I should have written this three weeks ago when we actually went to the RA Summer Exhibition, but hey ho there you go.
It was baking hot in The Smoke when Sian and I rocked up to the Royal Academy. This was a landmark year being it's 250th year and they had pulled out all the stops. The xxhibition was on three floors and in a turn around from there seemed to be a few more of us armature artists in there, which gives it a bit more vigor. I'd been on the fence about going but it had got some great reviews and it was curated by everyone's favorite unsettling media transvestite Grayson Perry.
What market this year out was a playfulness, some of the stand out pieces played with art history like Kim Jong Un/Duchamp mash up (pictured above) in the second room and the smoking green lady in curlers (right) which we nearly bought. and pictures with terrible puns. There was also a wall of portraits of Perry which people thought in a wave of sycophancy would get them in, and they were right. It did work, it was cheeky and funny.
Inevitably with an exhibition so vast and a tiny bit more inclusive than previous years there's going to be a few sings and misses. I wasn't keen on Cornelia Parker sex robot piece, thought it was a bit on the nose. I didn't think much of the David Hockneys, but these were two of the few low points for me. The lino/wood cuts seemed to be grouped together in the new upper room and were very impressive and were a good counter point to the digital work. Also Parker's framed red dot panting is becoming a bit of a perennial, it's like turning a corner and bumping into an old friend. I wonder how long she can carry on the gag?
All in all a great year, and I came out feeling inspired and with a few ideas about what I'll be submitting to get rejected next year.