Juxtaposed: Art, Fashion, Eye-Candy, Doodles Galore!

By Jo Phillips

Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, 1996 (c) David LaChapelle Studio Inc
Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, 1996 (c) David LaChapelle Studio Inc

If you go down to the woods today, be sure of a big surprise.  Actually you don’t need to go to any woods, nor is there really a big surprise, but what you will find this month is a vast line up of beautiful exhibits that would be quite criminal not to go and see.  Here’s our round up of the ones most likely to spark your imagination and feed your creative hunger.

1. First up is urban art company Beautiful Crimes new concept pop-up, in the basement of the Lulu Guinness store in Covent Garden. The concept store gives all lovers of art a chance to buy some quirky eye-candy from the big names including a cheeky classic by Mr Brainwash as well as a carefully curated range from new and emerging artists.

BC mugshots
The exhibit is open until 29th December, with a whole range of interactive opportunities in-between, including “Mugshot my face” by artist Russell Marshall on 30th November (example pictured above).  If the art on display is out of your budget, maybe treat yourself to a tee-shirt…BC tee


2. Opening this week is the hugely anticipated Isabella Blow exhibit (Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!) at Somerset House throughout Winter and continuing until Spring 2014.

Isabella Blow 1997 (c) Mario Testino
Isabella Blow 1997 (c) Mario Testino

Celebrating the late fashion doyenne’s innovative eye and creative genius with a career spanning selection of pieces from her incredibly rich collection of clothes and accessories, expect to see examples from Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan as well as her collaborative efforts with industry giants including Steven Meisel.  Just a few reasons why you should be first in the queue.  We’ll see you there!


3. Making Visible: Another exhibit of note this month is that of Bauhaus Artist Paul Klee, showing at the Tate until 9th March 2014.

BC Paul klee 1

Comprising a fantastical selection of his pieces otherwise described as ‘whimsical’ because of their many lines, colours, cubes and doodles, the collection shows the many influences in his work and life such as cubism, surrealism as well as individualism.

BC Paul Klee 2 The curators at the Tate have reunited many of Klee’s paintings, drawings and watercolours for the first time since Klee exhibited himself.


4. Last but by no means least, is the beautiful, and ethereal transformation of the John Madejski garden by Chinese Artist Xu Bing featuring at the Victoria and Albert museum; “Travelling to the Wonderland.”  I went at 6pm, a perfect time to view the garden in all it’s mystical glory, (pictured below) but you can go at any time of the day.

BC VandA

Inspired by the classic Chinese fable “Tao Hua Yuan” (Peach Blossom Spring), the work is Bing’s interpretation of a dreamlike land where nature and humans co-exist harmoniously.  Taking slices of 9 different rocks from 5 different places in China, Bing has arranged them in order to create a mini mountain paradise.
BC VandA 2

Travelling to the Wonderland features a smattering of miniature ceramic, ancient Chinese houses with painstaking attention to detail, as well as a number of tiny LCD screens within the landscape each depicting cartoon animations as a nod towards the modern-day China. The rocks surround the water feature, which is magically misty during these winter days and transforms to a breathtaking moonlit mirror as soon as night hits thanks to clever lighting both from Bing and of course mother nature.

The garden is just one part of a much wider display, for Bing accompanies this ethereal wonderland with a selection of calligraphy work, paintings and sketches. What else is there to say, except; Enjoy, explore, and broaden your horizons.

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