By Pietro Spadafora
Every time I write to you I would like to say something interesting to make myself better known. Today, unfortunately, I do not feel much inspired as I have been more inclined to receive than to give. I will tell you about my day dedicated to art, hoping that through my reviews you can enjoy some of my advice. I would have many topics that I would like to address, like my view on egocentrism or how much morale is important in the advertising world but I will deal with these matters when I will have more time to document myself and reflect. I hate dealing with topics I do not yet know well.
As I was telling you, I dedicated this weekend to visit the city and try to connect the dots. It is incredible how each area of London has its own life and is radically different from one another. A person could move a few miles from home and feel like being in another state: during my ride of today, I seem to have visited half of Europe. I managed to maximise the day by waking up early and visit three different galleries in three completely different places.
I started from South to go North, to head home in the evening: the first show I saw was at the White Cube and I was disappointed. There was an exhibition by Gilbert & George of whom I had already seen a “solo” exhibition at the MoMA before leaving New York and I had liked them. I was surprised by the fact that for the first time I found myself criticising works of art with an advertiser’s eye: their campaign seemed to me very repetitive and too much focused on the large size of their posters; moreover, the fact that they were selling posters and autographed books at £ 10 looked very business-minded to me. I did not like it at all.
An exhibition that I would instead highly recommend to everyone, especially to my ad men friends, is the one by Andreas Gursky at the South Bank Center (an exhibition space that has been closed for years). This contemporary photographer makes aesthetically beautiful photos and, what’s more, photos that make you think: each of them reveals controversial aspects of modern life from different perspectives. It is better to not spoil too much… I will definitely go back to see it once more, more carefully and especially with fewer people. Since it was the first weekend after opening, I had to queue for 2 hours!
To finish on a high note I went to the acclaimed exhibition of portraits by Cezanne at the National Portrait Gallery. I have always been more attracted by seventeenth-century painters but I find that this French painter is the most important element in the transition of modern art from a purely aesthetic pictorial art to a more experimental one, such as Picasso’s cubism.
Still not satisfied, at 7 pm I dedicated myself to another of my favourite art forms: cinema. To get up to date, I watched two Oscar-nominated films. First I saw the Shape of Water, nominated for 13 Oscars and winner of the Venice Film Festival. I have never been a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro, I think I am the only person in the world who did not like Pan’s Labyrinth, but this new film surprised me. A little too fairy but very immersive, sublime soundtrack and placed in a very turbulent historical period.
The other film was recommended to me at school. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, a very special film, with checkered external criticism. It has a very special rhythm that may seem slow, but in reality, a twist occurs after another… Very subtle and particular humour, at times reminiscent of the films by the Cohen brothers.
Having said that, I greet you because tomorrow morning I have to wake up early and have a busy week in front of me.
See you next time, Yours,