Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blimey! Ten Years Old Already

And Still His Best?
Hi all,
Ten years old already? Can’t be, surely not! Why, it seems only a flick of the memory cells ago that Matthew Collings first book Blimey! (pictured above) was receiving rapturous ovations and various plaudits as the happening read of the moment? Was it really 1997? The year of Brit Pop, Chris Evans, Oasis and the launch of project Blair?
You see I was recently re-reading Blimey! (Subtitled-From Bohemia to Britpop: the London Artworld from Francis Bacon to Damien Hirst) a book I have always found both informative and entertaining. Collings may be a polarizing figure in a ‘love or loathe him’ sort of way but he’s an immensely entertaining writer and God knows the art world needs more of those!

Ah, but what I really love about this book (apart from capturing that period so perfectly) is Collings accessible and unpretentious manner. He never leaves you feeling like some bedlamite with nose pressed up against the asylum window. Rather, he leads you along his humorous tour through the great and the ridiculous of the art scene, always with an eye to prick the pompous balloons of some equally pompous people. Here’s a sample…

"Artworld people say, What do you mean you can't understand art talk? Would you expect to understand the talk of a nuclear physicist? Don't you see that art is a special subject like that; you have to do some work at it! But in reality people in the artworld mostly just think moronic thoughts like everyone else, and it's nothing like nuclear physics."

Nothing like it at all Matthew. Happy anniversary!

Catch you later