February is cold, rainy and a little melancholic over here in London. An artistic escape is definitely needed to make it through this month!
Put your trainers on and follow this list of four across my favourite city:
David Hockney at The Tate Britain- #davidhockney almost crashed my Instagram feed last week but how nice to see so many vivid colours, bold compositions and familiar people on his huge canvases! Hockney is a strong inspiration for us at MTArt as he proudly supported the thinking of art engaging everyone, not just the few who form part of the art world. Sometimes mocked for this statement, and what was perceived as naive simplicity, he deserves this ambitious retrospective.
Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq at Hannah Barry - you will face an enormous five metre orbital drawing, black, in graphite and made by the artist's hand. The black graphite challenges your experience of the space and absorbs all surrounding. This is exactly what I love in contemporary artists from our generation - they understand and react to the wider context of the work, that is, its architecture. I feel it's about time for architects and artists, or someone curious in both fields, to show how important this dialogue is to the creative field.
Rob Branigan’s Studio - I cannot spend a week in London without visiting a studio. This is where I source most of my inspiration and where I have my most insightful conversations. The studio I would currently recommend is that of artist Rob Branigan - a 'geek', as he describes himself, who understand both the pure technical side of his works (the execution is near perfection) but also the playful search for a meaning in everyday materials. His art holds what I most love about surrealism, a valuable escape from our serious and gloomy world.
National Gallery, Room 41 - Bathers at Asnières by artist Georges Seurat.
I spend every Saturday morning at The National Gallery, always going for different works, times and rooms. This month, and from the need of sun in this time of change, I recommend looking at George Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières. This painting is very meaningful to me personally as I see both an artist trying to innovate technically (this painting marks the very birth of pointillism) but also challenging the status quo: portraying the working class over the bourgeoisie and giving them a say via his art - voicing the voiceless.