Exciting news: I have a new artist website! You can see my drawings, performance art (yes, I love rubbing paint on naked skin, dancing at bus stops, and lifting shamans into the air), photography, and paintings at thefortunyverse.com. Check out www.thefortunyverse.com and let me know what you think.
Friday, 16 April 2021
Thursday, 31 December 2020
This year has been hell at times and yet there came a point where I woke up and started acting with urgency. Between the global pandemic, two members of my family in life-or-death situations (unrelated to Covid), and the intense loneliness of spending so much time alone, I thought 2020 might break me. But at the end of summer, suddenly I took action. I wanted something good to happen! I created an artist book and distributed it to numerous bookstores and art museums, where it was received well. I started drawing and painting like my life depended on it. I was invited to participate in two important exhibitions (details are in the previous two posts.) And in December 2020, I had my first dual exhibition in Madrid.
'Use Your Illusions' examined the purpose of illusions and memories, nostalgia and desire, questioning whether these trips into imagination are positive or detrimental to one's present reality. The exhibition featured both my figurative paintings and the surreal analog collages of the Spanish artist Ella Jazz. We both lived in California at the same time, before meeting in Madrid, and this experience greatly influenced our artwork and worldview.
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
A few weeks ago, I read Gala Knörr's letters to Jack Kerouac, along with four other artists, for her exhibition 'Tumbleweeds' in Bilbao. We read lively letters in a seance-like performance on Zoom (due to the pandemic), in between jazz played by a live saxophonist. The reading premiered on December 14th on Youtube. (Mine is in English at 36:10 if you're curious.)
"Tumbleweeds' is a project based on the fictitious epistolary relationship that artist Gala Knörr established with her "silent mentor" Jack Kerouac. A mentor whose answers could only be found within his oeuvre. Modelling her writing after Satori in Paris, a cognac infused short novel based on Jack Kerouac's search for his family origins on a ten day trip to Paris and Brest, in which the author alludes to a spiritual awakening, yet finds said 'kick in the eye' in a series of Parisian pilgrimage-like extravagant encounters. Knörr narrates similar anecdotical rendez-vous over a four month period at a residency at Cité Internationale des Arts. Utilizing the figure as the one of a confidant, she invokes Jack's spirit, in a seance like performative activation reading of her letters as if we were in a 'Shakespeare&Co' tea party." -Nicolas de Ribou/ Gala Knörr
The exhibition is on until January 8, 2021 at Torre de Arriz. Go see it if you're in Bilbao.
Monday, 28 December 2020
|William Mackrell, Hold Up, 2016-2020 (detail)|
Record player, Hi-Fi System (110 x 60 cm), steel hole, speakers & cable
6 Vinyl discs Sound loop, variable Display cabinet (120 x 90 cm)
William Mackrell, Do not go gentle into that good night.
Installation view at The RYDER, Madrid, November 2020
Sunday, 27 December 2020
Monday, 11 November 2019
|Stephanie, a vegan chef, shows me her chains in Dalston|
We cruised by a few more pubs before ending up at my favourite one, The Gun, in Hackney. As soon as we arrived, a petite blond in a zip-up patent leather moto suit smiled, and put her arms around me. She complimented my long blue 70s dress and the yellow flowers in my hair. I told her she reminded me of Marianne Faithfull in 'The Girl on a Motorcycle'. I ordered a Paloma and the bartender recognized me from ten years ago, when we used to go to the same parties. I bumped into a friend who invited us to an Italodisco warehouse party in Hackney Wick. A tall, slim, androgynous girl with short dark hair caught my eye. She wore a sheer black blouse, a minimal black bra, a scrap of black underwear...and fringed ass-less chaps. Her boyish looks and clean face added a casual touch to the outfit. It felt like Prince was in the room. She was enchanting. She was from Georgia. We all danced and mingled until the bar closed.
|The Dove pub|
The rest of my days in London were filled with museum exhibitions and fascinating conversations with beloved friends. I reunited with a friend who had been living in jungles in Thailand and Peru for years. We met as teenagers at a rave in Vauxhall, lived together (she kindly let me stay on her sofa when I first moved to London), worked together (she opened a burlesque supper club and asked me to DJ there), met up on an island in Thailand six years ago...and rode a moped on rocky roads, while a bird flew through my hair, almost causing us to fly off a cliff. I told her to write a book about all the things she learned in the jungle. We drank tea, ate cookies, and told sexy stories.
|Homemade cookies by the multi-talented Andreas|
Another afternoon I went to the V&A Museum to revisit the excellent Mary Quant show and have tea with my friend Toby. (Quant probably invented the modern miniskirt, thus she is my hero.) I met Toby at a Turkish pool hall in Dalston back when Mark Ronson drank there, surrounded by girls dancing until their shoes broke. (I was one of those girls... I lifted up my friend Karen in an attempt to replicate the final scene in 'Dirty Dancing' and though she is light, on the way down one heel broke off.) The pool hall days are over. Now we meet in art museums. He told me about contextualizing my art with theory, and recommended analysing what I love and hate to arrive at a deeper meaning when creating artworks...
|The Ed Ruscha rooms at the Tate Modern|
Below is a list of my favourite spots in London, and I'll post some pictures tonight on Instagram @thefortunyverse
Indian food: Dishoom in Shoreditch (they have a mocktail that tastes like snow, it's amazing.)
Tayaabs: a popular, inexpensive, chaotic, classic place behind the mosque in Whitechapel. Order the Saag Aloo and the Peshwari naan. Both places have long lines so try to go off-peak or early.
Sweets: Gelupo has dreamy gelato and the best hot chocolate outside of Torino. Get a small gianduja hot chocolate with whipped cream and go back for the ice cream another day so you don't have a diabetic arrest.
Hummingbird Bakery has the best cupcakes. I like Black Bottom or the gingerbread one.
Ben's Cookies. There are numerous branches. These cookies are great to bring to friends. They're soft, chewy, and very chocolately.
Brunch/ Hangover Food: Stone Cave in Dalston has a wonderful shakshuka (eggs poached in a delicious tomato stew, spiced with paprika, nutmeg, and chili peppers.)
The Diner (Dalston, Shoreditch, Soho) has In &Out-style 'hangar fries', a great vegan breakfast burger and thick milkshakes, with or without booze.
Usually the Barbican and the V & A have the most unforgettable exhibitions, though you should also see what's on at the Hayward Gallery, the Photographers Gallery in Soho, the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain. If you're going to London soon, check out the Blake show at the Tate Britain and the Lisa Bruce exhibition. Skip the Olafur E at the Tate Modern. (He's usually fantastic but this show is claustrophobic and jammed with people taking selfies. Go upstairs to the free Ed Ruscha rooms instead.) The Tate Modern gift shop is very good too. Peckham has lots of cool little galleries. Sprueth Magers is usually fun and has hip openings.
Portobello Road: On Friday morning there is a large vintage clothes and antiques market. There's usually nowhere to change so wear a leotard or tights. Next to the vintage stalls, Ladbroke Grove side, there's a little store called What Katie Did that sells a variety of seamed stockings and 50s-style lingerie. I found a beautiful 1970s Biba-style jacket for 40 pounds (after bargaining) and a blue leather Prada belt for 10 pounds. The Biba dresses were 380 pounds, so I only glanced at them longingly.
Broadway Market on Saturday, around lunchtime/ early afternoon. There are 2 excellent art bookstores here and in the market itself, there's a cool French girl who sells wool kilts and retro pieces. Borough Olives sells tasty pestos, harissa, and delicious green olives. This is a fun market for people-watching, pesto sampling, and it's not crowded or touristy like Borough Market. The Dove pub, on the same street, has a large variety of international beers as well as board games.
Liberty London: A cool but classic, expensive store in a Tudor-style building, made partially of old ships. Upstairs, there are bolts of the famous Liberty-print fabrics. The perfume and stationary sections are interesting too. Amongst the notebooks and pastel pens, they sell gift wrap that looks like old maps.
Paks: They sell all kinds of cheap but intriguing make up in hard-to-find colours, as well as wigs and beauty products. There's one on Ridley Road in Dalston.
The High Street: Holland & Barrett has every kind of vitamin you can imagine, usually on sale, as well as honey soap and health-food store snacks and beauty products. Topshop in Oxford Circus - yes, it's intense, but they still have fun clothes. Right now the Fiorucci x Adidas collection is worth checking out. Boots has all kinds of make up, bandaids, and general pharmacy items. I like the Avène moisturizer and the Kalms One-a-night natural chill pills.
|The Girl on a Motorcycle|
Monday, 4 June 2018
Then we visited my friend the artist Monstruo Espagueti. She gave me a portrait she had drawn of me and I brought her guacamole atop homemade tortilla chips with a slice of lime.
|The Design Museum|
9. Hummus Barcelona, in Eixample. Try the energizing vegan schwarma with creamy hummus and a hard-boiled egg, especially if you're low on sleep. The best time to go is weekdays for the menu del dia.
|A bar in Poble Sec|
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
|A still from 'Arrebato', 1979.|
|Grace Jones in Vogue|
My friend Will invited us there to see his band play. The audience was loving Flat Worms, dancing, drumming their fingers on lanky thighs, and murmuring excitedly, even though it was only seven o'clock, which is practically the middle of the afternoon in Spain. After the gig we walked to a quiet bar called Picnic, where they serve cheap beers and frozen piña coladas.
|A madrileño, source unknown.|
After the feast of pasta and tiramisu, we stepped into a bar with faded rock posters and old covers of Melody Maker collaged onto the walls and ceilings. Girls were drawing on boys' arms; boys were looking at girls, while others played pool in the corner. I chanced upon an empty barstool and began the tower of coats with my sky-blue raincoat. Mayra and I danced to the 70s rock & roll and soon everyone joined us.
|Madrid in the 80s, source unknown.|
-Takos al Pastor. Fantastic, cheap tacos. There is always a long line so get there when it opens.
-Pez Tortilla. Cheap, delicious tortilla with unusual ingredients, as well as tasty croquettes.
-Pavon. Fun, mixed cafe/ bar near Tirso de Molina.
A bar in Malasaña, October 2017.
SMALL DISCOS & LATE NIGHT SPOTS
Monday, 9 October 2017
Dali's garden is equally intriguing. Several gigantic eggs decorate the landscape. Next to a long swimming pool there is a bright pink vinyl sofa in the shape of lips, where visitors gleefully pose.
We amble down a hill into town in search of food. Most of the restaurants are closed at this hour. Just when crabbiness is closing in I spot one of my favorite words: GALETTES. We sit at a small table facing the sea. My father orders a beer and tuna cooked in vermouth served in a tin with the letters MF on the front. I enjoy a massive crepe filled with the fluffiest cheese soufflé in the world. The texture is light and psychedelic. It's like biting into sea foam, except the flavor is creamy not salty.
|Here I am in Figueres|