Monday, August 10, 2009

Dick H099 - of the wall

On Thursday I went to my friend Dick Hogg's solo show 'Of The Wall' at Concrete Hermit off Bethnal Green Road, London.

You will probably know Dick's work already, as for years he worked happily for Airside, so you're bound to recognise his style. This was a collection of his new screenprints and some drawings - but real drawings, ones he describes as working without the 'safety net' of knowing he can make digital corrections later, so they're simply ink on paper.

Dick's work has always charmed me - we have one of his Fembot screenprints framed in outrageous brushed metallic burgundy at home in the hallway-cum-gallery. His work is graceful and considered with clean lines and lots of curves - but looking closer into the pictures on display revealed suggestions of battles, confrontation and rebellion; tiny creatures gathering en masse and marching through the grass, carrying placards toward we don't know what. There's always been more to Dick's work than cute colours and smiley faces, and I hope that was apparent from the show.

Concrete Hermit is a 'snug' venue, and with the apocalyptic rain outside there wasn't the usual escape route of hanging outside, so everyone was huddled sauna-like in the room while poor Dick ran back and forth fetching more apple juice and limes. The gallery's compact but sells a robust range of self-published books and artefacts, overseen by two chatty, affable, smiling people (flying happily in the face of my usual gallery experience of 'sullen arty type' lurking at the back by avoiding eye contact). I met the artist Roger Kelly, Dick's studio chum and lifelong friend (though they're both London-based, we all hail from the same part of Leicestershire). Check his work too - breathtaking. In fact, there were several people there I'd only ever conversed with via email, so putting faces to names was, as always, a delight.

Go and see the show - just like the Chegworth Valley apple juices on offer, it's refreshing and delightful with...a gentle bite to it. And you will want to know how he got the brick wall so perfect.

Dick Hogg's website
Read more about the show, and an interview with Dick

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