Art trip: Visiting the Saatchi gallery

Yesterday I visited the Saatchi gallery in London for the first time, with not much knowledge of the place other than it being mentioned in conversations on Art and I researched an artist connected to the gallery in my OCA file recently.

I had heard that it was Contemporary Art, a term I am familiar with but I thought it was closely related to Modern Art and visiting a gallery of Modern Art filled me with dread, I mean just Modern Art c’mon….

But it’s good to give things a chance and if other’s liked it, I wanted to see if I liked it too and you know what? I did, I really really did.

First things first Saatchi is free yes FREE! Thank you Mr. Saatchi.

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I will put some pictures up in the order I viewed them and my thoughts on them.

The very first thing I stared at, then came back to stare at some more, was this stain glass like shed with branches either side of it and a metal fence around the front. I know, first thought- Is this Art? But I believe so because the way they artist has put this together I think (I’d like to think), is that they’ve focused on the ordinary made interesting and colourful and reflections of the branches in the windows, as it’s peaceful and like a whole different picture in itself. I liked thinking deeply about reflections.

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I came across a style I liked as it had everything I’d want to feature in a piece- paint, collage and gems. There were two, one on the way in and another featuring the model Naomi Campbell. Since I didn’t write down every artist I liked and I can’t easily locate them on saatchi.com I will just go with the flow and credit when I can.

The things I liked about these pieces were the use of materials, space, how they included all different parts of a house/ a person in a such a small space yet it didn’t feel tightly compact it felt complete, like all areas were shown and they had to be shown.

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Also up close you could see how the gems were put on so perfectly (drawn lines) which didn’t fault the piece it just seemed more incredible that a person put all of themselves into this piece. Drawing, painting, collage, sticking, sparkles n all.

The other thing that it reminded me of, seeing gems on paintings, was that I love to add stuff on top of paintings but it’s sometimes shunned down as unnecessary and less art more craft. Yet here they are in all their glory in a gallery in London- take that gem critics! Gem and sequins in the art world faith restored.

The next four pictures in a collage are all very different though stand out and interest, surprise and amaze me in various ways.

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The old hoover sculpture with the bits and pieces that make up the hoover is interesting, it was one of my Dad’s favourites there, I liked the concept more than anything from an artists point of view. How did they come up with the idea? What was the starting point the sculpture or the pieces? What interested them about old hoovers? So many questions…

Moving onto the basket balls in the tank, a creation by Jeff Koons. This is the first time I have seen his pieces in a gallery, also my first illusion piece of the day! I stared into this tank thinking slow delayed confused thoughts- How the f…how are they still…there are no strings! Water? A special still water solution?

Ai Wei Wei’s white sofa chair, now I love Ai Wei Wei’s works, I’ve watched his documentaries and I am a fan. When I saw this chair my mind stopped to think- Oh god, he’s gone to the dark side and chosen modern art, Wei Wei you are so much better than that, this can’t be happening, this is a disaster….then I got closer and found out it wasn’t an old sofa chair but it was MARBLE. Ai Wei Wei’s done it again! Amazing an illusion and possibly a message to modern artists- take that, you may make unmade beds but are they made out of marble- I think not!

Ok the last one in this collage is a piece by Aidan Salakhova and all I can really describe it as is unknown objects made out of marble granite. Looking closely, what amazed me is how solid and perfectly made this item is, though the hands are made to look very delicate. At the time I wasn’t sure if it was themed upon religion, femininity or even something sexual.

Moving on to the body and concepts I like, meaning I wouldn’t have chosen to do this myself though I like the concept and ideas behind the bottles of red liquid that make up a body and the skeletons and collages on the wall, shown below.

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A room full of flags made of hair may not sound like anything appealing but walking through close up you can see how carefully it has been crafted and delicately put together, the Jesus on the wall is made out of coat hangers, a very ordinary material with a striking effect.

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I love self portraits and portraits in general, I love not the traditional style as such but the variety of ways they can be created. It is never ending, again it’s something else I really want to explore further.

The third picture shown, words held with hands on a red background really stood out for me. The bold text reading RESPECT held by a hand and the same the other way in another language has a felling of being united, powerful, strong and resilient.

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There was a section on advertising in society and this subject interests me as one of the pieces reads ‘The ideal gift for an ideal life’.

It goes into detail that advertising makes out- if you buy this your life will be complete. Which of course goes on all around us and is an ever appearing trap- a crap trap even!

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Last few photos (I have just realised how long this post will be!)

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The paintings on the walls in the last rooms, especially the castle really excited me as the artist included different levels or viewing points I believe. Behind the red curtain and the rubble and through a hole in the wall- you find a castle on an island.

Ai Wei Wei’s vases were here too! I could write all about these beauties but for now I will just say, they are part tradition, modern and just pure colourful paint.

The last illusion of the day was this mind blowing installation that we couldn’t guess for a while, till it all came together- it was like a sensory experience realisation all in itself so incase you haven’t visited* I won’t give it away.

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*Go and visit the Saatchi when next in London it’s worth your time and it’s free! You can view art online at saatchiart.com