ArtMan: Art is lighting up London, and you need not set foot in a gallery


ArtMan highlights new works on the streets of London by deep brain artist Michael Pinsky and Jacques Rival

There’s a new wave of art hitting London streets readers. Don’t panic! I’m here to point it out so you at least notice it, and, hopefully, you might just get it too.

Michael Pinsky is a well respected British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces.

Taking the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist and researcher, he allows the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology.

He has a lot to say to us. He’s prolific when it comes to releasing statement works into the real world.

He is rapidly becoming the UK’s number one public artist.

Pinsky currently has two exciting London projects on the go and these are changing the way Londoners see London.

The first is called RELAY and explores the identity of Kings Cross and its ever changing ‘audience’ who briefly pass through, rushing for trains and fighting for cabs.

During 2012 and 2013, RELAY will feature temporary commissions from maverick sculptor Richard Wentworth, Felice Varni and Marjetica Portc – an exciting line up of talent. The artworks will unpeel around Kings Cross to complement the changes the area is going through.

RELAY is expertly orchestrated by Pinsky and Stephanie Delcroix and is being launched with Identified Flying Object (IFO) by Jacques Rival. During the day an over sized birdcage will serve as a public kiosk framing the passing street traffic. At night it becomes a gleaming chandelier.

Identified Flying Object (IFO) by Jacques Rival

Source: John Sturrock

Suspended from a crane, the electrified birdcage will float above the construction site before landing and transforming into a recreational space that invites passers by to an intimate session on a two seater swing.

There’s more to come from Rival too, all of which will be announced on the King’s Cross blog.

Identified Flying Object (IFO) by Jacques Rival

Source: John Sturrock

Pinsky next drops his curator’s wand and turns back into artist to tickle our brains with his latest masterpiece Plunge. Three monuments in Central London, including the Duke of York Column, the Paternoster Square Column and the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar are the focus of this new artwork.

A string of low energy blue LED lights have been wrapped around each monument, marking a time, 1000 years in the future, when sea level will have risen and will have changed the city beyond recognition.

Plunge invites us to look again at these monuments, reconsider their history, and ask questions about how we can protect their future.

The simple blue circles are effective in their own right but when you absorb the ominous futuristic message; their phosphorescent glow becomes more sinister and worrying. Stand under the monuments, look up and imagine how far underwater you would be.

Plunge by Michael Pinsky of deep brain

Source: Kristian Buus

Installation and final artwork on the Duke of York Column           

Plunge by Michael Pinsky of deep brain

Source: Kristian Buus

Together, the Plunge monuments create an arc across central London, following the line of a future Thames that will have bloated itself to massive proportions and swallowed much of the capital in its wake.

Plunge by Michael Pinsky of deep brain

Source: Julian Andrews

Plunge at seven dials. No theatres and absolutely no chance of at table at the Ivy, unless you have diving equipment. There’s a lot more juice left in Mr Pinsky and a flick through his previous works on his website www.michaelpinsky.com shows an exciting progression of public art projects that avoid the banal and predictable.

Instead, they carry messages and thoughts like creative missiles. Be prepared to be under more fire soon.

Kevin Wilson is an international arts consultant, curator and collector. He advises on collections, investments and projects. His clients range from the historical royal palaces, international corporations, to private individuals and collections worldwide. He is also Director of public art agency Art point.