So, just when I thought my life was all bread, bread, bread, I was asked by my good arty friends Dan Murrell of the New Statesman and Hugh Tisdale of Philosophy Football to dust off my quill and get scribbling again in support of their forthcoming exhibition in Shoreditch.
It’s a really fascinating concept – it’s based on those rather tacky celebrity masks you find in tourist shops all over London but, rather than Prince Charles or Simon Cowell, you’ll find a more interesting mix of well-known cultural, scientific and political figures, ranging from Marie Curie to Debbie Harry, Mao Zedong to Donald Trump, George Orwell to Myra Hindley. A gallery of heroes and villains, if you like, but part of the point of the show is to make the viewer think much more deeply about those concepts.
The masks themselves are exquisitely rendered colour-washed drawings, mounted in box frames. The overall effect is really quite eerie, as these (mostly) very familiar faces appear to float in their frames, their eyeless gaze fixed on nothing in particular.
Anyway, it was a tremendous honour to be asked to write the catalogue essay, which allowed me to wax pretentious about the mask of modern celebrity, Freudian concepts of the uncanny and the like. We all hope it’s going to be a great success, and the more people who know about it the better. So get yourself down to Rich Mix Gallery, just off Brick Lane, before the end of January.