Sunday, 1 August 2010

Another review of last year's show......ASSEMBLAGE by WILLIAM BLANCHARD – Now where were we? It is rather easy to take shots at Shoreditch and Hoxton and all the baggage that goes with it. The place is festooned with look at me poseurs and yeah yeah yeah, I know... but there is an energy and there is a little buzz when you hit Old Street, when you’re heading somewhere, when your visit has a purpose... A decent gig at the Old Blue Last - that Capillary Action show, that Rain Emperor experience the other week, the unexpected old shops that have evolved in to DIY galleries, a fresh piece of inspiring street art – yeah, it is easy to sneer, to mock and Saatchi’s YBA gang and Shoreditch Twats and Nathan Barley down the Nailgunner Arms and blah blah... Right now going to Shoreditch feels good, we’ll miss it when it isn’t there anymore (like we miss the Camden of those 90’s Lurch days and the backroom of the Falcon before the Flies infested and the Crawl made us crawl...), this won’t last. There’s still a healthy do it yourself creative energy to be found in Shoreditch still, celebrate it while you can Tonight our purpose is the opening of a small exhibition called Assemblage from a man some know as Wildcat Will. Wildcat Will’s real name is William Blanchard and a press release last week got us curious enough to get on the tube... The gallery website does Wildcat’s work no justice, is it us or does that one American Buns image, the only image on the site, look like a flat print? a slice of tired soup can seen it before Coca-Cola pop art? Art on the internet on the whole doesn’t work that well, in this case the image, is very misleading and rather two dimensional, best ignore it...

“Strangeness is the indispensable condiment of all beauty” - Boudelaire

Here’s some blurb and background

William Blanchard started his career as a musician with his first band Bruce Wayne and the Batniks back in the Eighties, a time in which he says he had a rock and roll epiphany involving sex and drugs, during in which God gave him the name Wildcat, a name he has used as an artist and musician ever since.

“Wildcat Will has taken inspiration for this exhibition from Joseph Cornell (1903-72) who created ‘poetry from the commonplace’ especially with his boxed assemblages created from found objects, and the west coast artist Wallace Berman (1926-76) with reference to the privately made and published issues of ‘SEMINA‘ whose contributors included Antonin Artaud, Charles Bukowski, William S Burroughs, Marion Grogan, Stuart Perkoff, Jean Cocteau and Allen Ginsberg. Inspiration was also drawn from his collages and work with esoteric and mystical imagery using the early mimeograph machines.

Wildcat Will formed The Sandals in 1990, they existed for five years, releasing music with that rather confused label known as London Records (we here at Organ were doing a lot of art for bands associated with London at that time, those Atom Seed days and such, do recall being asked to do Sandals covers at one point by the label, we later heard that suggestion hadn’t gone down well with the band, seems they had ideas of their own – asking bands what they wanted to do never did seem to be a priority at London, the stories we could tell). Wildcat moved on from The Sandals before moving on to form an art/music/poetry collective, which included paintings and installations in galleries and clubs in London, L.A and Tokyo. from 1995-2002 ‘Wildcat’ played drums for Beth Orton, touring on and off for 7 years and recording the albums (Trailer Park, Central Reservation and Daybreaker), he played drums for Dot Allison, The Aloof, and more recently Whitey 2003-07. Wildcat has worked and collaborated with Jagz Kooner (Sabres of Paradise), Death in Vegas (Contino Sessions, Satan’s Circus), Andrew Weatherall (Two Lone Swordsmen) David Holmes, Primal Scream and James Lavelle. Recent projects have included co-producing, writing, playing drums, guitar and synths on the new album by his long term partner Siobhan Fahey (Bananrama, Shakespear’s sister), drumming for The Wolfmen (Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantionou (Adam and theAnts) session work on Dirty Stop out - Agent Provocateur creator Joe Corre’s new band with Mick Jones (The Clash), and last year with Le Volume Courbe and Arthur Delaney (Young and Lost). Wildcat is also writing and producing music as part of a duo with Matty Skylab known as The Electric Moccasins of Doom. Wildcat Will has returned to making art after an enforced hiatus and this is his first solo show in London for 5 years” – enough with the cutting ‘n pasting with the biog already....

The rather inviting rather basic Neu Gallery is in a dark looking seen better days shell of a one time shop down in Redchurch Street (next to the Owl And Pussycat should you know the area), there’s a whole load of people standing outside drinking and talking when we arrive a couple of hours after the official opening, bit of a party atmosphere... Push through the black shop door into the overloud music and there’s a wall of rather intriguing pieces of boxed found art, collage, framed sculpture, faded assemblages, torn pages, labels. Some of the twenty-six pieces work a little more that others - the collage, the pop art, the Americana and the 50’s comic book bites next the touches of Brasso, the Edwardian colours and the plastic moths, the rather different use of stencil and the almost English Victorian yellowed 60’s comic book Americana Cat Women and such... Wildcat has pulled together a good looking set of images to form some rather decent pieces - ideas that work, images that should contradict awkwardly and really don’t, not sure about those plastic moths and butterflies... A quietly lit dark old shop is just the place to experience Assemblage. Dusty old boxes for frames, faded sputniks, Action Man targets, contradiction that doesn’t contradict... well worth dropping by and exploring a little, well worth taking in the subtle assembly, the revenge of the lizard man and the holy bagatelle.

The show runs from Friday 24th April to Wednesday 6th May 2009 at THE MAURICE EINHARDT NEU GALLERY 30A Redchurch Street, London E2, more from the Neu website - or
And here is the link to a 5 minute documentary about me by Dan Canyon from his Stolen moments series
Here is another link to se some of my art from previous solo show last may