Though the Stuckists’ show at the last Biennial prepared me slightly, it is still surprising to see so many modern paintings of actual things in one exhibition space. But then that’s the whole point of the Stuckists, to stick Tracey Emin’s postmodernism where the sun don’t shine and get back to producing artwork that everyone can enjoy (apart from some critics who made their names talking about $4 million sharks in formaldehyde and unmade beds).
This is a much smaller collection than the one so claustrophobically displayed at the Walker two years ago, but it is all of the same exciting standard. There are vivid colours everywhere, and more vivid insights into the minds of each artist, multiplied or divided by the viewer’s own imagination.
Bill Lewis’ Self Portrait shows him under the moonlight, wearing a purple satin shirt and holding a pair of antlers, whilst a timepiece-wearing fox looks on. What must a night out with him be like, eh? Jaime Braz brings a touch of surrealism to the proceedings, with his Adieu, Sardine Attack and Stray Cars Mating Season offerings. And in Guy Denning’s The Madness of King George, a man and a woman scream their millennial fury, surrounded by scribbled curses against Bush the Second and his partners in crime.
But Naive John is first among equals, and not because he is the Liverpool-based curator. The Other (above) portrays a centaur waiting for a bus, in a bizarre but breathtakingly beautiful creation, while An Unmedicated Disaster on Upper Parliament Street presents exactly what it says – and the results certainly aren’t disastrous.
The Stuckists are anything but stuck. If art has a future, if the proverbial person in the street is ever going to get excited by art, then that art will be made by that proverbial person in the street. Or at the bus stop. People like the triumphant Stuckists.
To read the Stuckist manifesto, visit here