Here at House of Coco, we love getting inspired by brilliant art, and we are also big fans of innovation, of doing things in new and pioneering ways. So we were excited when we heard that the quirky art emporium, CultureLabel, had partnered with co-working space, WeWork to host a one-off exhibition and to bring attention to some of the great artwork in the CultureLabel collection. We sent Rachael Lindsay to check it out.
If you’ve never heard of CultureLabel then it might be worth taking a look at their website – although don’t blame me if you end up browsing for hours and buying one too many cat egg cups and palmapple deckchairs.
Calling itself the world’s most unique art gallery and chock-filled with fun and quirky (but not tacky) products, CultureLabel handpicks and sells works of art and gorgeously designed homeware and jewellery produced by emerging artists and craftspeople.
The one-off exhibition earlier this month showcased some of CultureLabel’s most iconic art pieces from renowned artists such as Lucian Freud and Roy Lichtenstein. Yet it juxtaposed these with pieces from artists who are less established but just as intriguing such as Sunbathe by Steven Quinn, of a 1950s lady sunbathing on the beach in front of a huge burning planet.
And the setting was important too. The exhibition was hung in WeWork’s Chancery Lane base which focused the exhibition on the importance of inspiration in the work space. And of course, lots of the items from CultureLabel are both useful and artistically significant such as a selection of monochrome plates celebrating Grayson Perry’s Map of Days work.
Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘This Must Be The Place’ was hung just below Lucian Freud’s ‘John Minton’ portrait.
One of the world’s leading pop artists, Lichtenstein became a prominent figure in the new art movement in the 1960s along with Andy Warhol. Inspired by comic strips and advertising, Lichtenstein described ‘This Must Be The Place’ as ‘very thirties’ with its yellow-tone colour scheme and eerily dystopian factory-scape. Looking at it, I am left wanting to know why that is ‘The Place’ with its smoke-choked air and spear-like skyscrapers. Just like a great comic book, I want to read on and find out more.
This playful piece contrasts with the subtlety and melancholy of ‘John Minton’ by Lucian Freud. Freud is one of the greatest realist painters of all time with ‘John Minton’ having being described by art historians as ‘one of the century’s most emotional portraits’.
Minton, the subject, was also an artist although his illustrative work was out of vogue during the 1950s and he sadly ended up suffering from alcohol dependency and then committing suicide at the age of 40, just five years after he sat for this portrait. Freud’s portrait of Minton seems to communicate both a sense of anguish and of listlessness. And I couldn’t help thinking that a photo, no matter how high quality, would never be able to capture what Freud had managed to.
The magic of CultureLabel is that they have done the hard work for you, they have picked out so many lovely and important pieces of art and they have put them in one handy place.
And the collaboration with WeWork is clever, bringing awareness to how we create the place we work and how we can incorporate art into this space.
Inspired by the exhibition, I hurried home to buy myself a divine feather cushion with a vintage woodcut print cover from CultureLabel. I also have to admit that I tried to buy a designer teapot for free since an internet glitch had me thinking that it had been reduced to £0. Alas, it was not to be and my workspace still lacks that teapot inspiration.
So, add CultureLabel to your list of go-to websites for your Christmas shopping (and bear in mind that I would really like that monochrome teapot…)
For more information, visit www.culturelabel.com and www.wework.com.