Gagosian Davies Street must be the smallest of the global empire - it’s a tiny central space compared with the gargantuan Kings Cross Britannia Street venue. As such it seems fitting for it to have very immediate art on display, you barely have to enter to get a sense of Richard Prince’s Instagrams, in fact to have escaped the noise created in the media about his latest appropriation of found image would have been difficult. The charge against the artist is that he has wholesale taken personal Instagram images and blown them up, added his own comments at the bottom and through his dealer, Larry Gagosian, sold them off, other people’s photos, for sixty-thousand bucks a piece.
Prince’s own explanation and justification can be found on the gallery website. He ambles around and rambles on but his reasoning is clearer and more innocent and very much in keeping with his own practise, a career now four decades long. He takes a fancy to these images, most are of attractive young women but not exclusively so, and he does alter their appearance very little, adding only the last comments under an edited stream of genuine Instagram posts - the effect is incongruous with the original image makers and those that post the pictures and more in line with the fans or trolls following them but taken as a snapshot of contemporary portraiture this really is the way we present ourselves now, stylised and filtered, enhanced and edited.
A short walk into Soho and the Vinyl Factory’s Brewer Street Car Park venue remains decked out in black paint and carpet after the recent Ryoji Ikeda show. On Saturday afternoon there were less than ten of us in the dark looking on as lines of projected RGB coloured light reflected off into infinity either side - walls of mirrors are at right angles to half a dozen continuous multi-screen projections. There was talk in one recent article on this installation being made for capturing on Instagram but while I sat there taking in the subtle deviations of colour no one was recording anything and each person was enthralled in the moment. It could not be described as meditative but once you release yourself into the ebb and flow and throb of the colour it transcends the banality of its constitute elements, that is to say merely digital light and sound.
http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/richard-prince--june-12-2015 until August 1st
http://brewerstreetcarpark.com until August 2nd