A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across an exhibition of the work of Franz West at Tate Modern. I didn’t know much about him before I went so I trotted off to the gallery space clutching my ticket to my chest with an open mind. The images on the poster of pastel-coloured worm-like sculptures intrigued me. I liked them. I didn’t know why. I just did.
I didn’t quite expect to be inspired as much as I was by his work though. It isn’t the sort of things that fires me up. It was quite an eclectic mix of drawings and sculpture, and furniture. Can furniture be art? Yes, it seems it can.
‘Ironic, irrelevant, yet profoundly philosophical’ reads the Tate Modern blurb about West’s work. I like that. That is how I would like to be. I look for irony in everything. I feel I am definitely irrelevant and as for philosophical, yes, I think very hard about what I am doing and why.
I also read in one of the random blurbs that Franz West was fascinated with the idea of art and life blending. He didn’t see why they should be separate. Another ‘tick’ for me.
There was so much of Franz West’s work that resonated with me. Not just the blobby enormous sculptures that gallery goers are invited to interact with, the so-called Passstücke, which, indeed, I loved. But I was also intrigued by the objects blended with plinths, the chairs morphed into something other-wordly and bizarre and ordinary furniture things turned into works of art. It all reminded me of the ‘cyberspace’ I envisage and have talked about here. There were ‘things’ on display, but those things weren’t quite the things that we recognise in the real world. There were even things you could touch and sit on (an entire area of carpet-covered sofas for contemplation which I did patronise for a while).
Even more than the art, perhaps, I felt moved by the Franz West imitation living room complete with bookcases full of art books. It was like stepping into my own head and my own world. I surround myself with books: not just art ones, philosophy ones or historical ones but all sorts of random books that all inform my art and my thinking. I want my own Franz West living room in a gallery.
Both his art and his living room sparked my imagination. As I wondered around the gallery I asked myself: Could I try to create still-life art on three-dimensional, not-not-quite recognisable surfaces? Why does the still-life genre have to be flat and within a set frame? If the images I have created (the ones from the virtual reality drawing) are supposed to be in three-dimensions, why not put them on a three-dimensional plane? Why not put them in a space as they appear in virtual reality, in my mind, in real life?
So this, dear friends, is what I am going to do next. What this space, as they say.