Jack Newhouse – Thursday, 30th December 2015.

Self Portrait © Anne Pigalle, London.

Self Portrait © Anne Pigalle, London.

It is an atypical but involving exhibition Âmérotica Art Sale by Anne Pigalle, at her studio in North London.

In between an exhibition and an event,Âmérotica is also an art sale Anne Pigalleorganised in North London.

When still very young, French artist Anne Pigalle was a punk movement member. When in London, she had the opportunities to publish an album with Trevor Horn. Then she went to LA for seven years but when back in London started poetry, art exhibition and erotic salon. Because of a break, Pigalle could buy a Polaroid and started her current life into figurative art. But she also keeps on performing music and poetry.

At the Âmérotica, it is possible to buy her original works, she could almost make on the instant while talking to you. Her assorted works are the result of her life and of her experiences, as an artist and as a woman. Her production consists in small cards or dresses hand painted, proper paintings on canvas, decorated CD, Polaroid photos, a blue Christmas tree, and a myriad of small everyday items. Many different objects, small common ones, are the material she uses to produce her works, giving them a different nature or another role. She is a stalwart fan of Duchamp, whom works she knows well and cites much.

Practicing various media, Anne Pigalle is a whole artist in a Renaissance meaning. She is a kind of small universe where art is the main core. She is a poet, a musician, a performer, and a painter.

French artist Anne Pigalle is born in Paris from a family of artists. She grew up in Paris, in Montmatre, ‘le quartier des artists’, the district of the artists.

When still at school, Pigalle joined the punk movement. She met an English boyfriend at a concert and began to come to London when she was only 15.

Pigalle moved to London definitively when was 20 years old. She had the opportunity to work with notable photographer, such as Mario Testino, Lord Snowdown, Nick Knight, Kevin Cummins, but also musicians as Michael Nyman.

Realising punk music was dead, in 1980 Anne Pigalle found stimulation in her culture and referred to Edith Piaf. In 1985 she published her first album for the ZTT of Trevor Horn, and also toured in Japan. With her boyfriend, they also started a successful club, Le nuits du Mercredi.

Then Pigalle moved to Los Angeles for seven years. Her life was made of concerts and performances. Together with

The Whole Lot © Anne Pigalle, London.

The Whole Lot © Anne Pigalle, London.

her friend, Donald Cammell, they made a project to realize a film on her life.

However, when Cammell committed suicide, Pigalle moved back to Londonand started to experiment, such as poetry, art exhibition and erotic salon.

As a consequence of a break, Pigalle turned in to the figurative art sector. When the guy she was living with left her, he forgot his Argos card and there were enough points to buy a Polaroid camera. She started to take picture of herself, mostly naked, and modifying them with ink, paint and found objects.

The idea was to show the difference between sex and love but differentiating from pornography. As a result of her romantic and feminine side but not excluding eroticism, the work was named Âmérotica – from the French âme and érotique, which means the erotic soul. The work was so appreciated and an acclaimed exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery was organised.

Anne Pigalle is a free personality. Therefore, her need for autonomy makes her to test the limits of authority and control, generating antagonist behaviour. She thinks differently and often in opposition. She dislikes the big business, the mainstream, and corporations. And of course, this means a lot of references to sex and love that can only exist in freedom.

Probably, from this point of view comes the idea for Amérotic Art Sale. Being against the big business probably generated the one-to-one approach, she used for this event.

To reach the place, in fact, you need to book an appointment through her website or her Facebook page. In a performative style, Pigalle welcomes visitors offering a tea and a cake, making people comfortable, and possibly showing her own collection. She truly speaks to the guests and she is really interested in their lives, their emotions.

It is a tailored approach, it is warm, and it is human. It is not aseptic and tasteless like in a shop, where staff dumbly ask if they can ‘help you’, while they do not really care at all to ‘help you’, but rather just to sell to have the salary bonus to spend at the pub – when they are not threatened by the employers or team leaders.

Anne Pigalle does not sell mass production objects sic et simpliciter. She manipulates these objects (the readymades of Duchamp), giving them a new life as artworks. In doing so, she instils a part of herself in them, and basically, she sells herself, giving you her stories: these works are pieces of her.

This personal approach is very interesting, because it challenges the mass tactics used by the big business marketing, and it criticizes the idea that a person is nothing but what can buy with money.

After having published five albums, at the moment, Anne Pigalle is also working on her new music project. She also does art performances in specific venues acrossLondon and the UK.

Âmérotica Art Sale exhibition by Anne Pigalle is ongoing in North London.


David Franchi – Thursday, 3rd December 2015.

Fiumano art gallery, LondonThe Fiumano Projects new art gallery space near King’s Cross, London, had a successful opening.

The Fiumano art gallery was packed with people and much participated, with people even spread in the corridors of the business centre.

After 15 years in art business, Francesca Fiumano had to move the gallery from the previous location in Connaught Street, due to the rise of the price of the rents that in general is affecting London.

Everybody knows London is badly affected by high rents and gentrification phenomenon. The impossibility to have a decent rent is harming even businesses which are forced to relocate, and move from their locations in central London.

Fiumano Gallery had to pass through this experience, but luckily found this alternative place in the Wren Street Business Community centre, near King’s Cross.

On last 27th October, Fiumano presented the new space with a group show, an opening with the numerous artists the gallery represents. The atmosphere was festive and the art was fresh and new.

On display, different works of Sam Burford, Tindár, Beth Nicholas, Nicole Wassall, Michel Ajestejn, Takefumi Hori, Tanya Tier, Roger Holtom, Mementoes of Civilization, Anti-social Networking Device, Bad Looser, and Be careful what you wish for.

Fiumano Projects and the sister gallery Fiumano Fine Art represent artists from around the world who works with an extensive assortment of media and on different subjects. The opening show has confirmed their diversity and multifaceted abilities.

Friendly Francesca Fiumano has been on the business for many years, and opened her first gallery in 2001. She is graduated in History of Art at Reading University with a First Class Honors. A part from the galleries, she also provides a range of other services like consultancy, installation, evaluation of artworks.

A new gallery opening always represents an enhancement for the local community and in general. Artists have the opportunity for significant advancement of their careers. It is a particular business that can give more in terms of fall out on the territory.

For this reason, we wish good luck to Fiumano galleries and their future projects.

New galleries Fiumano Projects and Fiumano Fine Art are at 21 Wren Street, King’s Cross, London.


David Franchi – Thursday, 19th November 2015

Dench Does Dallas (2015) ® Peter Dench, co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

Dench Does Dallas (2015) ® Peter Dench, co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

The exhibition of Peter Denchwas a remarkable example of reportage about Dallas, at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

A photographic exhibition, ‘Peter Dench does Dallas’ was also the launching of the new London gallery Art Bermondsey Project Space, sponsored by Olympus.

Peter Dench found inspiration in the idea he had of Dallas when he was a teenager in the 1980s. His impression of the capital of Texas was shaped by two aspects: the TV series Dallas, and the adult film Debbie Does Dallas.

Probably, Dench is not the only person in the world to have these ideas. The TV series Dallas was a famous prime- time soap opera about the Ewing family that has been broadcasted to over 90 countries and translated in 67 languages.

The film ‘Debbie Does Dallas’, instead, was a real mass phenomenon, one of the top five grossing porno movies of all time, which had sequels and spin offs. The movie was interpreted by Bambi Woods, the stage name of Debra De Santo, who had a sudden success in the Golden Age of Porn, but then disappeared. This mystery fascinated the adult industry creating a legend about Woods. What happened to her is not clear. A solution was not found even in ‘Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered’ (aka ‘The Curse of Debbie Does Dallas’), a TV documentary shown by British Channel 4 as part of The Dark Side of Porn series.

Therefore, Peter Dench chose the name of the London exhibition, at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, by playing with the title of this famous film, even though it was not shot in Dallas but in New York. And, probably, he is unaware that there is the TV series Conan, season 3, episode 94, titled ‘The Exotic Marigold Hotel 2: Dench Does Dallas’ (2013).

The trip to Texas found Dench questioning his own idea of Dallas, that not everyone there is going around with a cowboy hat and guns, and women are not ranch wives. This impression is familiar to many people in the world. However, Dallas is a more multifaceted town.

In the 13 days of his trip, Dench took images revealing that the word to describe Dallas is ‘big’. He visited the Dallas Junior Police Academy, and also the clubs on Mockingbird Lane, the main adult scene. Additionally, he made a one-day trip to the rich Southlake city and visited the Southfork ranch, location of the TV series. He walked the town and depicted all the various aspects, which are reported in the book published.

The results of his investigation are that Dallas changed a lot from the 1980s and Debbie and the Ewings are something from the past, almost unknown to young generations.

Peter Dench shot images exclusively on Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. He uses the Micro Four Thirds system.

The exhibition ‘Dench Does Dallas’ was at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, from 20th October until 7th November 2015.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 4th November 2015.

Rudiments, Installation view, 2015, co. Lisson Gallery, London © Broomberg & Chanarin

Rudiments, Installation view, 2015, co. Lisson Gallery, London © Broomberg & Chanarin

The exhibition “Broomberg & Chanarin: Rudiments” was involving, at the Lisson Gallery, London.

It was the debut exhibition solo for Broomberg Chanarin at the Lisson Gallery, London.

The London exhibition at theLisson Gallery was an extension of a major show Broomberg & Chanarin had at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (27 June – 6 September), which also commissioned the film Rudiments with Forma Arts, supported by Arts Council England.

The exhibition, in facts, rotates on the film Rudiments (2015), which is crucial. Here the artists have worked with a group of young army cadets at a military camp in the suburbs of Liverpool. Although the film was staged and prepared, the habitual activities of the military life still results difficult to understand for the public, including those endorsing authoritarian forms of obedience.

Broomberg & Chanarin’s film is focused on childhood and youth and their way to rapport to pain and disgrace. To represent this theme, the artists use the armed forces, the cadets and their habits, the military routines and hierarchy.

Particularly, Broomberg & Chanarin make reference to the 40 rudiments that form the technical foundation of percussive music, such as rolls, strokes and paradiddles. The soundtrack is boosted by a spectacular and unrehearsed drums work out by the American musician Kid Millions (aka John Colpitts).

The exhibition also included a live performance with two drummers, one snare drum, one chair, two clocks and a lead carpet. The drummers played a drum roll for the six-week duration of the exhibition, without interruption.

On the opening night, there was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Longest Group Drum Roll. This relay drumming performance started at 6pm on 24th September and continued for 65 consecutive hours.

The exhibition has seen also two large-scale photographic series, which are focused on violence. The first series showed bullets that have collided head-on and fused in mid-air. They were originally found on the battlefields of the American Civil War and are said to have successfully saved the lives of two soldiers.

The second series presents military grade prisms, shards of optical glass that are used in the sights of precision weaponry, but which also relate to the lenses found in the same photographic apparatus they use.

The Lisson Gallery exhibition coincides with the artists exhibiting as part of the eighth British Art Show (Leeds Art Gallery, 9 October – 10 January 2015, then touring to Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton throughout 2016) and they are also currently exhibiting the new Every piece of dust on Freud’s couch and intervene within the Freud Museum in London (7 October – 22 November).

As a mean to understand the human condition, Broomberg & Chanarin investigate politics, religion, war and history, by using imagery. Initially trained as photographers, at present they work across diverse media. They had a photojournalistic experience in Afghanistan with the British Army and in the frontline action.

The artists Adam Broomberg (born 1970, Johannesburg, South Africa) and Oliver Chanarin (born 1971, London, UK) are living and working in London. Their work is displayed in major public and private collections including Tate, MoMA, Stedelijk, the V&A, the International Center of Photography and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Major awards include the ICP’s Infinity Award (2014) and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2013).

The exhibition “Broomberg & Chanarin: Rudiments” was at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 25 September until 31 October 2015.