Wild Ones: Nick Berkeley (2014) – Art Review

Wild Ones – Nick Berkeley 2014 Exhibition


The first of two reviews based upon contemporary artists! Something different, something strange and something unfound. Okay, so we got lost easily. Having never been to the Strand Gallery, it was again interesting to find – I mean that. Tucked away and using Google Maps we were surprised to find out we were standing right outside. Half shop, half gallery on ground floor and a complete maze of a half gallery half studio on the ground floor – this was an interesting venue. The gallery itself was almost far from chosen but needed. Some prints felt out of print with the rest that were featured. This felt like an independent gallery by an artist who happened to own a studio. A studio that wasn’t quite anything. The gallery was almost a work of art in itself and not really conforming to any ideas of what was a gallery. Furthermore the works in question, the exhibition itself, are almost entirely devoted to a band – Suede. The exhibition is devoted to but also not devoted to Suede. There’s an element of artists helping each other. Suede brings them in and the gallery helps present Nick Berkeley‘s depictions of Suede. P.S. There’s signatures. 


It’s safe to say, unfortunately, that the band outshines the artist. What we see in many of the prints is a tendency towards an abstract whilst playing with the lights and colour that create a bands performance. These prints were taken from stills of a film giving a further multi-media dimension to the works. The prints emphasise the movements whilst being completely still – thus lending a dance like quality to the imagery. Where possible the images allow for the musical performance to be seen. The lights and people emphasised to show the stage-like quality of the works. These works are a very celebration of the arts. 


Despite the works being interesting from a multi-media perspective, there is also an element of capturing something. In what was once a spontaneous performance has been captured by an image. Only selected images were used as prints and morphed into something that emphasises movements and romanticising the source material. The Wild Ones are free and are having fun. The Wild Ones are true  and raw. The abstraction almost removes what was truly intended as it blurs the lines a bit too much at times but other times it blends the image into its movements. It is still but moving. It is wild and free.


The nicest aspects of the whole exhibition is the air with which it feels independent and true to the artist, it is there because it wants to be there. It’s not always convenient but it wants to be there. The mixed media aspect of the prints seems to submerse the prints within the medium. They have to be stills but they want to be more. This is a very interesting exhibition if only short lived.


Further Reading


Strand Gallery Site – Wild Ones

Time-Out Review 

Muso’s Guide

God is in the TVzine



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