A neon exhibition of Art, Rock and Poetry, inspired by Einstein, Edison and Essex
Last night London’s premiere art hotel, 45 Park Lane, previewed the new exhibition of work from British artists Christian Furr and Chris Bracey.
The chic Bar 45 hosted the vibrant and buzzy event, which saw 80s New Wave pop-stars mingling with art collectors, family and friends of the duo. Neon art guru Bracey, known as the ‘Neon Man’, has been salvaging old neons and architectural adverts for years to create his iconic and often pop-culture influenced installations; while Furr was the youngest artist to have officially painted Queen Elizabeth II in 1995. The two joined forces last year when they added a simple neon frame to a Beatles painting by Furr, making a modern shrine to British pop icons – and the collaboration was born.
Influences on the collection range from British rock, Essex girls and Shakespeare Sonnets to the Mexican celebration of death and rebirth, and a Russian propaganda symbol re-imagined with a disco twist. Key works shown include All You Need Is Love, a glowing, colour-changing homage to the Beatles; It’s Good To Be Here which nods to Keith Richards; and of course, the namesake of the exhibition is disco staple Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.
Christian Furr, says “In these tough economic times it forces people to replace complacency with innovation. Recession gives birth to new ideas, new collaborations and cross fertilization. It’s all about keeping your head above water; ‘Staying Alive’.”
“Great art stays alive in future generations. A great idea regenerates. It stays alive. We’ve always liked the Bee Gees. I like disco too. It’s ‘feel-good’ music. If it’s good enough for music it’s good enough for art.” And there is a ‘feel-good’ quality to the collection – the kitsch designs, neon accents and optimistic messages behind the pieces make the exhibition uplifting, celebratory and engaging – the perfect exhibition for summer 2013, as London warms up and timeless British rock icons The Rolling Stones move from Glastonbury to Hyde Park.
Staying Alive is open Thursday 4 July – Friday 30 August
Daily 12pm – 12am – Free Entry
Bar 45, 45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN
By Sophie Neve