03 September 2010
NOEL FIELDING – AN ANTIC DISPOSITION
“These days nobody wants a real job. Every one just wants to be Alexa Chung”
Enjoying my cup of tea and strawberry tart at my favourite Soho café, Maison Bertaux, taking in (Mighty Boosh star) Noel Fielding’s artwork isn’t so much a leisurely activity as it is a necessity.
It’s more of an optical assault than an exhibition – wall-to-wall paintings, sketches and scrawls aren’t enough – the strange shapes and intense colour is merged together by bizarre, frantic (and occasionally profound) writings in black marker, the whole thing surrounds you in a way I find oddly intrusive and disconcerting. But still, as I’m getting to the custard (commonly known as the epiphany portion of the tart construct) it’s not the encroachment that’s bothering me – it’s the actual body of artwork.
Now, I’ve seen The Mighty Boosh so I know that ‘out-there’ is kind of the norm when it comes to Noel; but, much like the later Boosh episodes, the whole thing feels a little forced. Well, almost the whole thing. Between the abstracts and the doodles of Morph and Chaz with their cocks out (poor Tony Hart) there’s a single painting and corresponding sketch that stand out; one medium-sized and ornately framed, one small and unassuming, and they stand out solely because they don’t try to.
The whole situation’s very Joseph Heller, but these two works – with their colour, style and simplicity – conjure a vision of deep-rooted trouble that none of the more obtrusive pieces can really convey. It’s very much a Bryan Ferry themed event, with 90% of the writings and a lot of the art work being focused on the Roxy Music front man, but if you’re passing by – or having some of their world famous pastries – check out Vincent Gallo; that’s where the magic is.