DarkSide | DownSide Exhibition

I’ve been toying with the idea of putting on an art exhibition for a while now. I used to be very “arty” as a teenager, but I haven’t done any drawing for 10+ years now (although recently I did start doing my own tattoos at home).

Then last year my friend, Paul Shinn, took part in an exhibition called UpSide. This was a collaborative show between him and some other London-based artists, that focussed on the things in life that made them happy. The exhibition was great, but the art that has always interested me the most is that which is dark/disturbing. As a child I drew monsters and collected Garbage Pail Kid stickers, as a teenager I watched video nasties and went to things like the Sensations exhibition. Now as a 30-year old I’m obsessed with Russian criminal tattoos and I mainly watch David Lynch and David Cronenberg films. My Favourite artists are Bacon, Munch and Caravaggio (see some more of my influences here). I’m not some really heavy, negative-vibe merchant, however.

Artwork that explores the macabre often has a strong sense of irony and humour, and can leave the viewer feeling uplifted, or at the very least, reflective about their lives. I don’t want to bring everyone down – I just want people to look at the aspects of life they overlook or ignore (because it feels more comfortable to do so?).

Anyway – maybe because I recently turned 30, or maybe because I’ve visited some art exhibitions lately – I’ve decided to try and make this thing happen in 2011. Everyone who took part in UpSide will be invited to contribute, as well as some other London-based artists I know. If anyone else would like to take part, or has suggestions – please let me know: tomkfogarty@gmail.com

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