Lights Of Soho X Fenwick Of Bond Street unveil ‘Women in Neon’ Exhibition

 

FAULT Favourite creative venue, Lights Of Soho have brought their creative nous to the high street with their latest partnership retail behemoth – Fenwick Bond Street.

Entitled ‘Women in Neon’ all works on display were created by female artists. While the whole collection of works can be viewed on the first floor – LOS have also taken over the window display at the street level where Federica Marangoni’s ‘Art Has No Sex’ neon unashamedly illuminates their message.

While all artists have worked with Neon for this exhibition, they all hail from different disciplines and creative backgrounds, the display is fluid and stands as a testament to how both individualism and collaboration can come together to create a true work of art.

“Women in Neon” will be taking a four week residency on the 3rd floor of Fenwick of Bond Street on 20th March and all pieces displayed will be available to purchase.

Read more info on the artists displaying work below:

Linda Bracey is creative director of God’s Own Junkyard, founded by her late husband Chris Bracey. Linda has designed neon artworks and studio ranges for several exhibitions at the Lights of Soho gallery. She has also curated an exhibition of her late husband’s artworks in various London gallery spaces.

Lauren Baker is a British contemporary multidisciplinary artist who exhibits internationally. Her work explores the fragility of life, energy-fields, the after-life and other dimensions. She’s created installations at The V&A, Tate Britain, ran an art workshop at Tate Modern and directed the windows of Selfridges.

Rebecca Mason is a UK based artist using light to convey the darkness within human life, existence and emotion. Rebecca has exhibited in various UK locations including restaurants, bars and galleries.

Dianna Chire is a London based artist. Her practice frequently employs visual puns and bawdy humour as well as a commentary on female identity. Dianna works in mediums of sculpture, performance and neon.
Federica Marangoni is a Venetian artist and designer, working internationally has researched on various materials and technological media throughout her career and has exhibited in many international museums including MoMA (New York 1980), Peggy Guggenheim Foundation (Venice, 2001) and La Triennale di Milano (2016)

FAULT Magazine in Conversation with Maximilian Wiedemann ahead of his Collier Bristow Collaboration

 

 

While planning this feature and our upcoming collaboration, I’ve read many other articles on Maximilian Wiedemann and his work and in my opinion, none have managed to capture and convey the soul of Max or what he is trying to show with his artwork. Like many artists, the more journalists that attempt to write and add outside narratives to his creations, the less people are listening to Max’s true voice which lives within his artwork. As Max gears up to launch his new range of t-shirt designs in collaboration with Collier Bristow, we wanted to learn more about Max and his views on the art world and beyond.

Rather than further muddy the waters and assign another box to place Maximillian’s artistry inside, I asked him to describe it in his own words for us.

 

Max: I’m a graffiti based artist. I come from the good old days inspired by modern art and subway artistry. I started painting on walls which were uninteresting to the public and it started to get me jobs and I was able to continue. If I had to describe my style, I’d say it’s where Haute meets street art.

Oozing with iconography and vibrant palettes, the rawness of his early work still appear in his contemporary pieces. In many ways, Max fills the space in the modern art world which Andy Warhol left behind. Despite his love of Haute, fashion, and the refined, Max stays true to his roots of street art and his original inspirations for creating. Observing his surroundings and finding art in the discord, Max’s work often plays on modern perception, themes, and self-reflection.

 

With the latest generation, I’m very aware that 15 minutes of fame is hugely sought after and admired but as an artist my job is to bring self-reflection to a relevant zeitgeist and plant new seeds for healthier ideas and ways of thinking.  

My new t-shirt designs mirror the vanity and the foolishness of those in our society who believe that money rules everything. “The better you look the more you see”, “The only pain Is champagne”, I’m turning the mirror on those people and reflecting their current mindset upon them in the harsh light of day.

The more I look at society the more I’m seeing how materialistic it is becoming and how much less we’re looking at the true values of humanity the way those who came before us did. I want a return to a broader way of thinking and to show that while money talks, it has nothing to say.

 

It’s clear that Maximillian cares and his frustrations are sincere and from a genuine place. For a clearer understanding, it’s best to observe Max’s own entrance into the art world. Finding his talent for street art and graffiti (or vandalism to some) and having never studied a formal art course, Max has never strayed from his grass roots mentality. Despite being commissioned by some of the biggest names and working with many social elites, there is a disdain in his voice when he discusses the “rich art school kids” anyone (including myself) would have met at university. Max is an artist who has excelled through the grit of his talent and has had nothing handed to him – while not fully innocent of splurging nor claiming to never have indulged during his success, he refuses to be a person of excess and refuses to create artwork just for a paycheque.

 

The rich are getting richer the poorer are struggling more. I’ve self-indulged at times, but I’m not going to do art without being in the position of messaging. My statements in this collection are directed at materialistic people who’ll do anything for a pay day. I’m asking them directly, “what is your integrity worth?”.  These are basic questions but I see more and more people chasing money instead of humanity or anything else without a financial gain.

 

The message is clear in his tone and his words that his latest body of work is born from his own frustrations with modern society and what he perceives to be the chasing of skewed ideals. While he touches on the point about his own times of self-indulgence, I also know that Max worked within the advertising industry for over ten years. I quizzed:

 

FAULT: You’ve said in the past that the advertising industry strengthened your understanding on the power of art, but as an artist, how could you not feel stifled or insincere working for such large and sometimes soulless corporations?

In advertising, we played the game of seducing people but with my art, I’m playing with the art of seduction which is a totally different thing. Living in the world of advertising I’d often tell myself, “this isn’t a real world, it’s faulty and manipulative.”

Advertising is the art of seduction but my seduction is my art.

I’m just putting a mirror up and showing you who you are and letting you truly perceive yourself and your values. People go and buy Rolexes in hopes that others will see it and say “wow, look at him and his money” but I want them to truly see themselves how I do. I have a design which takes their “Rolex” and I change it to “relax” as if to say “well done you own a Rolex what next? What does it truly mean? Nothing. Just relax.”  

You should be cool for what’s inside, if you can’t sit on a street curb and share interesting ideas and insights and only have a shiny watch and large bank account to offer, then you really have nothing.

I’m not against the establishment, I’m against soulless people who use daddy’s money as a ticket to notoriety to then become popular figures and idols. I’m a self-made man and I thought a long time about if I could do this art thing. But I’m putting my life on the line for this project because I have a message which I need to get out.

People are chasing money to pay for a soulless lifestyle which forces them to keep chasing money for even more soullessness, it’s a vicious cycle.

As an artist, I’m here to communicate. My art is communication.

 

Throughout our discussion, I’m wanting more and more to quiz Max on his chosen medium for this project. Why t-shirts and why fashion at all? By its very nature, fashion is materialistic and I recalling Oscar Wilde’s essay from 1885’s New York Tribune ( also published again in The Philosophy Of Dress’) “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

 

FAULT: Fashion is and has been known to be a revolving door of ideas, trends and physical materials, so why choose such a throw away medium for such a long lasting message?

A canvas appears in someone’s home or gallery and is tucked away to be seen only those who are interested but I’m thrusting my message at you on a street level. I know it’s hypercritical to put it on a t-shirt but I feed off of the irony for this project. All my statements derive from irony, “La Vie En Pose”, “Detox to retox”, “The only pain is champagne” I’m in the business of the ironic and that’s the hidden or not-so-hidden layer to what I’m working on now.

On the same level, the collection is called Raw and Ready and you wear them direct from the hanger without receiving any social merit based on the name on the label alone. You can walk around with an outfit made by huge high fashion designers and receive a social standing based on that but with my collection, you have vibrant messaging without the social labeling. Once again I return to my saying “money talks but has nothing to say”, but my collection has much to say and much to question.

 

One take away from our discussion is the clarity of Max’s resolve to insight change of some degree to modern society. While conscious about adding another long and drawn out personal analysis of Max and further muddy the waters as mentioned in the article’s intro – it is important for me that Max’s message does not come across as false to our readers. There is a reason this interview is so challenging and far from the “What are you promoting? Why? What is your FAULT?” format some might expect. Launching a for-profit business in hopes of revealing the greed of modern society, sounds confusing on paper but through challenging discussion, we can hear his true motivations. A graffiti artist finds their canvas in the environment most needing of a message, and an artist finds a medium most suitable for their ideas – it’s no surprise then that Max has chosen fashion for his latest art piece.

As Max is passionate about having his name tied to this collection as am I with FAULT’s as we gear up to present the launch at Lights Of Soho this month. Grilling? Perhaps; but from this interview Max’s message is as clear as day and really fills us with excitement for his new collection. Time will only tell if the change Max is calling for will be acted on or if the statements he is making will be heard, but one thing is for certain, Max will keep creating and keep questioning as all great artists do.

Money may talk, but Max has far more too much to say before he listens to it.

Words: Miles Holder

 

Maximilian Wiedemann & Collier Bristow will launch their collaboration at Lights Of Soho on November 9th. For more information head over to lightsofsoho.com

Lights of Soho art gallery launches open call for submissions

Lights of Soho open submissionDo you want in to London’s hot new art gallery and members’ lounge? Are you an artist looking to show your work? Lights of Soho have announced their first open call for submissions for their next show, guest curated by renowned light artist Robert Montgomery.

The new show ‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say…’ will be a showcase of up-and-coming artists working with the medium of light at the gallery who has exhibited work by Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Chris Bracey and Robert Montgomery since it opened in May.

Hamish Jenkinson, Curator at Lights of Soho said, “With this show, I’m hoping that we can reach artists who are well into their craft or just discovering it. I’d like to show young artists that art is a democratic experience and that they too can be featured in a London gallery.”

Lights of Soho art gallery

Lights of Soho © Dave Hogan

The show has been named after a 1992 photo series by conceptual artist Gillian Wearing titled ‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say, And Not Signs That Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say’ which also explored themes of democracy in art and communication.

The previous shows, ‘City Lights’ and ‘The Art of Burning Man’, have mixed high profile artists with the newest creative talent. The gallery’s dedication to emerging artists, in addition to its members’ bar which is a meeting hub for London’s creative community, is fast making Lights of Soho one of the most exciting venues in the capital.

Ahead of the open submission show, Lights of Soho will also be hosting a three day pop up exhibition ‘Ignis Fatuus: Dreams & Delusions’, curated by Mehta Bell Projects to mark the opening of Start Art Fair and also featuring a selection of budding talent from the contemporary art world. The pop up will run from 11th to 13th Setpember.

Light artists can submit images and details of their work for the open submission show by emailing open@lightsofsoho.com before 14th September. Successful artists will be notified by 19th September and will win a membership to Lights of Soho as well as their work included in the show. For more information visit www.lightsofsoho.com/open.

‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say…’ will run from 8th October until 21st November.

 

Lights of Soho brings Nevada’s Black Rock Desert into the heart of London through The Art Of Burning Man.

Temple-of-Whollyness-by-Fleishman,-Clearwater,-Barron

Lights of Soho is London’s latest gallery and member’s club addition that’s got everyone talking. Embracing Soho’s history, the space once known as a porn shop (with a secret basement that previously hosted a brothel nonetheless) now operates as a cultural hub for creative neon and light art. Their acclaimed premiere exhibition, City Lights, included works from reputable light art artists alongside the up and coming, showcasing the likes of Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Robert Montgomery and many more.

For the second time round, Lights of Soho sets Brewer street ablaze with a new wave of artwork entitled The Art of Burning Man, an homage to the vibrant art and culture of the festival.

Interface---Shuster-&-Moseley-9

If you’re not a fan of spending 7 days in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, this exhibition is pretty much the embodiment of everything that Burning Man stands for. It’s a place for art, self-expression and self-reliance. Although it’s nothing quite like the real deal, The Art of Burning Man is as close as you get to the full experience, except that you’re in a confined space with air conditioning and a drink in your hand.

For the first time in the history of the festival, the artworks are taken out of the festival’s context and put on display for everyone to see. Photographer NK Guy has been documenting the show ever since it’s early days in 1998 to its contemporary life in 2014 and he’s now releasing it to the public through his new book, The Art of Burning Man, published by Taschen.

CS-(Clock-Ship)-Tere,-2013-Artist-Andy-Tibbetts

The gallery showcased some of his iconic prints alongside site-specific installations from artist duo Shuster + Moseley. Although the sculptures were made with Burning Man in thought, they’re slightly more delicate in nature than what you’d usually see on the festival’s site. You’ve got tiny glass sculptures hanging from the ceiling that manipulate natural and artificial light alongside a magnificent light installation that unifies geometry, lights and perceptual elements. It’s quite a visual treat.

Lights of Soho provided another immersive experience through The Art of Burning Man and their events promise to be getting bigger and better. The exhibition will be running on Brewer Street from the 24th of July until September 10th and, if you feel like grabbing a copy of NK Guy’s The Art of Burning Man, rest assured that it’s available for purchase at the gallery.

Words: Adina Ilie

Lights of Soho – the global home of creative neon art

Lights of SohoLights of Soho is the new hangout where the neighbourhood’s creative community meet under the glow of seedy neon signs in a former brothel to conspire, collaborate and create. Not only is it London’s first gallery dedicated to light art, but with the addition of a members’ bar in its basement, it aims to become a hub for the meeting of minds.

The venue may be new but the ambience isn’t; reviving the days when Soho’s notorious sex industry lit up the narrow lanes in hot pink and the cheap prices of the area brought in artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and the like. In keeping with the current interest to uphold the district’s creative legacy despite the rapid gentrification, Lights of Soho has landed just in time to send the message that they too want to keep Soho’s ne-on!

Lights of Soho basement

The first exhibition is called City Lights and brings together world-renowned artists and up-and-coming names in one space, earning the gallery the title of the ‘global home of creative neon art’. For the first time ever Tracey Emin, who has helped popularise the use of neon in art, is exhibiting alongside Chris Bracey, known as ‘The Neon Man’ for his iconic strip club signs which appeared all over Soho in the 1970s. Other artists in the group exhibition include Gavin Turk, Chris Levine, Christian Furr, Rob & Nick Carter and Rob Montgomery. At the private view, sponsored by Hoxton Gin, we discovered artworks ranging from poignant statements about love emblazoned in neon, to a Mona Lisa-esque lenticular of Kate Moss, to classic commercial signs promising ‘models upstairs’. The space is a spectacular visual overload.

City Lights at Lights of Soho opens today at 35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX until 5th July. Open Mon-Sun 11am until 8pm. For membership enquiries visit www.lightsofsoho.com.