He Wore Dreams Around Unkind Faces

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Something a bit different for me. This Sunday I ventured out to South Kensington to visit Noel Fielding’s exhibition (‘He Wore Dreams Around Unkind Faces’). I’ve been a fan of his since the Mighty Boosh began on TV, and have always loved the ingenious designs and animated sections (since also seen in Luxury Comedy) – but I’d never seen any of his artwork on display before.

And I’m so glad I took my chance!

Worst Football Team in History (how we managed to stay in the Vauxhall Conference for so long I'll never know)
Worst Football Team in History (how we managed to stay in the Vauxhall Conference for so long I’ll never know)

As expected, it was a stimulating array of fantastical pop-art – the product of an intelligent and thoroughly active imagination.

One recurring ‘character’ (I suspect there will always be an overlap between art and comedy for Fielding) is the Lonely Prince. Appearing in several pieces throughout the exhibition and, in his own way, representing Noel Fielding – according to his introductory thoughts, anyhow.

L: The Lonely Prince (I'm so Alone) R: The Hypocrisy of the Church
L: The Lonely Prince (I’m so Alone)
R: The Hypocrisy of the Church

What was unique about this exhibition (in my admittedly quite limited experience) was the setup; quite fitting I suppose, given the artist.

All the paintings were hung on one side of the ground floor corridor of the Royal Albert Hall. So, in order to see the paintings you had to walk the circuit of the Hall – almost like taking an actual journey around Noel’s world, ever so briefly.

The choice of watercolour as a medium was a bit of a gamble for Fielding, but one that I think has paid off. In some pieces it does a great job of capturing a moment relatively quickly – in particular the Lonely Prince series – yet in others it’s almost unnoticeable from a distance. It works fantastically for paintings with black backgrounds, evoking memories of some of the compositions I most enjoyed in last year’s Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern (although these were oil on canvas).

Everybody wants to be like me
Everybody wants to be like me

My favourite pieces (for various reasons) are probably ‘Worst Football Team’, ‘Unicorns at the Job Centre Ice Cream Sunday’ and ‘The Fab Four’.

L: Unicorns at the Job Centre Ice Cream Sunday C: Unicorns at the Job Centre R: My Little Pony
L: Unicorns at the Job Centre Ice Cream Sunday
C: Unicorns at the Job Centre
R: My Little Pony

The exhibition will be moving to Gallery Maison Bertaux soon (if it’s not there already!), if you missed it on this occasion – or if you would like to take it in again!

L: The Orange Assistant R: The Fab Four
L: The Orange Assistant
R: The Fab Four

There are still a number of paintings still available to buy. If you’re interested (& have the money!), check out the dealer’s website.

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