Thursday, April 20, 2006

Art Gallery Nudes

A couple goes to an art gallery.
They find a picture of a naked women with only her privates covered with leaves.
The wife doesn't like it and moves on but the huband keeps looking.
The wife asks, "What are you waiting for?"
The husband replies, "Autumn."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The artist of the week is.....................

To those who do not know the work of artist Richard Dedomenici check out as he is the artist of the week.

Richard Dedomenici is a one-man subversive think-tank primarily dedicated to the development and implementation of innovative strategies designed to undermine accepted belief systems and topple existing power structures.By approaching the limits of conventionally acceptable behaviour, Richard Dedomenici's poetic acts of low-grade civil disobedience forcibly ask pertinent questions of society, while his subtle anarcho-surrealist interventions create the kind of uncertainty that leads to possibility.

Monday, April 03, 2006

"So what's he like … this Barrie J. Davies?" by julie Mahoney

It's been a hard day.
I hate the world.
Snarling, I stumble through the front door and slump into a chair ready for someone to bite.
I glance through the kitchen window and along the garden wall hundreds of smiley pebble faces grin back at me: it's Barrie's new Pebbles on Acid art project! The corners of my mouth curl upwards and I spring up to put the kettle on, listen to my latest CD, wonder what's in the fridge.
In a parallel universe the other me - the one who didn't throw in her lot with conceptual (i.e. eccentric and penniless) artist Barrie J. Davies - finds it hard to transcend the tedium of everyday life and is the poorer for it.

This is what I'm explaining to a girlfriend - whose choice of partner has been more, er, conventional - as her eyes investigate our kitchen.
She stares over my shoulder. I look round to our pots and pans hanging from a rail. Amongst them dangles a bright yellow cap with 'THINKING' printed on it.
"Y'know … thinking cap," I say. "Barrie's … he calls it Headwear for Conceptualists."
She nods without meaning it while her fingers absent-mindedly fiddle with something they found on the kitchen surface. I watch as she becomes aware of the miniature jam jar in her hand. She lifts it up to read the scribbled replacement label.
I remember Barrie's eyes lighting up when I brought the jam home from a residential conference. He ate its contents - raspberry - and filled the pot with something quite different.
My friend's lips mouth Shaved Remains of an IKEA Pencil and then, as I fully expect, her brow furrows and her nose wrinkles up.
She drops the artwork onto the Formica as if she might catch something from it.
I can't think of an excuse - so I invite her into the lounge.
(In the passageway, our cat's appearance distracts her attention away from a huge fluorescent canvas sporting '£1,000,000' in 4' black numerals.)
Entering the lounge, she points to the wall. "Well, I suppose Barbara Cartland fans would like it," and smirks at her own joke.
I manage a chuckle and invite her to take a seat. Should I say that the 8' by 4' oblong of candy-pink fluffy material is actually called Painting for Barbara Cartland?
Well, I don't and we chat about this and that.
While we're talking, her eyes keep travelling to a small box frame on the wall. During a lull, she cranes her neck towards it. I scrutinise her face, side-on, as she sees a single matchstick and underneath the hand-written words 'if you don't like this drawing, you know what to do'.
Her head jerks back and she touches her hair. An instant later, though, she's laughing in spite of herself. "Actually," she concedes, "I have to admit, that's rather good."
I nod - maybe she's getting it, after all?
The subject changes to Valentine's Day and she can't wait to tell me about receiving a dozen red roses from her beau.
Eventually, she asks the inevitable and I present to her a child's red plastic bucket with a large hole cut out of the side.
She takes it from me as if it's radioactive.
I say, "It's called Endless Love," and wait.
Lost for a moment, she runs a finger round the hole tracing the shape of a heart.
I think her eyes well up.
"Ah … now that's very special," she says and smiles at me.
She's finally got it.

The Barrie J Davies photobucket

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Ballad of Barrie J

Launching g39’s new season of solo exhibitions is perhaps one of the most contested contemporary artists coming out of Wales today. Through his prolific scribblings, cartoons, astute observations and humorous commentaries, Barrie J Davies dismantles our understanding of the term’ artist’ and in its place he has refashioned a persona whose mantra “Barrie J Davies is an artist” plays over and over in the background of his world. We are presented with an abundance of works that appear to have been quickly dashed off: biro cartoons, subversive signs felt-tipped and opportunistically taped in public places, everyday objects appropriated in a comedic manner. Barrie’s practice comprises a number of lo-fi strategies for conveying apparently inconsequential thoughts or throwaway witticisms – and perhaps that’s all they are. Or perhaps collectively they are saying something larger and more complex about the value of art and nature of being an artist. Barrie’s work conveys deliberately low production values. It doesn’t even appear to be revealing any great truth about the human condition. Has g39 been hoodwinked into a great con, drawn in by the repetitious slogan “Barrie J Davies is an artist”? Or is there something else going on here?In a photograph of a residential street a felt-tipped note in front of a pile of back bin bags warns ‘Public artwork. Do not touch’. Taken in isolation, this confidently plays with a prevailing public opinion of contemporary art and also references existing works by well-known artists, including Ceal Floyer and Gavin Turk. As a whole, Barrie’s practice seems to be suggesting that the Artist’s role in society is solitary, an outsider, whose purpose is never cut-and-dried, and that generally the Artist’s lot is not a happy one.The Ballad of Barrie J runs from Saturday 8th April to Saturday 6th May.g39 is open Wednesday - Saturday 11-5.30 (please note that the exhibition will be closed on 14th and 15th April for the Easter Weekend).