|Signage for Deller's show at the Hayward|
We had the chance to take a look around his show beforehand and I really, really enjoyed it. I'd never known a great deal about Deller's work - my first major encounter with his practice was the work March 5, 2007, the wreckage of a car destroyed by a bomb in Iraq that killed 38 people on the date of its namesake. In 2010 the rusted, mangled heap was put on display in the grand hall of the Imperial War Museum in London amid a staggering arsenal of impressive military weapons - planes, grenades and rockets. It was the first and only artefact in the atrium to bear witness to the human impact of war and it's now in their permanent collection.
|March 5, 2007 in the atrium at the Imperial War Museum.|
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA. Courtesy the Guardian
|Jeremy Deller, It Is What It Is, 2009 (detail)|
|Jeremy Deller - Fourth Plinth proposal. Copright: Jeremy Deller|
These are just a handful of works on display - there's also a 3D film about bats and a relocated snack bar serving tea and coffee under a roof full of political banners - but the over-riding impression is of Deller's sincere curiosity about the dynamics of social encounter and collaboration and the nature of people. What's amusing is that despite this apparent 'Joy In People', Deller considers himself a pessimist and actually wanted to call the show 'Animal, Vegetable, Minerable, Pop Music'.
|Jeremy Deller, I Heart Melancholy, 2011|
Art has had quite a bit of attention the last couple of days actually (notwithstanding the fact that yes, I work in an art gallery so technically it has my attention every day...) but yesterday Lovely Boy and I went to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park to buy ourselves a work of art. One of our wedding presents was money towards such a purchase and affordable being a key part of the remit, the fair seemed the ideal place to look for our modest masterpiece. LB was only mildly facetious, dragging out the best bits of his art vocabulary to declare a fancy for buying a piece of conceptual performance art - or else something in his most favourite medium, video.....
|Jeremy Deller, Valerie's Snack Bar, 2009|
Thankfully though we did come across several prints that we liked and in the end purchased two quirky screen prints by a British artist called Martin Grover that re-imagine London's public transport signage as sites for distracted, philosophical, humorous wonderings.
|A sculptural version of the screenprint by Martin |
Grover that we bought - out by the car park at the fair.
|Original watercolour by Daniel Lehan|
|Queens Head pub, Chelsea|
This week I'm going to Gillian Wearing's private view at the Whitechapel Gallery and on Saturday it's Kusama madness at Tate.
If I wasn't a trained professional, I'd almost be artied out.
* In the interests of full disclosure I technically haven't exactly met all these artists but if I've emailed them, if I've written questions for them for an interview, if I've seen them at close range in some kind of non-accidental, non-everyday setting then I count them. My art world cards, my prerogative.