May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Much as I admire off the wall art, I’m only ever convinced of its worthiness if it, or some other work of its perpetrator, demonstrates some degree of draughtsmanship. Irrational maybe, but there it is.
For instance, after visiting the new Tate Gallery at Margate for the special show of its enfant terrible of a home town daughter Tracey Emin last month, I left unconvinced as ever about the artistic value of yet more vaginal scribbles; self mutilating screams from a deeply troubled soul.
How refreshing then to be back on home turf for a rare solo exhibition from the whacky world of one of our own. David Chedgey can draw. And paint, and sculpt; be funny, and sometimes just a bit sinister. All of these attributes are amply demonstrated at his Work Outside The Factory show (until 14 October) at art historian Laura Williams’ friendly Art 18/21 gallery in Tombland.
The introduction of Chedgey’s alter ego Honore Bonaparte (long-lost brother of Napoleon) in a spoof on David Hockney’s iPad-aided East Yorkshire woodland works tickles you pink but refuses to undermine a more serious Hockney-inspired interpretation of Norfolk’s Kelling Woods.
After that, make your choice between child-size skulls that might be the spawn of Darth Vader, slightly perplexing coloured Perspex and a highly accomplished, conventional portrait. I told you the man can draw but if you want to sit for your likeness in oil, it’s said that Chedgey charges the equivalent of your earnings for the time he takes to paint it. Bankers between jobs need not apply; he’s evidently been caught out like that before.
As the gates to the Royal Hospital Gardens at Chelsea opened to the world’s media yesterday, with a frenzy of activity as photographers and camera crews vied for the best vantage points, there was also a very palpable sense of relief among the hundreds of nurserymen and women who have come to exhibit their prize horticultural specimens that their stands were complete and looking their very best.