Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Magic Mushrooms

Heaven, right?  They're mushroom plates - Flora Danica Funghi - by Royal Copenhagen, and they are eye-wateringly expensive at around 3000 Euros each.  Which is a shame, because I am totally totally in love them.  But obviously 3000 Euros is an absolutely ridiculous amount to spend on a plate, regardless of whether or not one has got a couple of very small children with a tendency to drop things.

I think my mushroom obsession started with an exhibition entitled The Mushrooms of the Russian Avant Garde in 2008 at Club Row, which consisted of works by Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina. It was to do with artists such as Tatlin (after whom Sholto is named) and Malevich being 'agents of irrationality', and with contemporary Russian society displaying signs of 'mystical delirium'.  All due to magic mushrooms, apparently.  (This is a vastly simplified explanation.  The artists' statement went on for pages, and even such luminaries and philosophers as Boris Groys wrote pieces for the catalogue, which can be downloaded here should you wish to read it in full:  http://www.conceptualism-moscow.org/files/catalogue.pdf )  But I went to a talk given by the artists, and by the end of it, I was a believer. (So fervent was their enthusiasm that I genuinely believe they could have converted anyone.)

Mostly though, I just liked the works, especially the centre piece of the exhibition which consisted of a model of Tatlin's Proposed Monument to the 3rd International of Communism sitting on top of a toadstool:

The exhibition, as previously mentioned, was in 2008 - i.e. pre-marriage, pre-children, pre-my owning a flat and when I spent any disposable income I had on Erdem dresses, so I didn't try to buy anything, which was in retrospect a mistake as I think I wrote about the exhibition in Vogue Russia so they might have given me a discount.  Although, thinking again, it was organised by the art fund ARTiculate, so it may be that nothing was for sale.  (Which won't stop me uploading images onto ArtStack, and sticking them into my fantasy art collection.  I love  ArtStack.  I currently spend far more time than I should on it, even taking into account the fact that I'm mid writing an article about art and the internet, and can therefore sort of justify it as research.)

Happily however, my favourite artist/ illustrator, Alice Peto - she's a dying talent by the by, one of the few remaining illustrators who does everything by hand, nothing digital in sight - did a very charming picture of a mushroom for me, which is hanging in the children's room and which makes me smile every time I see it:

That's a shockingly awful image - I had to creep in while the children were sleeping and snap it on my iphone - but you can kind of get the gist.  And you can see that Alice framed it for me really nicely: she's a big fan of the deep bevel.  I feel that often people don't think about framing as much as they should.  It can make a real difference, but Alice would know that, because her mother was a truly brilliant framer - which is a longwinded way of suggesting that if you ever buy anything from her - and her illustrations are equally as heavenly as those plates and a lot cheaper - ask her advice.