Me and my sister met up for a spot of culture today and there was a lot of choice; the Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy, the new just opened Indian thing at the V&A or the relatively recently opened Pop Life at Tate Modern. Anish Kapoor was the initial favourite (it did look good on Newsnight Review, lots of exploding red wax) and we ruled out the indian thing at the V&A because opening day, that was going to be crowded, but at heart we’re a Tate Modern family, so Pop Life it was. A rare treat of actually paying to go in and see something, Pop Life is an exhibition of artists who have embraced commerce and mass media to create their own brands. So lots of Warhol, quite a bit of Hirst, Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami amongst others. The exhibition opens with Warhol, the forefather of the modern artist as a brand and then goes into a slightly bewildering maze of the other artists. It was rather crowded but not too bad. I always have a soft spot for Hirst and I particularly liked his piece where there were two small sections of his trademark spots, with two twins sitting on chairs in front of them, it took a moment for me to realise the twins were part of the exhibit. But my absolute favourite was Takashi Murakami, alot of the other artists exhibiting were rather ‘gritty’ to put it politely, ranging from dead horses (not a Hirst, no he had his dead calf) to the extremely explicit material by Jeff Koons (honestly, I’m broad minded and I really am, I know people normally say they’re broad minded before coming out with some Daily Mail-esque suburban outrage, but I’m not particularly sure wher abouts the particularly explicit material actually came under art). Murakami on the other hand was quite ‘fun’, there was a photo of him sitting in front of some models in rather good fancy dress costume and he just looked as if he were having fun and it’s always nice seeing something like that. Murakami does quite anime style artwork and I thought it was really nice and cheerful and eye catching and considering the whole exhibit was about art becoming more commercial and branded, surely nice, cheerful and fun works? He had filmed a video of Kirsten Dunst singing (or miming?) “I’m going Japanese” in Toyko, which was really fun and eye catching.
And I’d love a pair of his sneakers!