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.