Love And Hate In Brick Lane

Love & Hate @ The Stolen Space Gallery – Reporter Beatrix-Blaise Jacot weighs up the balance…

The Stolen Space Gallery is one of those galleries where the feel is ‘cool’. Conveniently located round the corner from Cafe 1001 it has that let’s-get-a-coffee, go to the Stolen Space, and look at ‘cool’ art by ‘cool’ people and just… ‘chill’. In other words, it’s never ‘wow that’s incredible!’, but more ‘This could be a great album cover’.

The current exhibition ‘Love and Hate’ reflects this vibe. As usual it includes works of illustration and collage. The work of each artist comprises two pieces – one for ‘love, one for ‘hate’. Miss Van’s pair of birds, for example, is nicely divided by materials, colours and techniques, one soft and light, the other dark and harsh. Its rawness of idea and patent distinction has a certain immediate and powerful effect. But is it too obvious? Should Love and Hate really be depicted as black and white – isn’t that too … black and white?

But this is the exhibition at its worst, with a huge range of works ensuring definite (albeit sporadic) success; nobody could say there wasn’t ‘something for everyone’. Take the work of Ramon Maiden, for instance. This is illustration taken to the next level; it’s vintage, it’s erotic, it’s dangerous and therefore, it’s exciting. The vintage wood frame in which it was displayed was the icing on the cake when it came to a play between old and new. It’s fresh and intuitive; and I loved it.

This exhibition is definitely worth a visit, with so much to take in and much to appreciate. It’s not on for much longer so take your Cafe 1001 takeaway coffee, and get your hiney down there to see what you make of it. Do the works depict obvious divides? Should they? This inquisitive process alone makes the show rewarding, with budding artists doubtless lighting up like lightbulbs with inspiration in the need to respond. Words/Photo: Beatrix-Blaise Jacot © 2012 ArtLyst

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