Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Jacob Kimmie

Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.
Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.

I knew nothing about South African born Jacob Kimmie before reading Rachael Oku’s excellent interview with him on this very website, advice posted just prior to London Fashion Week. Jacob Kimmie is self-taught and has made a name for himself through sheer hard work and determination – he believes that this, and not a university training, has brought him to where he is today.

In yet another room in the Tardis-like Freemasons’ Hall I was seated behind lady Baby-leg once more, proudly placed on the front row like the reining mascot of cool.

Baby-leg Girl at Jacob Kimmie.
Baby-leg Girl at Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Tim Adey. I have got a pen in my mouth.

Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Close up of the BABY-LEGS.

Unfortunately her pouffed hair (re-pouffed several times to maintain volume through the short catwalk show) obscured much of my view, but I can tell you that Kimmie’s Pilgrim show started with a hooded lady.

jacob kimmie
Photography by Tim Adey.

Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Jacob Kimmie hooded lady. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This polo-neck was seriously out of control. “Spiritual & Enlightened & Monastic” was the header to the slip of paper on our seats; a mammoth amount to encompass in one collection surely; and all this inspiration from hearing just one funky tune! (read Rachael’s interview for more on Kimmie’s inspiration). Indeed, veils worn by several of the models did a fair job of creating a beautifully elegant and oddly monastic silhouette alongside knits and marabous in fabulous monochrome black and cream swing shapes, all worn by ladies adorned in the most delightful cutaway butterfly masks, designed in leather by Ginta Siceva.

Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.
Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.

Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The best was reserved for last though, when a lady in a long white dress calming glided out bearing a surprised but placid baby in a beautiful metallic pearlised papoose. You should have heard the coos. Now where can we buy one of those?

Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.
Jacob Kimmie by Gemma Milly.

Jacob Kimmie. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Baby, ,Baby-leg girl, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Ginta Siceva, ,Jacob Kimmie, ,leather, ,Pilgrim, ,spiritual

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Amelia’s Magazine | Frieze Art Fair 2011: Exhibition Review

Salon 94 at Frieze Art Fair 2011.

It shouldn’t really be possible to deduce trends in the art world, approved should it? Yet that is exactly what I was able to do at Frieze Art Fair. By housing a spectacular array of galleries all alongside each other in vast tents, dosage some with work by the same artist shown on different continents, medicine the sameness of much art is highlighted. And I say trends because none of these similarities can really be named a movement, not when the artists are flung so far and wide that they can have no possible involvement with each other than a fleeting knowledge gleaned from the media or touring art shows.

This year the biggest trends seemed to follow only a couple of themes.. deducible even as I zipped around the fair in a matter of hours. I must admit that I make judgements on what I like within milliseconds at such events, so by default most of the art that I picked up on were things that spoke to me (and not always for a good reason).

After by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review From the River-Christina-Mackie
From the River by Christina Mackie at Herald St.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Map of Truths and Beliefs by Grayson-Perry
Map of Truths and Beliefs by Grayson Perry.

Isa Genzken.

Neon letter artwork and giant typography in general are popular (Tracey Emin, hello), as are craft inspired pieces that pile together assortments of materials to create something that often looks similar to a school art project. Add to this ceramics, tapestry (Grayson Perry, you have a lot to answer for, and I love you) and old toys, and the potential to create something exciting becomes seriously viable – though that line between primary school art project and stroke of genius is often hard to distinguish.

David Altmejd at Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Ramiken Crucible by Andra-Ursuta
Ramiken Crucible by Andra Ursuta.

This trend sometimes crosses over with a very strong theme that says a lot about the spiritual deficit of our current lives: curious creations that bear significant reference to tribal deities and animist beliefs but also often with strong links to our present lives. Think crystallised heads on sticks, strange shaped skulls with flapping teeth, a flattened woman who looks like she’s just been removed from a peat bog: her body glistens with a jelly like substance, yet she wears trainers.

Joy by Tomoaki Suzuki.

Elmgreen and Dragset.

In opposition to this present day esotericism I also found realistic figures in banal situations, often in miniature size. Or play dead, high heels and Blackberry at the feet or a morgue trolley. Ring a bell, Ron Mueck?

Doppelganger (Blue) by Peter Liversidge.

Frieze-Art-Fair-2011-review-Gert-and-Uwe-Tobias Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin
Gert and Uwe Tobias at Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin.

Odd arrangements of objet trouvé on shelves have never been more popular. As ever I was also attracted to all the colourful decorative paintings. Aesthetically pleasing, and close in many ways to illustration.

Pierre Huyghe: Recollection.

And then of course there was the hermit crab in Pierre Huyghe‘s Recollection. That funny creature in a darkened room, benignly going about his own business in a small tank with only smaller creatures for friends. He bears a sculpted head on his back ( a replica of Brancussi’s Sleeping Muse) as he is coo-ed over by the moneyed hordes, marvelling at out total dominion over nature. But maybe the last laugh is on us? For what cares the hermit crab where he makes his bed.

Colourful art world characters.

In the past I have been put off attending Frieze Art Fair by what I have heard about the experience. And it was, indeed, a bizarre one. Whilst the plethora of artwork on display undoubtedly provides loads of inspiration, I think a whistle stop tour is necessary to weed out all the dross (of which there is much) and retain a modicum of sanity. But the event undeniably left a curiously icky feeling inside: I’ve never seen so many rich people in one place, and Frieze stank of serious wealth. Ridiculous, unnecessary wealth, of the kind that sucks the lifeblood out of whole nations and forces us to reevaluate our connection the universe. Do you sense the irony? We all know that art is a huge commodity in our money obsessed times, but here it is laid bare for all to see… and it’s disheartening to realise just how much the art world relies on the buying and selling powers of the mega rich to survive. Surely art is about more than this?

Frieze Art Fair continues until Sunday 16th October – you can visit the Sculpture Park for free, more details here.

Categories ,Andra Ursuta, ,Andrea Rosen Gallery, ,Animist, ,berlin, ,Brancussi, ,Christina Mackie, ,Contemporary Fine Arts, ,craft, ,David Altmejd, ,Deities, ,Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, ,Doppelganger (Blue), ,Elmgreen and Dragset, ,Frieze Art Fair, ,Gert and Uwe Tobias, ,Grayson Perry, ,Herald St, ,Hermit Crab, ,Isa Genzken, ,Joy, ,Magic, ,Neon, ,Objet Trouvé, ,Peter Liversidge, ,Pierre Huyghe, ,Pottery, ,Recollection, ,Ron Mueck, ,Salon 94, ,School Art Project, ,Sleeping Muse, ,spiritual, ,Tapestry, ,Tomoaki Suzuki, ,Tracey Emin, ,typography

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Amelia’s Magazine | Frieze Art Fair 2011 Trends: Spiritual, Tribal and Animist Art

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-David Altmejd
Next in my round up of Frieze Art Fair 2011 trends: examples of the spiritual, buy more about tribal and animist inspired art that dominates the current global art scene. Proof, decease if ever if it was needed, of a struggle with meaning in our consumer driven world.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-David Altmejd
One of the first things I saw were these weird heads by David Altmejd, which mix elements of tribal and ancient cultures with recognisably modern features (love the ponytail).

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-David Brian Smith
Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-David Brian Smith
David Brian Smith‘s Great Expectations – We Were Silhouettes went for a quasi Christian angle – the lone man amongst his psychedelic sheep. At Carl Freedman Gallery.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Evgeny Antufiev
Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev worked with stitched textiles to create these strange beasts, crossing the alien with the tribal. At Regina Gallery.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Stas Volyazlovsky
Fellow Russian artist Stas Volyazlovsky crossed the esoteric with the political in his huge textile art.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Georg Kargl Gallery
I don’t know who created this but it caught my eye at the Georg Kargl Gallery, Vienna: a strange floating head.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Isa Genzken
At Hauser & Wirth Isa Genzken showed Geburt (Birth) – a disturbing quasi human mannequin prostrate on the floor.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Broadway 1602 New York
Broadway 1602 New York was home to this equally odd dolls’ house, complete with eye stuck in vagina and silver penis seeping beads. Nice.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Patrick Jackson
Two bearded men in repose by Patrick Jackson at the Francois Ghebaly Gallery, LA. Religious ecstasy, or something more sinister?

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Andra Ursata
Shown in my previous blogAndra Ursata‘s flattened woman, Ramiken Crucible.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-The Breeder Athens
Also loved this collaged wall decal – artist unknown. Decorating the stand for The Breeder Athens.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-391
Also at The Breeder, this is a section of a huge painting. Hanging clowns and others, for who knows what indiscretion. Disturbing but also strangely beautiful.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Rodrigo Torres
Rodrigo Torres planted his contemplative goat man at the junction of a busy thoroughfare.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Zhang Xiaogang
Asian artists are grossly under represented at Frieze. Zhang Xiaogang‘s neon baby lay on a slab in a mirrored artwork – a sacrificial reflection perhaps?

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Raqib Shaw
Raqib Shaw produced intricate decorative pieces that featured dragon mermaids, multi headed snakes and mysterious orbs.

Frieze Art Fair 2011 review-Mark Alexander detail
All Watched Over by Machines of Infinite Loving Grace by Mark Alexander took a more painterly approach with an intricate oil that was clearly influenced by Hieronymus Bosch.

Viewing this art in the context of Frieze, one can’t help but wonder where exactly all this soul searching will lead…

Take a peak at my round up of typographic trends and also read my full review of Frieze 2011.

Categories ,2011, ,All Watched Over by Machines of Infinite Loving Grace, ,Andra Ursata, ,Animist, ,Asian, ,Athens, ,Broadway 1602, ,Carl Freedman Gallery, ,collage, ,Consumer, ,David Altmejd, ,David Brian Smith, ,Evgeny Antufiev, ,Francois Ghebaly Gallery, ,Frieze Art Fair, ,Geburt (Birth), ,Georg Kargl Gallery, ,Goat Man, ,Great Expectations – We Were Silhouettes, ,Hauser & Wirth, ,Hieronymus Bosch, ,Isa Genzken, ,Los Angeles, ,Mannequin, ,Mark Alexander, ,new york, ,Patrick Jackson, ,Ramiken Crucible., ,Raqib Shaw, ,Regina Gallery, ,review, ,Rodrigo Torres, ,Russian, ,spiritual, ,Stas Volyazlovsky, ,textiles, ,The Breeder, ,trends, ,Tribal, ,Vienna, ,Zhang Xiaogang

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