Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Shoes Off!


All quiet on the Reebok Front or very much not as the case maybe. I've been working collaboratively with Stuart Smith of 'Lovenskate' to produce a daily diet of your E1 (Whitechapel) Chicken Box & Co. The stuff that litters my street, my true new neighbours. It's your Gregg's of Luton or cheap pasty somewhere in Kernow in a far, distant age. Boiler suits in true Luton Town fashion and general SOS, blinkingly blindingly orange. They're put to the sword. Basically just deconstructed. Then re-upholstered in the flea-pit that is my basement studio (where a cat wouldn't want to swing) with screen-printed reebok classics, sweet-shop style, to be re-sewn, worn, acting out the E1 dream that was Mr. Benn's lunch hour. The cartoon, not Tony. Reebok's and chicken box's. My paradox. From here to Luton and back again. Not liking one or the other particularly, but bound by choice, decent landlords and the allure of league football (one-day) and an Allan Utopia. So thanks to Stuart and his Mad Max machines, they've set me on the way. Plus, 125 pairs of Reebok classics bought since March. That's correct, I said 125 pairs. 196 blue stars on Ebay. Children's, ladies, mens. New and worn. The invitation of society via apple mac and the postal service. And blimey there's been some dickheads. Arguments over £3.25. It all feeds into the work, me - it's grateful recipient. Plus the wheelchairs. New but used. Covered and smothered in kiddie's reeboks. Glued then removed. And back again. Laces, no laces? Then to huge posters, DFL in monochrome, on paper,  deconstructing sculpture that took weeks, destroyed in seconds. It's knowing when to stop, grabbing the camera and pressing record. The effects it affects. More than documentation. Recognising that a piece doesn't work, ignoring why (for a second) and having your way with it. Hoping that round 2 is better than 1. And it was. These images will be unleashed at some point. Pretty, they're not. Sweaty, dirty and almost shameful. It's a pursuit of something, that point where you just want something out of the work, an invitation to luck, where it has to meet you halfway or 3 quarters. So ball's to making art that is A-Z. The challenge is even greater now. Then other things just happen. 'Shoes Off If You Love Luton'. A call to the end of arms, to Luton Town, a homage to the homage that is those dedicate to themselves to removing their footwear in sight of their God. I see it at East London Mosque. I stand amongst it at Kenilworth Road. It is wonderful and hilarious and that's not to diminish this belief.. I constructed a photo which is being re-presented as a vinyl sticker at Galleri Skilti (Gallery Sign) in Reykjavik, Iceland opening on Thursday 21 June, the longest day. It is literally a sign. Also, many thanks to Charles Saatchi for purchasing the work. And Peter Lamb for sensible words and artist / curator Birgir Birgirsson in Iceland. Other forthcoming projects include the rolling bandwagon that is Edward Lucie Smith's and Zavier Ellis's 'Polemically Small' showing from Weds 27 June at Orleans House Gallery in Richmond. It follows on from the show at Torrance Art Museum in LA last summer and the beautifully hung London version at Charlie Smith in Old Street in November. I'm showing photo 'Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth' 2009 and postcard 'Beach' 2003. C-type Print and actual postcard respectively.