Well opening night has been and gone and I’m sure I speak for everyone here at Artica, South Molton Street when I say ‘What a night!’
Three huge, grand and intoxicating floors of pure artistic joy greeted us as we arrived in the gallery. It was difficult to take every piece on display in, there was so much to see and the atmosphere of the event was just too exciting. Having watched the above video at least three times, I am now over the fact that I am not in it once. I find it strange though as my co-workers are constantly saying my head is massive, so I would have thought at least the tip of my barnet would have made into one shot, oh well.
The building was split into sections, the ground level had some wonderfully enormous new originals that Ronnie had finished painting a few days before. Apparently hair dryers must be thanked for having the pieces ready to hang in time, thank you hair dryers. The basement area had framed and embellished set lists with all of the classic Stones’ songs as well as my personal favourites, the guitars. There were a selection of Fender’s famous Stratocaster electrics, all hand signed by Ronnie, with lyrics chosen by Ronnie emblazoned around the body of the guitar. The one that caught my eye was a cherry red Strat with the lyrics ‘Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste’, not that I have wealth or taste, but it’s still a cool lyric.
The first floor consisted of the print room, with familiar pieces from the ‘Decades’ collection and some previously unseen signed limited edition pieces. Then there was the animal room (not it’s official name but it was full of paintings of animals), which had some beautiful paintings of mainly horses, which I am told are a massive passion of Ronnie’s, a rhino and a monkey. The last room on the first floor was filled with some beautifully delicate and moving depictions of ballet dancers and a corner for some life paintings (nudes). This is for me, where we really get to look into the artists mind. Painting those that are near and dear to you without the barrier of clothing, gives over a sense of mutual honesty between painter and subject that really darts out of the canvas and forces the viewer to see the world very much as Ronnie Wood does.
Overall the night included just enough glitz and glamour to usually send me running for my slippers and hot water bottle but the quality and variety of the artwork on offer made me slightly dizzy with glee. I was even persuaded to go for a drink of beer afterwards at a local Mayfair pub (unheard of I assure you), where I was told that Fearne Cotton had been at the show, FEARNE COTTON, and I had missed her, AND I HAD MISSED HER… Just my luck.