I just couldn't understand why the print had sold so much. It was alright, a sketchy line drawing of a nude, a bit IKEA but it had so many red dots next to it the wall looked like it had measles, then I looked it up in the RA book, artist: Tracey Emin, ahhh...
It is very difficult to level any criticism at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition once you've been rejected without sounding like a cynical bitter twat. However I found this years' show pretty uninspiring. Year on year there seems to be less 'amateur' art in favour of work from the Academicians. The Academicians work quite conservative this year and a little preachy. They seemed to be using this years' show as a Soap Box to complain about the governments' art cuts, a noble cause but the right arena? There's certainly a huge audience but they were preaching to the converted. There was also a light Insulation which took up an entire room, which was a bit Sixth form and didn't warrant the space. There were some nice pieces but nothing which stopped me in my tracks. Having said that I'll probably be submitting for my annual rejection again next year.
Part of the reason I do continue to submit to the Royal Academy ironically is so that I can get into the Rejection show or the Salon de Refusés. I crammed myself into the tube from Piccadilly Circus to Kings Cross for the years' show. The show was in Dog Eared Studios, while undeniably less moneyed but the venue crackled with energy. It was very well attended and as soon as I came into the studio I saw my mate Tim Lambert and enjoyed having a natter. At times it was so busy that people would bump into the makeshift walls making the paintings wobble precariously (which is why I've got that look on my face in the picture, someone had just set one of my paintings all a quiver). You have to have a big dollop of ego to put yourself forward for something like this, but I found that when I people were stairing intently at my paintings I'd get all giggly and coquettish. I did earwig as some people were discussing one of my paintings and was disappointed to hear someone say "Yeah I can see the shape of a dog ear in it."
The show did empty when the England World Cup match approached and it was time for me to leave as well to catch my train. I'd have liked to have nattered to some of my fellow artists but you can't have everything. I'm happy to have been part of the show.