As we roll into June, it’s time for the next edition of our specially-curated Fab 30 series. 2022 marks 30 years of Enter Gallery and to mark this momentous milestone, each month we’re giving you a glimpse into our most beloved artworks.
India's Fab 30
June’s collection has been curated by our very own ray of sunshine, Gallery Supervisor, India, who has been working at the gallery since 2021. In today’s blog, we’re chatting to India to learn what a few select pieces mean to her…
Seventies, Mark Vessey
Seventies is from Brighton-artist, Mark Vessey’s coveted Collections series, in which he photographs vintage magazines, records and books, to capture the aesthetic beauty and joy of owning a collection. India explains what it is about this piece that resonates…
“Mark Vessey’s work is a perfect example of a simple idea, executed really well. I like all of his pieces, but Seventies particularly appeals to me because there are some absolutely amazing albums in that pile. There’s a couple of Earth Wind and Fire albums in there, and I have my own collection of their vinyl. There’s also a Chic album which whisks me back to seeing Nile Rodgers perform at Bestival. I think he’s one of the most interesting humans alive – he’s either written, produced or recorded every good song I’ve heard.”
“I also really like the materiality of the piece. Yes, it’s a beautiful object but what I particularly like is that you can see that the albums are well-loved – their edges are worn, the colours are a bit faded. It isn’t just a list of cool tracks – these worn edges show how many times these records have been taken out, played and danced to. I still go out and dance to them now.”
Briefcase, Michael Craig Martin
Having taught at Goldsmith’s College School of Art, Michael Craig-Martin was a key guiding light in developing the artistic talents of YBAs like Hirst, Emin and Davenport, but his own work as a conceptual artist and painter is a firm favourite for most at Enter Gallery. For India, it’s all about the simplicity…
“I like how he takes ordinary everyday objects that we don’t think about or necessarily notice, and makes them really interesting, sleek and beautiful, elevating them into fine art.”
Briefcase is one piece in Craig-Martin’s Fragments series, in which he captures small, but key, areas of everyday objects…
“I like minimalism, and minimalism is all about filtering and honing down to the most efficient way to get the meaning or message across. We all know what a briefcase looks like. There’s no need for the entire briefcase, or the hand holding the briefcase, to feature. Craig-Martin has worked out the exact amount of detail the brain needs to understand what the object before them is. The printing on his pieces is also beautiful. He’s on my list – I really hope to own some of his work one day.”
Build and Destroy, Aroe
Last summer, Enter Gallery hosted graffiti artist, Aroe’s sell out show, Build and Destroy, which featured original pieces, a limited edition set, and 3D printed Uzis emblazoned with the tongue-in-cheek message, ‘Crime Pays’.
“I loved the concept behind this show – the idea of it being about the life cycle of graffiti. You paint a piece, usually over the top of someone else’s, destroying that in the process, and then someone paints over yours, or the council remove it. It’s a whole cycle. It mirrors life and death. There is a cycle for everything. – one thing is replaced by another – everything has to die for new things to emerge.”
“Aroe uses all different types of materials in his works – acrylic, spray paint, but also things like Fairy Liquid, to create special chemical reactions all in the name of creating an individual piece that would then very quickly be painted on or pasted over. He told me about these crazy paints that have been invented now which can do things like eat through any paint that’s painted on top of them!”
“With street art, artworks only exist once in one place and Aroe has brought this concept into the gallery. Even in the print edition of 20, every print is different, which makes it something really special to own.”
Life Goals, Euan Roberts
Before Euan Roberts’ artistic career took off, he once worked at Enter Gallery. It’s been amazing to see how his playful artworks that reflect on the unrefined nature of human life have captured the imaginations of our patrons, and provided levity and positive reinforcement in times of darkness.
Life Goals is one such piece, but why has India selected it for her Fab 30?
“We had this in the gallery when I first started working here and I always thought how cool it was. It’s a beautiful sunshine yellow – like the most perfect organic egg yolk. We have a lot of pieces in the gallery that have a lot going on - layers, lines, bold stuff, collage art, graffiti – there’s a lot fighting for your attention. I like how subtle and pared-back Life Goals is in comparison.”
“Again, we’re only given a little bit of information, but when you’re fed just a snippet of something, it allows your brain to fill in the rest of the details of the piece. What those details are will differ depending on personal experience and life. Everyone will see it differently, and I like that. Will the ball go in, or won’t it? Euan is also very good at naming his pieces – very poetic.”
Eye of History boxset, Marc Quinn
“I’ve loved Marc Quinn ever since I learnt about the sculpture he made of his own head made out of blood. He’s someone who brings a lot of science and chemical reactions into his art. I like it when artists do that. It means that they can guide pieces, but can’t control the outcome. Humans have egos that are way too big. We need these reminders that we’re not in control of everything.”
India’s final selection is Marc Quinn’s Eye of History boxset – a set of eight etchings depicting maps from around the world, overlaid with irises.
“It’s about science and art coming together. It’s about the individual, our place and our effect on the world. It highlights the complexity of the human eye ball, while also making us consider how we see ourselves and others, in every corner of the world. The boxset conveys a powerful message, very succinctly.”
“The boxset is also very special. Every piece is an etching – which is a traditional technique that gives an extra layer of physicality. It’s been physically-etched. It’s got the imprint of the plate on the paper. You can physically feel and see the process each piece has been through. There’s an element of theatre to it - the process of making it is just as impressive as the subject matter.”
If you’d like to see these artworks for yourself, swing by the Enter Gallery on Bond Street in Brighton. Select pieces from India’s Fab 30 are marked with blue stickers. Alternatively, you can view India's Fab 30 online.