Destroying art - part 2: the ephemeral bestiary goes into oblivion
Until March 4, the Howard Griffin Gallery in London hosted a remarkable exhibition - The Bestiary. The works exhibited there were not for sale: the artist needed only temporary public attention to his creations, which had an unenviable fate. Anyone could see art that was condemned to a quick death: the entrance was free.Phlegm - the pseudonym of an English street artist from Sheffield, the author of the exhibition. Within six weeks, he cut out panels and elements of installations from plywood, created figures from plaster, wood and clay, which he then painted with spray can, and, in fact, portrayed semi-mythical creatures on plywood - all of them are very detailed. A lot of labor was laid, but the fact that others would save for posterity as examples of the madness of the new time is not without secret intent to become a new Hurst or Banksy, the creator will destroy immediately after the exhibition closes. Phlegm does not believe in the commercialization of art! The artist must create art objects for the sake of the creation process itself, and do it only for the sake of art itself. Answering a frequently asked question, Phlegm says that even if he is offered a lot of money for his work, he will refuse.Phlegm's exhibition is a modern bestiary. Extremely creatures inhabit the maze of impressive installations, painted by the artist in a recognizable manner. For the first time, all these creatures of the dark side of the mind are collected in one place and even classified by their creator. Previously, Phlegm drew them on the walls of houses and in abandoned rooms around the world, and also posted on the Internet homemade comics. Now the author of the new "Bestiary" brought his "pets" to the exhibition. This is his first official exhibition in this gallery, but, as curator Richard Howard Griffin notes, it looks more like a museum exhibition. And also - on a cave with ancient drawings on the walls. The name of the exhibition inherits an ancient tradition: in the period of antiquity and the Middle Ages illustrated reference books of strange animals, partly real, and partly fictional, were called bestiaries. Such reference books contained rather thorough descriptions, which sometimes did not prevent them from being completely unbelievable.In short, “Bestiary” is a unique and one-off exhibition in a good sense: it was created specifically to show the visitors of the gallery its demonic potential, designed specifically for this gallery space. But the main thing - after March 4, the Bestiary literally ceased to exist, apparently returning to where it came from - into non-being.