties as their idea of the planned burglary is pulled apart in Act 2 as Don thwarts the job for his (more than?) fatherly yearnings for Bob.
       As Teach resorts to violence to take it out on Bob lying the atmosphere becomes heavy like lead. The weight of money, power & betrayal in the business is exposed. And for what? Money over..loyalty..friendship, love? A light dims on The American dream as it crumbles before Teach's eyes. Those that don't even feel they belong...they are the dispossessed, the excluded, the poor, the wretched..the dream is too elusive.

(much more the opposite of the hollywood fantasy of entourage..)

How do you prove your worth...from how I remember a few lines

Teach : Just to let you know I'm not mad at yer's okay
Don : Ok
Teach : That's all I'm saying..I'm not mad at you. No way uh uh. That's not how I do business
Don : What about Fletcher?
Teach : F*** Fletcher
Don : What? What do you mean ?
Teach : About Fletcher ?
Don: Yeah Teach, what about Fletcher?

Teach : Fletcher he's a cards Don. It was right in front of your eyes
Don : When?
Teach : The other night. When we was playing cards. Don, you remember he had a Flush
Don : Yeah, I remember
Teach : And how many cards did he take?
Don : One
Teach : No. No Don, it was two. He's cheating, can't you see. He's no good
Don : No good. What about Bob?
Teach : Bob's nothing. He's nothing to do with us Don. This is our business. You and me
Don: Our business?
Teach : Like I'm saying Don. I'm not Mad at yers for letting Fletcher in on the job okay
Don : Okay.
Teach : Okay then
Don : But say if the doors are locked. How will we get in?
Teach : Through the window
Don : But what if the window is locked


  I hope when Anna Beth and Molly see the show there will be a few less people coughing in the audience and that nobody's mobile goes off or someone sitting close by doesn't makes weird noises from having loose dentures..! Oh the fun and joys of theatre...  

and to Broadway?   
American Buffalo until 27th June

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sotheby's, The RA, Entourage to American Buffalo : how the nickel won out (part 3)

...arriving from a publican pub at White cube to become a public publicist

I was just passing through Leicester square when the promotion caravan began to unveil forth the entourage film.

DREAM LARGE part 3...maybe not though when the Austerity Bill goes through in July's budget cutting 12 billion on welfare just as Osborne goes on his summer hols but at least it helps pay for half of Parliament to be rebuilt. We don't want it sinking into the Thames..always build on high ground and not directly next to a River that might flood.

back to the tour tag line : LIVE LARGER (with not too much sugar, try staying healthy and lean)
barriers..i can see the signs Action in a bit

Damien Hirst : spin that wheel in burger king
always handy to check the checklist of who's who

 Kevin Connolly : Eric

lots of action lots of angles on a cold day in June. 

Film is much like football. Anything over an hour and a half and we are into extra time.

I know...I got lucky. I missed the opening of San Andreas and Jurassic World wasn't out yet. So I could enjoy the musings of Thierry Henri, Dynamo and the Hoff.

 "Victory" The hour of mighty Dillon..Johnny Drama

 lights camera smiles on the mobile big screen

 Adrian Grenier : public sign Vince

keep calm and victory will be ours

Jeremy Piven with a dude
Mr. Piven aka Mr. Selfridge

Sotheby's RA summer show Entourage & American Buffalo...Part 2

the RA summer show part 2

Assembled together by Michael Craig-Martin adding a bit of colour to the white walls of norm has breathed a lot of new life into the background of works. 

Tracey Emin's : cute animals next to Bob and Roberta Smith's : Civilian abattoirs of War
Conrad Shawcross : Crystal tree ordered from disorder into re-ordered state growth
Rebecca Warren : sometimes it's the man standing, who begs the question, where is Peter the Rabbit's tail?

Tim Shaw: earth dance (a fertile soil is a world less in turmoil)

Tim Shaw : In the line of fire

no-one need sow until this is ripened


colourful opportunity
Grayson Perry : fluke jumper
trigonometry, it all adds up


All can be viewed on the RA website. Ideally pay a visit. The web is not the whole picture...

                                         White Cube : Lead on LEAD as a guide

added weight

                                       some art is available to view on the street
Installation : Mason's Yard melt

Saturday, 20 June 2015

New Art at Waterside gallery in St.Ives

New work(s) in the gallery Waterside stives this summer...please inquire through Waterside

summer sons (1m x1m)

summer son

st ives

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Mark Haddon launches The Mountain can Wait

Summer skies

Head of the River pub where a few Lifeboats (raised through the University fund) were launched near the Folly Bridge including 'the Isis' in 1866 for use in Hayle which went on to save over 50 lives

Make HONEY..not WAR.

Weeping Willow

Port meadow free to roam

Sheldonian skies

Mark Haddon at Blackwells launches The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger

I spy you watching me watching him watching us watching..always watching until councils can't afford to run CCTV

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Sotheby's, RA Summer Show, Entourage & American Buffalo all in one day

Sotheby's Part 1 : Happened upon this well known auctioneers last week and artworks were open to the public to view. Viewing 5th-9th Auction was 9th/10th June

Modern & post war British Art : Alfred Wallis, Sickert, Winifred Nicholson, Henry Moore, Caro, Patrick Heron, Lynn Chadwick, Gore, Kenneth Armitage, Lowry, Cecil Collins, Ben Nicholson, William Turnbull, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Caufield...and Churchill was a bit of an accomplished painter too. I haven't seen many Lowry works before and I really liked House and The Lookers On.

loved this Caro with 'tool' parts

Alfred Wallis (Three trees) a snip at £40,000, Armitage group II £20,000, Patrick Heron 'Lemon into Cadmium' about £400,000 & a Frederick Gore a bit cheaper at £120,000 I tend not to look at the prices. Only the art.

Insect William Turnbull 

Great Caro plumbing

mirror mirror

Musical Caro : Serenade in Red
I did not raise a hand to bid on any of the items... (I forgot my credit card) I dipped my hat and just bought a catalogue instead.  

Monday, 15 June 2015

Friday, 5 June 2015

Granite Whispers and Painted Echoes

I applied towards this years Summer show at Penwith gallery. Here's the two paintings..

rains over Constantine bay

whirlwind clouds at Helford
Thought I'd stay clear of a figure this time but they both didn't get in. Probably not the strongest of pieces. I'll try my luck at next years summer RA and maybe this years Bristol

Also I put in a proposal to Radio 2's artist in residence which if you are one of the lucky ones you get to have an interview in London today. Of the many Radio 2 outdoor broadcasts and events I chose to submit toward their Cheltenham Jazz festival. With an idea to do a 'live' free jazz drawing of the bands and their music on an ipad. Hockney style.

      I was going to then use the sketches and painted music to produce a large scale finished painting. Does anyone actually paint from music..? Hold on - I'll google it...(a few seconds later)  O.K there's a fair few. It got me thinking for the other three as well and when in the mood I thought of making a Pyramid tent from the 'Pyramid' stage at Glastonbury. Either using canvas tent material and letting lots of people write messages in it and or using the left over tents and make a patch work quilt of a Pyramid. Which would then include a Glasto - soundscape once you stepped inside.
    There was also Carfest and I wanted to somehow link up the engines noises to an amplifier and have paint splash around (for a video) and even to paint a 'dazzle' car. Like the old warships of WW1. Then lastly staying with what I know..the 500 word story event for children. There's a top 50 stories chosen and each one produces an ideal concept for an Illustration, painting, ready made, etching...(note. they would count as one work)  
        Producing four works with £20,000 and no cashing in the money that you weren't going to use was a shame. All four of my pieces would be under £10,000 at least. That's a real saving for the BBC in these spend thrift days.

      The Collection date for the Bedroom Tax Redwing gallery show in Penzance was Thursday 28th. I got there with a lift from my mate Ivor in a flat bed truck. The best time to get there was after work for my mate who wanted to coincide it to collect some granite gate pillars. Another clear but windy evening the traffic was neck and neck until we got near the Chiverton roundabout. When we got there It was already taken down to make way for a new exhibition however Peter Fox was keen for one artwork to stay, the Wheelchair readymade is still on exhibition at Redwing Gallery
      Link to Mary Fletcher's blog about the art post. (more on the exhibition 30/4/15)

Chair at Redwing gallery Penzance
We arrived just before the African dance classes began and we had to be quick as the parking zone is not great for deliveries and didn't want to get clamped. I did stupidly stumble into the print room where all my stuff was to collect without knocking.. just as the dancer was mid way through her change. She was kind enough though to praise my work. Sadly I could not stay to praise her dancing and I made a hasty exit as I'd already seen too much of her already.
     The Shard looked flimsy on top of the pallet and King Richard III's White Rose had all but dried now and as I lifted him onto the truck a few comments were made from the Crown pub drinkers opposite.."Off to the tip are you?" "Recycling day!" Some people make no bones about art..poor old Richard III

        I was in charge of the road map App on my mates phone for the collection point and it just went dead as we entered Hayle. Luckily he'd already made a phone call while we stopped to have fish and chips near St Michaels Mount and I had a secondary hand written directions. Always good to fall back on pen and paper. Where would we be with out.

      There were four large and I mean massive 6-7feet long granite pillars a good forty foot away behind a newly built house. We only needed to collect two and the builder used a mini excavator with a bucket to scoop and drag the granites up between the side of the house. The second one was so heavy it was nearly tipping the mini digger over and the caterpillar treads were skidding on their front ends. Before it did topple my mate jumped on the back to try and weigh it down and I just gave artistic directions. And made sure the granite wasn't going to swing out and hit the side windows of the house. (Thankfully I forgot my camera and didn't ask to borrow my mates camera phone to video any of had to be there really)
      We had just made sure the positioning was right on the truck as the bucket scoop had to have enough room to curl outwards when Ivor said while we're here why don't we do a deal for the other two! Sale agreed..and one was a little smaller and had rounded edges. Could of been a marker post.
      Then another monster one and on finishing he asked about my artwork as he'd bought works of a few local artists. Having glass and ceramics made for the new builds he'd completed. He used a few tonnes of Chinese granite on this new build and saved a few pennies. And we were there collecting old Cornish granite...
        Offloading looked easy enough, a few scaffold planks to slide them onto and we considered if we should roll or slide them the end we let gravity decide.

ps note. I did join twitter for about two weeks and I could have given you lots of nice by the minute updates. But my ten year old imac computer can't even set up a profile page and software is out of date. That's why you've got this long winded version of events to enjoy instead :)