Abba are here to stay – forever, it seem. Excellent! Wherever you look in London, the Swedish band members pop up, whether it’s in real life, virtually or in some other form. Not only do they have a unique super show in London. They are also very much part of the funny art and people during the run up to Christmas.
I caught up with the super group (or sculptures of them, rather) at the Maddox Gallery in London’s Mayfair during the week, because the artist Wilfrid Wood just can’t get them out of his head.
“I wanted to make a sculpture of Bjorn and Agnetha because they are the more interesting members, I think,” Wilfrid said. “She’s so attractive and he’s not! And I loved their music.”
Funny Ha Ha – Christmas cheer at the galleries
Wilfrid’s plast sculptures of celebrities are part of the Funny Ha Ha exhibition at Maddox and others in his collection include Stella McCartney and Mark Zuckerberg.
The artist Stella Vine had a funny, pink painting of Princess Di in the show: “Being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” It was a a cheerful pre-Christmas gathering.
This week I also discovered someone most people still living in Scandinavia probably knew: the author Karl Ove Knausgaard. Knausgaard has taken the literary world by storm, according to Google with his oddly titled autobiographical Min Kamp, ie My Struggle.
The first book A Death in the Family (My Struggle 1) caught my eye at Waterstone’s Christmas party – embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of him. He wasn’t among the authors signing books at the bash in Piccadilly, though. Plenty of London writers were.
And of course, Knausgaard is also an expert in the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch of the iconic Scream masterpiece. Munch was not famous for being one of the funny art and people contingency in his lifetime. So a more serious note amidst the Christmas cheer.
Then to Carl Kostyal in Savile Row, London. Not often do we see a gallery with dark wooden panelled walls. The exhibition was far from crusty though, this was hipster graffiti art à la Jean-Michel Basquiat with fewer words and more colour.
“Oh my gawd! Are they real?”
The crowd was very young, needless to say – one long-haired young boy so beautiful I thought he was a girl, until he opened his mouth, came up to me and looked me straight in the eye. “Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. My gawd! Are they real?” he said.
He could tell I was confused because I was wrapped up warm in several layers. “Those,” he said and pointed at my cheekbones.”
“Ah, yes, they’re real!” I said, laughing. Why wouldn’t they be real? Today’s young immediately thing everything is “work” ie we’ve all had “work done”. But my gawd, he was a beautiful boy.