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Blog: Afternoon Of Art

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Yesterday The Picture In My Frame and I left the cosy confines of The Olympical Village (have I mentioned that that's where I live?) to head into London Actual for an afternoon of ART.

Our first stop was The Serpentine Gallery to see their PAVILION. Every year they get an architect who's never designed anything in the UK before to build them a temporary cafe-type place, and they are always INTERESTING to go and look at. This year's one looks more exciting in pictures than it does in real life - it looks glowy and funky in images, but when you go it looks, as The Pegs On My Tent put it, like something you'd see in a field in Glastonbury. In parts it looked like something you'd see in a CAMPING field several days in, lashed together and likely to fall over. It was OK, but they've had MUCH more fun ones. More importantly the cafe was run by Fortnum & Mason again who charge A LOT for a small bottle of water!

As we were there we nipped into the gallery itself to see their current exhibition which turned out to be a lot of rather bland paintings of Not Much Happening. We were there with our friend Ms M Murray who reported that it looked like "the sort of paintings you buy for hotels", which it did. I was as yet Not Hugely Impressed by our afternoon of ART, but this was about to change.

For LO! Our next stop was The Sackler Gallery, a new bit of The Serpentine Galleries just down the road, where we saw a Duane Hanson exhibition. It was GRATE! It was all very lifelike sculptures of ordinary people doing ordinary things and it was A Bit Creepy. As you came round a corner you got a JOLT when you saw people standing there, not sure if they were REAL or not. They were all JUST slightly not right - usually the hair looked mildly fake - which was SPOOKY in an Uncanny Valley sort of way. As we went round everyone was leaning super close to LOOK right at them, all slightly wary in case they suddenly sprang to life, and I noticed that as we were STARING much more than usual WE were being stared at by the many many gallery staff who were making sure we didn't actually touch anything.

With that done we got one of those new routemaster buses (i know they're not THAT new but I'd not been on one before), a TOOB and then STROLLED round to the National Portrait Gallery to see The BP Portrait Award. By this time I was OFFICIALLY FLAGGING so was intending to have a Bit Of An Old Sit Down with a cup of tea while The Pictures In My Portfolio went for a look round. However, we rolled up just as the cafe had closed so I ended up going for a look after all and CRIKEY I was so glad I did because it was ACE.

I've been to a few of these before and usually they are All Right but this one had a TONNE of brilliant stuff in it - this was the first year they'd accepted online submissions, so maybe the fact that it was open to more people made it better, because it was PACKED with good stuff. My favourite was A Portrait Of Ben The Masseur by Lee Myles Simmonds as it GLOWED out at me, while The Winner Of My Prizes's favourite was The History Men by Milan Ivanic, but there was LOADS of really good stuff. INTERESTINGLY a huge amount of it was extremely detailed and photorealistic, which i guess is The Thing at the moment. Years ago when I was first forced into art galleries on school trips everything looked WEIRD and ABSTRACT but now it all seems to be about super realisticalness. FEAR ME! I have made An Observation About Art!

Anyway, it was brilliant and I would HIGHLY recommend a look if you're about in That London between now and September. Also, like all the ART what we saw, it was FREE - HOORAH!

posted 8/7/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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