Thursday, December 14, 2006

A master in the arts

It’s sometimes great working in central London. While I was on a Xmas shopping errand on Oxford Street I stumbled upon Santa’s Ghetto. This is the now annual event which showcases controversial art by people like the now infamous Banksy. Many have criticised the show as being too commercial and just an attempt to flog rubbish at inflated prices. Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t, I just know that I laughed. A lot. I don’t even pretend to know anything about art but I do know what I like and this kind of guerrilla art is, in my opinion brilliant. Below are some photos from the shop/exhibition which I’ve stolen from this person’s flickr account. Thanks to them for taking the photos in the first place.

I particularly like the vend-a-limb and the picture by Peter Kennard (apparently Ken Livingstone's favourite artist) which was in the front window of the exhibition right on the pavement of Blair using his mobile phone to take a picture of himself in front of a massive explosion. Great political statements, in my opinion and quite obviously created to offend and perplex.

They also had original Modern Toss prints. If you know Modern Toss then bravo, you are now as cool as me. It’s a great cartoon series. Here an example of Modern Toss. You can find it in the Guardian guide every saturday if you live in the UK.

Of course all of these prints, photos, works of art and the associated books are selling for outrageous prices and any of these would be the must-have gift for any art lover. However, it was great just being able to witness these works of art in an accessible place for once and not being surrounded by the artistic, literary and cultural elite so to speak. What a great exhibition. Let’s hope they do it again in 2007.

Ballad of Donald White

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