Dirty Pretty Things
“Guests can feast their eyes on skulls studded with Schwarzkopf crystals, electric chairs covered in butterflies, and even some of the original old masters themselves.” This was the invite in my inbox, a private viewing of an art exhibition featuring a 21st C persepctive on the idea of Vanitas ( meaning both empty and frivolous) and I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Art itself is always up for discussion in what it represents, and how we as an audience interpret it, the 17th C Vanitas still life which the exhibition had drawn influence, combines organic things signifying mortality, and decay. The Transience of Earthly Pleasures viewing held at Portland Place (a gorgeous building in itself) unfolded to be variations of dirty pretty things, with the organic elements of a Vanitas, and tricks of light. Each piece of art drew you in, and was about looking past the obvious. Tim Noble and Sue Webster created a malgamation of taxidermy; pheasants, foxes, and other wildlife creatures; but what you needed to look out for was the shadow it created, two human silouhettes with two little mice scurrying underneath. the weird, and the wonderful were also present, but you need to see it for yourself. At 33 Portland Place, the exhibition is running until the 17th, and is open from 11am to 7pm everyday.