Saturday, December 26, 2009

Spain vs Germany

My last book 'Creative Space' is now out in German (pictured above) and soon in Spanish.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Euro Star

I came back from Paris Friday night - and it took me 15 hours. 7 of which I was stuck in the tunnel. But I remained surprisingly cheerful throughout - afterall I was safe if knackered. Nowness (which I contribute to) stuck up some beautiful images by Vincent Fournier of underground architecture (image above). Wondered if he passed through Tokyo's G Cans project below.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I have returned from Stockholm, where I got killer fish food poisoning. I am now going full vegetarian (which my mum who writes the best vegetarian cookbooks will be overjoyed about). It seemed an appropriate moment to look at fish in art. Paul Klee above. This was on the stars of my postcard collection growing up,

Picasso painting a fish

Clark North Tattoo

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Boo Saville

Boo Saville has an opening tonight at Other Criteria on New Bond Street. Its a series of print works entitled Ghost, each are unique. I'm a big fan of her work and included her in Hell Bound and she's also in the next book I'm working on!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

On My Radio

I did a radio show for London Fields Radio that is now up for you to download in their podcast section. The theme of my show was the depression, money and capitalism. A surprisingly light hearted selection of records by people like The Staple Singers, Lester Young, Lou Rawls, Lavern Baker and Tony Bennett.

And midway through you get the rare opportunity of hearing me sing a cappella... On The Sunny Side of the Street.

Stream or download and enjoy:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Luke Rudolf

I really like these paintings by Luke Rudolf (above: Portait number fourteen). If I was buying, I'd snap one of these up. His work is on show at Kate McGarry until January 10.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Looking for comfort in an uncomfortable chair

I went to the ICA last night to pop by and see "For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there". I ended up having a lovely evening with what appears to be every Dutch member of the art world in London. At the show itself however i fell in love with this small black and white slide show piece by Bruno Munari. "Looking for comfort in an uncomfortable chair" is pure genius. I think this is something I experience almost daily.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another Reader

I am one of the featured blogs on's exceptionally well chosen online Reader, which brings together posts from a number of great blogs.
(I also contribute to the Loves section, a very addictive list of fantasy products)

It seemed a ripe opportunity to list my own favourite visual blogs:

I Love Hotdogs


Temple of Light


But Does It Float

We Can't Paint

Anita Z's Art Diary

Everything is Terrible

Monday, November 30, 2009

Death of the Future

I found a few of my favourite features online - kindly made into downloadable pdfs by architects Sybarite. Both were cover features at the time and though my style has probably changed, they are some of the pieces I'm most proud of.

The Death of the Future published in Blueprint

The Future is Another Country published in Dazed.

I'm writing a piece for the next Sang Bleu out in February now that touches on similar all encompassing themes...

(illustration above by my sister artist Seana Gavin)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Patane and Paper

I had the pleasure of going to Seb Patane's opening at Maureen Paley last night. He did a abstract occult music performance upstairs for half and hour, where everyone sat on the floor to watch men wearing weird masks stand against the back drop of Patane and friend in bee keepers hats playing experimental electronic music. Really enjoyed it. But especially loved the work downstairs. Appropriated images of Crimean war drawn on with pen, pressed flowers and abstract shapes, sculptural odes to modernism, an odd atmosphere. Stupidly forgot to take pics. But I did an 8 page interview with him in Twin.


Two great independent art publications arrived this week - ANP's latest issue in the post with Jonas Mekas on the cover and a very good piece on photographer Bill Owens by Ed Templeton; and issue 4 of Kaleidoscope picked up at the Klaus Weber show. Both are bloody great. I love paper.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Avoidance

I am working on my next book... To stop myself going crazy, I am momentarily distracting myself with music about madness or melting brains...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dean Street Townhouse

Artist Jonathan Yeo and myself have co-curated the permanent collection of artworks at the Dean Street Townhouse, which opens to the public on Wednesday November 25.

The collection plays with the history and atmosphere of Soho and London, highlighting the breadth and brilliance of contemporary British art. The building has an amazing history. It was the location of The Gargoyle Club, a notorious hang out before and after WWII. Its red and glass interior was partly created by Henri Matisse, whose painting ‘The Red Studio’ hung on its walls. RNoel Coward, Sigfried Sassoon, Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, John Minton and Graham Greene all hung out there. In the 1970s a theatre was installed and it later became a sauna and massage parlour for men, before turning into the 1980s nightclub Gossips. Expect a lot of artist's to hang out there for the year.

The ground floor is filled with awesome selection of artists - to be honest I'm a bit blown away. Its like a greatest hits of contemporary British art! There's the old school (Andrzej Klimowski, Peter Blake), an acre of YBAs (Tracey Emin, Noble and Webster, Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner, Paul Noble, even a humorous Hirst), lots of outsiders (Jamie Hewlett, Jose Parla), the Turner Prize crowd (Keith Tyson, Mark Titchner) and tons of really great younger names (Jamie Shovlin, Tom Ormond, Sam Griffin pictured above etc).

Dean Street Townhouse, 69 Dean Street, London W1

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Radio Show

So I'm doing a radio show on Friday at 3pm on London Fields Radio (yes this is something that exists now).

I'll be blabbing away and playing some records and talking about culture in some form. They've even written a blurb about me on the site. It'll be recorded and put up as a podcast for people to download. Pop into Wiltons cafe, 63 Wilton Way at the back of the Hackney Empire if you want to listen live

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nov 20 Book Launch

The book on Julie Verhoeven's work I wrote the essay for launches in London on Friday.

The launch of the exhibition in Eindhoven was beyond fun thanks to Kris Latocha, Philip blast from the past Conneller, Erik Krikortz, Maya Hayuk, Richard Mortimer and Richard Battye (the Dicks on Decks who were dressed to resemble me by sheer coincidence!), Steve from Zinger Presents, Angelique at MU, Black Piet and of course the awesome Julie herself.

Friday 20th November 6 – 9pm
Launch of ‘A Bit of Rough’ a book dedicated to the work of Julie Verhoeven
Donlon Books 210 / Shop 3, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9NQ

This publication includes an essay by critic Francesca Gavin.
Copies of the book will be available on the evening with original drawings by Julie Verhoeven.
Published by MU
Images courtesy of ZINGERpresents, Amsterdam

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Julie Verhoeven at MU

Julie Verhoeven: Bit of Rough
Opening: Friday November 13 from 8 pm by Francesca Gavin.

From 11 p.m. there’ll be an afterparty at a secret location with a performance by the London Dicks On Decks In Drag, Richard ‘Ponystep’ Mortimer and Richard ‘George and Dragon’ Battye. More info during the opening at MU.

Wildly feminine, cheerful, seductive and wicked at the same time. Nimbly hopping between art, fashion and illustration, the English multi-disciplinary artist Julie Verhoeven (1969) has built up quite a reputation for herself over the past few years. Her work adorns fabrics from Versace and accessories from Mulberry.

As from November 13th, Julie will be bending MU totally to her will, transforming De Witte Dame into a feminine cross between a latex cabinet of curiosities, a Victorian boudoir and a stencilled punk bunker.

On the occasion of the exhibition, MU will publish ‘A Bit of Rough’, a book dedicated to the work of Julie Verhoeven. This publication includes an essay by critic Francesca Gavin.

MU | Emmasingel 20 | De Witte Dame | 5611 AZ Eindhoven | Nederland |

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Banking on Banks

An anonymous tip off sent me this in the morning - Banks Violette's old painted guitar fragments from his hardcore days before the art world is on sale on ebay. I don't know how I feel about this. There's something vampiric about that cashing in process. Especially when it's a work that hasn't been created as an art object (brings up that old idea whether a work of art is so because the artist's sees as such - or in this case the consumer).

Still it kind of fits with the ideas behind Banks' work - in fact even testing his arguments. In the interview I did with him for Hell Bound, he talked about the idea of faith of being something transformative.

“That there’s an imminent value in that thing – in the wafer or the coffin. You direct your faith towards it and that makes it something more. And if you have a whole community doing that, then you have a religion or a subculture or you have art.”

Maybe if some art geek wants to see this old broken instrument as art then it counts...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I am the art editor of a very exciting new large biannual hardback publication launching this Thursday - Twin. Interview online (one of my favourite sites for one of my favourite magazines) interviewed me for it today. Stylebubble and gave it a plug.
It's going to be very exciting publication - issue one includes art by Seb Patane, Ryan McGinley, David Noonan, Sam Griffin, Fiona Banner, Tauba Auerbach and many more.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

All hell

I was the post on eluxury for Halloween

Thought I'd illustrate with some work by the awesome Ken Kagami - who created the sculpture on the book's cover.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I always knew I was a Keinholz girl. Weird crazy dirty installation that give you the shivers. I always knew I loved Ed Ruscha, in the same way that anyone obsessed with old movies until the age of 18 would be.
However, after a visit to the Tate Modern yesterday, I realise I love yet another big name mid century LA artist - John Baldessari. There was lots of incredibly varied pieces in this well curated show (a delayed camera that projected viewers onto a wall under a big plastic brain, lots of polaroid conceptual works, some late paintings). But what really did it for me was the compositions he made from old film stills (like Marclay without the sound). A show worth travelling for (great catalogue 'Pure Beauty' too).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009


In a technology-art mood so thought I'd throw up a nice Thomas Ruff jpeg. I love in life how from afar the images are always completely clear but close up pixelated.

On a tech-phone tip, I was recently recommended South African artist Simon Gush who as an art piece created a number of siren sounds and busy tones for download so your phone can be even more instrusive on a daily basis. (Look under Ringtones II under 2007 and Ringtones under 2006 on


If you missed my Frieze 2009 blogs there are you here: build up, the fair, aftermath

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Everything is Terrible

Everything is Terrible may be one of the best sites ever created. It brings together painful gems like this (It doesnt get better than the song at the beginning)

Here are the lyrics (yes i am sad enough to have written them down...)

On your mark, get set
We're riding on the internet
Cyberspace, set free, hello virtual reality
(spoken: interactive appetite, searching for a website, a window to the world that to get online)
Take a Spin, now you're in with the techno set
You're going surfing on the internet...

NB I think it she sings set free rather than sex free but I'm not quite sure...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mind Map

When I look at John Davies...

...these are some of the other images and artists that pop into my mind. Isnt it funny how an image bounces around your memory...

(From top Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Sam Dargan represented by Rokeby Gallery, James Mason in Odd Man Out)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

John Davies

When I was doing my BA we went on an art trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Contemporary art wasn't really on the syllabus. One of my strongest memories is walking into a room installation that made me scream out loud. It consisted of five or sixmen - life size sculpture, chalky, in suits - in some kind of Clockwork Orange violent composition around a room. The work literally exuded violence and fear. I've never quite seen anything like it (see above). I remember that the figures could be rearranged into different combinations, changing their strange inter-relationship.

After stumbling across a small three figure installation this year at Frieze in the same style, I finally found out the artist was called John Davies. Still alive and represented by the Marlborough Galleries (as was Bacon), his pieces particularly from the early 70s I think are some of the most disturbing and interesting things i've ever seen in my life. An ignored genius who deserves a healthy revival.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who do voo doo?

Here's my little review from the Tate St Ives Dark Monarch show.

If you're still feeling a bit black before Halloween, head to The Stags Head on Sunday for Voodoo, which includes work by Levack and Lewandowski (click images to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The next ten days...

Off to Tate St Ives tomorrow to see the awesome sounding Dark Monarch and eat a pasty by the seaside. And what a line up: Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, John Piper, Mark Titchner, Eva Rothschild, David Noonan, Steven Claydon, John Stezeker, Linder, Derek Jarman etc

After that I'll be blogging about Frieze et al next week on Dazed Digital, if you want to hear my exploits... I can't believe it's already been 12 months since last year...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Darkside Vol 2

I bought a book today. Darkside Vol 2. It is one of the most shocking, violent, interesting, horrific, beautiful hardbacks i've ever seen, edited by Urs Stahel. The essays are also fascinating on our relationship with violence, war, horror, death. (Obviously a fitting companion to Hell Bound!). Favourites include Larry Clark, JH Engstorm, and Ryuji Miyamoto. I'd scan some images from the book but it might put you off your dinner...

Friday, October 02, 2009

we're off the see the wizard

I am totally obsessed with this image on I Love Hotdogs. It reminds me of the Mike Kelley work I've been looking at. The Wizard of Oz is a very trippy film - not surprising with Frank L Baum's Theosophist subtext..

A selection of new psych artworks I've chosen has just gone online at Dazed Digital

I also have pieces in AnOther (Dan Colen small interview), AnOther Man (Ukranian Pavillion in Venice and Javier Peres interview) and in Bon (a round table discussion about sex).

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cameron Jamie

If I was in Athens I would be first in line to see Cameron Jamie 'Barking Tar: New Ink Works', October 8 - November 13 at Bernier/Eliades Gallery
Image: Cameron Jamie, Girl Reading A Dog Magazine, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little Walter

Little Walter was a god. I want to dance every night in the Black Gardenia to songs like this...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Diddly diddle dum

I have just discovered celtic mouth music or "Puirt-a-beul" - Gaelic dance music that grew up in the 18th and peaked in the 19th century. I'm obsessed. This is the kind of stupid songs I make up all the time around the house... obviously living up to the Gavin in my name.

"In Cape Breton there is a dance and puirt about a loom weaving. In this dance, the dancers are squatted or crouched and leap up to simulate the rise and fall of the harnesses on the loom, whilst others weave in and out to indicate the shuttle flying back and forth. In Cape Breton also, people perform step dances around a row of lighted candles, which they extinguish one by one with the soles of their feet while dancing."

This is my favourite Josie McDermott's The Collier's Reel

followed by Gordon Easton, The Drunken Piper

(illustrated with a good craggy pic of Brendan Behan)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Thrill of the 80s

I'm a huge fan of Bob Peck. I accidentally bought his TV almost-debut Edge of Darkness, thinking it was another brilliant thriller that was on TV years back. It is so contemporary. He was an hypnotic actor. All craggy Yorkshire nose and unblinking eyes. I've gone a bit of a BBC political thriller spree now - Natural Lies and Alec Guinness in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in the post...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kelley Kandors

I love Mike Kelley's work at the moment - gives me goosebumps. The best weird trippy Superman inspired art going. There's still a show up in Paris this month at Galerie Hussenot I so hope a book of this work comes out soon... been wanting that since the Jablonka show in Berlin a couple years back. When I got this lovely invite at the bottom:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Graham's goodies

Graham Hudson so kindly gave me an artwork today - one of his heraldic series. Its bloody gorgeous - a bucket with roses, plastic snakes and swords coming out of it. Yet to be hung but you get the vibe. Can't wait to see his work alongside Paul McCarthy at the Frieze Sculpture Park next month.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the week

Its been fashion week and design week and I've been dipping my toes in. Sneak preview of the Ryan McGinley/Tilda Swinton film (which i'll be writing about in the forthcoming Twin out end of October) at the Pringle show. B Store magazine launch tomorrow night featuring modelling by Paul Pieroni and Kris Latocha. Shelter Haunch of Venison playing card launch Thursday and some woolley wonders from at Exposure gallery. My top night of the week however was Sunday, dancing til 1am at Vivienne Westwood after party to Rage Against the Machine and Easy Lover... So hard to decide which to choose....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Psych

My labour of love, a big 8 page feature I wrote on a new wave of psychadelic art featuring Mark Titchner, Jimmy Joe Roche, Ben Jones, Jim Drain, Trenton Doyle Hancok and Takeshi Murata is out one shelves now. Go buy.