Beyond 2000AD exhibition glimpse

Beyond2000_poster Beyond2000_progs Beyond2000_records1 Beyond2000_records2 Beyond2000_TimeOutI finally got time to pop into Orbital Comics and see their small but packed exhibition of 2000AD offshoots, tie-ins, cash-ins, memorabilia, music, magazines, toys and so much more. Not having an opening party because it would clash with the comic’s own 40th celebration a couple of weekends ago they’ve decided to have a closing party on Friday March 10th where there will be a podcast recording and music by yours truly among others.
I also just guested on the Big Mouth podcast pre-record, talking about the comic’s legacy which will be available online this coming Sunday. More details as I have it.

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Delta at the Mima Museum, Brussels

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Over the weekend I was in Brussels to play a couple of gigs and was lucky enough to have enough spare time before my train home to visit the Mima museum in Molenbeek district about 20 minutes walk from the Central station where I was greeted by the figure above. Created by Boris Tellegen aka Delta or Mess (in his graffiti days) the construction advertised the ‘friendly takeover’ of the museum he had undertaken over three of its floors.

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Once inside the viewer is greeted with a very different experience to the usual galleries with work around the edges. Boris’ work is all about 3 dimensional space and he has a legitimate claim to popularising the 3D graffiti lettering style in Europe later taken up by artists like Daim, Toast and Loomit. His work also uses collage, layers and exposed sections and the contents of the exhibition are displayed thus.

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His many record sleeves are on display including a few we collaborated on in the late 90s for DJ Vadim and Ninja Tune. I’m also featured in some of the films dotted around the galleries talking about how we met and worked together. For me this was the most interesting room, when he work was a hybrid of letter forms and architecture, always suggesting three dimensional forms, blueprints and later, broken, ripped or smashed structures that give a looseness and random feel to his work.

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You’re forced to peer inside, through or at cross-sections of several pieces which have themselves become part of a larger artwork in what almost seems like an anti-exhibition, hiding more than half of some works in the pursuit of a new way to experience them. See some examples from a 2011 exhibition here.

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His letter figures (extract the name DELTA from some of their forms) remind me of Giacometti, Paolozzi and vintage robots. In fact, on the first floor he adds in some of his inspirations, including a huge collection of toy robots and a page of original art from a Judge Dredd story. When I visited his studio in ’97 one of the first things I saw on the shelf was a Japanese Gundam toy and a Todd McFarlane Spawn robot figure and it all made sense.

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Some smaller figures are hidden inside larger ones including a train set nestled inside the body of a huge reclining figure on the third floor, visible through a glass window. The exhibition is on until the end of May and is a fascinating retrospective of sorts of an artist who keeps on pushing and evolving. Also look out for the incredible ’86-97′ book which faithfully replicates his two graffiti black books created between these years.

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Eduardo Paolozzi mosaics on the Tottenham Court Rd tube platform

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Tottenham Court Road underground station, in the heart of London’s West End, has had a huge influx of Paolozzi mosaics restored and reinstated into the platforms and passageways. The mosaics originally come from elsewhere in the station and had been removed when it underwent huge infrastructure changes over the last few years to accommodate Crossrail. The original platform mosaics are easy to spot as they’re all square gridded tiles but the ‘new’ ones are more freestyle and have been expertly inserted into the walls in spaces not already used. For more info see the short film below.

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Future Shock 2000AD art at the Cartoon Museum photos

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I finally got a chance to see the Future Shock exhibition of 2000AD classic original art the other day at the Cartoon Museum, tucked away in the back streets near the British Museum. It costs £7 and once you’ve navigated past some of the most miserable/bored looking staff you’ll ever see you can peruse the galleries of comic and political art.

As far as pieces by key artists of essential stories and characters go, this is one of the best collections of art you’ll see aside from Rufus Dayglo‘s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exhibition this coming weekend at Geek 2017 in Margate. The bulk of it comes from long-time collector Wakefield Carter who runs the Barney database and regularly trades or sells original art. All the major names are here, with examples from some of the classic stories too (Dredd Cursed Earth and Dark Judges to name but two) and there’s a lot of it. Shown here are just a few of my personal highlights.

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Upstairs, the regular exhibition is full of classic images, characters and artists too inc. Dave GibbonsLichtenstein-baiting ‘Whaat?’, Watchmen, Batman, Dan Dare and V For Vendetta art and original Leo Baxendale pages.

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Boris Tellegen / Delta exhibition at MIMA in Brussels

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A retrospective exhibition of the extraordinary artist Boris Tellegen aka Delta opens in Brussels this week for nearly 4 months at the MIMA museum. Promising ‘A Friendly Takeover’ there should be a broad spectrum of his work from sculpture, painting and constructions. I contributed images and filmed memories of our time collaborating on DJ Vadim’s ‘Life From The Other Side’ album for Ninja Tune. I’ll be visiting Brussels next month so hope to post a full report, certainly one of my favourite artists working today.

Daydreaming with UNKLE exhibition at the Lazarides Gallery

F2T5The James Lavelle-curated Daydreaming with UNKLE show opened last night at the Lazarides Gallery in London. Full of original Futura 2000 and 3D canvases, prints, toys and record sleeves, video rooms and virtual reality headsets. The last was heavily oversubscribed so I didn’t get a look but Doug Foster’s arched videos accompanying new UNKLE material were beautiful, enhanced by a mirrored floor which gave the work another dimension. Favourite exhibit was the robotic Pointman figure from the 2010 video to ‘Runaway’. The show is on until February 23rd, worth it just to see the many iconic Futura pieces that have graced so many MoWax sleeves.

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Future Shock 40 years of 2000ad poster

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Two different 2000AD original art exhibitions mark the comic’s 40th anniversary this coming Feb. The first opens at the Cartoon Museum  in 13 days for 3 months. The second is on for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 3 days mid Feb at Geek 2017 at Dreamland in Margate and, I believe, is mainly culled from Rufus Dayglo‘s incredible collection – certainly one of the best I’ve ever seen.2000AD40thMargate

2017: WTF Is Going On?

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You may have seen my name loosely connected with The KLF in various different articles over the last few days due to a speculative comment in my end of year post coupled with a year old video made by my old friend Dave Hopkinson that appeared on New Year’s Day teasing a possible return. After speculation and denial we get a confirmation (or do we?). This story seems to be progressing by the hour at the moment. Follow K2PlantHire here

For those wondering what all this is about – here’s some history, a mixumentary by United States of Audio.

A little caper myself and Mr Trick cooked up in 2005, playing at being the JAMMs, wishful thinking for a return…


Some Million Mu notes that I designed for the KLF-themed event held at the Cube Microplex in Bristol in 2015.

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John Jacobs – Inside TV VHS collage, 1984

After the amazing feast that was Foetus on Triple J – the John Jacobs plunderphonic interview with JG Thirwell from 1986 on Tim Ritchie‘s show – we rewind even further back to 1984. In a continuing series of lost Antipodean radio-phonic works unearthed by DJ HDD, and preceding a series entitled The Worx, we have another Jacobs piece, ‘Inside TV‘.
“A comedic cut-up/critique of Australian television thrown together by John Jacobs with a pair of domestic VHS decks… The edits are rough and jumpy, an analogue pause-button aesthetic. The sync rolls, the loops swing. The image is smeared and lurid as it goes down the grimey tube of VHS generations. Not having any outlet for these pre-Internet video cutups, John took the moniker ‘Built in Ghosts’ and secretly dubbed them back onto the ends of hire tapes for random late-night discovery by fellow video junkies.
Hopefully more to come…

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Last Dan Lish post of 2016

DLishBlackSheepjpg_largeI’ve not posted any Dan Lish Egostrip images for a while and he’s been crazily busy doing covers for all sorts of artists so it’s good to see the world catching on to his talent. As always, you can buy various giclee or lithograph prints over on his site and hopefully 2017 will see him complete the 100 drawings he wants to do before he collects them for a book.
Above: Black Sheep. Below: The Beatnuts, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Melle Mel 1, Melle Mel 2, a revised Madlib/Lord Quas/MF Doom, Marley Marl, Snow Goons ‘Goon Bap’ album artwork.D_LIshBeatnuts D_LishGMFlash+Furious5 D_LishGMMelleMel D_LishGMMelleMel2 D_LIshMadlib2 D_LIshMarleyMarl D_LIshSnowGoons3 D_LIsh SnowGoons1+2

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Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill samples mix by Bobafatt


It seems anniversaries are everywhere these days, this week alone sees three decades since the release of both The The‘s ‘Infected’ LP and the Beastie Boys‘Licensed To Ill’ album. DJ Bobafatt has put together a little sample mix of the latter complete with original samples and interview snippets to mark the occasion.
Whilst never my favourite Beasties album, I was a fan and saw them on the Raising Hell tour opening for Whodini, LL Cool J and Run DMC in ’86 as well as the Licensed to Ill tour in ’87.
Looking through old sketch books this morning in search of something else I ran across this, done May ’87 during ‘Beastie Mania’. D-Vice was my first graffiti tag at the time and 3DGrafX was our crew (it was the 80s).
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Victoria Topping

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.16.46I just discovered Victoria Toppings work and it’s blown me away – touching on so many elements I love; music, African patterns, synths, records, collage, circles, eyes, crazy detail, textures…. just stunning. She sells hand-embellished prints, originals, cards, slipmatts and wallpaper over at her site – so much there I can barely take it all in. She’s also on Instagram and Mixcloud

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Mongrols – Attack The Monolith ltd LP & London show

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Great line up at one of my local venues this Saturday when Mike Ladd, Strange U, Juice Aleem and Mongrels (Kid Acne & Benjamin) rock up in support of Scotty Hard, the legendary producer currently partially paralysed and facing huge medical bills in the US. Loving that Battle of the Planets-referencing flyer there.

I’ve been meaning to post about Mongrels’ recent ‘Attack The Monolith’ album – the limited vinyl of which is a thing of beauty and still available here. It comes in one of 3 alternative colourways (Gold, Silver or Bronze) hand-pulled screen printed sleeves + risograph insert, inner sleeves plus embossed and numbered on the back. The album features multiple appearances of Sebash from New Kingdom who is now an honourary member. Back in July, on the 20thh anniversary of NK’s 2nd album, ‘Paradise Don’t Come Cheap’, Mongrels made a special celebratory mix

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You Say You Want A Revolution exhibition at the V&A, London

GrannyNewly opened last weekend, the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington plays host to a celebration of the latter part of the psychedelic 60s under the banner, ‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-1970’. It’s an often stunning and inspiring look back at a small section of the counter culture that we now think of as ‘The Swinging Sixties’, encompassing music, art, fashion, politics, advertising, product design, expos and the space race. What was interesting, in the light of the recent drug-related deaths forcing Fabric to close, was that LSD was mentioned copiously in the quotes as you entered the exhibition and kept popping up throughout, as a catalyst for the many strands of the hippy movement. One national institution celebrates drug-fuelled counter culture in the heart of the richest part of the city just as another is closed in the East End – the irony.

The exhibition isn’t just about the beautiful flower children chanting ‘hari krishna’ and wearing threads from the Kings Road via India either (*slight spoiler alert!*). A middle section brings you down to earth with a bump, confronting you with the more political side of events at the end of the decade, the Vietnam War, racism, The Black Panthers, police brutality, feminism, gay rights and more. The starkness of this section, largely in monochrome, against the multi-coloured blossoming of earlier rooms, is a reminder that it wasn’t all peace and love man, and that the curators weren’t wearing rose-tinted spectacles the whole time.

It was worth the price of admission alone to see Mati Klarwein‘s original ‘Grain Of Sand’ painting up close. I’ve always loved this piece, never thought I’d see it in the flesh but there is was, nestled behind the entrance as I walked in. Absolutely wondrous.

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There is a LOT to see and take in, an associate who works at the museum confided that the curators wanted ‘everything’ but were restricted by time and conservation rules. There was some padding in parts, a section about consumerism and advertising sees corridor walls plastered with ads, interspersed with huge mirrored sections which give the impression of much more in the reflections but ultimately can’t conceal that not much is actually on display. Film and TV is given fairly short thrift aside from a section about Blow Up, a selection of experimental shorts in a walled-off cinema area and the Woodstock footage (although it has to be said that the Woodstock room is very well put together). Underground comics were almost entirely missing aside from one interior spread used to comment on the Manson murders, no Robert Crumb, Zap, Furry Freak Brothers... The Oz trials were mentioned but I didn’t see any copies of the magazine, or IT, or Ink. There was a lot in it but some omissions were glaring.

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Leaving, to the strains of Lennon‘s ‘Imagine’ and a fast cut montage zooming through the decades up to the present day, you’re depressingly but inevitably taken via the gift shop where you’re confronted with sanitised, consumable versions of the era to take home. Most of it is utter tat and the price tags are enough to burn a huge hole through the Levi jeans they seem to think were a good idea to have on sale. Cleverly, and as a sign of the vinyl-resurgence times we currently live in, they’ve released a compilation album alongside the usual book of the exhibition. Unfortunately the cover – a denim jacket covered in band logo badges – is so horrendous it looks like the kind of three quid compilation you’d find in a service station. There are some beautifully executed repro posters but the prices are so exorbitant I’d rather seek out an original, they’d probably only be a little more.
Still, there may not be many revelations or things you’ve not seen before in an era that’s been to widely celebrated already but it’s well worth the entrance fee. It runs until Feb 26th 2017 – more info here.