As December gets underway, events on the design front are hotting up. Both Christie’s and Tate Britain held their Lates this week, with cocktails and workshops. Here’s how to get a Gold plated Trump burger at London art lates.
The funnest evening though was Thursday’s The Arx cocktails in London’s Knightsbridge. A huge showroom with different artists’ work on show – and more cocktails and fizzy. And bumping into old acquaintances: Alex de Cadenet (pictured below), son of former racing driver Alain de Cadenet and brother of TV presenter Amanda de Cadenet.
Hungry for more: how to get a gold plated Trump burger at London art lates
First I saw his gold plated Trump Burger II sculpture (from 2017), took a photo of it, not knowing whose it was, and then turned around and there he was grinning.
I love what someone has said about his Life Burger pieces: they conjure a fattening materialism that works like a toxic cholesterol on the spiritual heart. Yup. Check his website here.
The Scandi link: the Danish painter in south west London
Perhaps the only real Scandi link in this week’s diary is Jacob Brostrup. I discovered the Danish artist’s paintings in the Maze gallery in Barnes, south west London, on my way to play tennis. I’d never heard of him before and just missed the private view, I was told, and a chance to meet him – and to speak some Danish.
But that won’t spoil the Christmas season in London – the best place to be in December. Next I headed for Cassius & Co, a tiny gallery in the heart of Knightsbridge. Paintings are of Raphael Egil’s Readers paintings.
Egil draws his portraits from his own circle of friends and family, presented as if they were reading a book, or reading us! Below is one of his paintings, by Brostrup’s ‘Generations’, two men sitting in the same chair.
But back to fun and games: International jet-setters queued to get into Christie’s auction house in London’s St James’s district (a stone’s throw from the Ritz Hotel and Bond Street). David Linley, King Charles’ cousin and honorary chairman of Christie’s in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India, also turned up.
The auction house celebrated craftsmanship and had artisans and interactive workshops. Even though most people mingled and admired experts demonstrating painting restoration and needlepoint among other things.
Celebrity guest speakers include interior designer Lulu Lytle of No 10 Downing Street fame
Another celebrity on the Christie’s Lates programme was Lulu Lytle, founder of Soane Britain interiors who famously decorated former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s No 10 Downing Street flat.
Workshops, conversation with architectural historian Edward Bulmer and a panel discussion on Why Making Matters pulled in the crowds as well as an unsettling exhibition called Macabre.
Some visitors had a keen eye on the next new rising star on the art scene – read our piece on how to buy art at private view, here.
Christie’s used to hold their Lates at the South Kensington branch, which was a lower price point outlet. Still, I preferred those evenings because not only were the pieces cheaper and more relatable. But there was also a greater chance of running into people you knew.
Charm replaced with full on ritz and glitz
Unfortunately, the South Kensington branch closed and the event was transferred to St James’s. I can’t fault the location and beautiful interior of the much smarter SW1 building. But ritz and glitz at the event has replaced charm and that good old Danish mood: hygge.
After Christie’s I headed to Tate Britain, the fabulous, edgy museum by the River Thames. Here gallery goers get a real chance to test their creativity in a variety of workshops, or they can relax to DJ music in the canteen.
At Tate you’ll find an edgier crowd. Hundreds entered the museum for the evening festivities, but the space feels empty. The many different rooms of paintings, sculptures, installations and photographs are vast and make you feel tiny as a visitor.
At Tate Britain, two artists caught my eye: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and photographer Bill Brandt. Their people portraits are striking and frankly steal the show away from those old masters…