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Smash Hits
February 1986
Pages 4-5

MAKING an EXHIBITION of HIMSELF

Who said this: "We must talk about the elements. Elements, ambience and abstract vision."? And this: "The consumer is the communicator. X, the perceiver. The perceived is alive." Sounds a bit like Einstein, but actually it was Nick Rhodes explaining his polaroids (you know, those blurry old photos with "meaningful" titles like "Vertigo In Children", "Gadgets That Are Good (3rd View)" etc.. Definitely a bit on the arty side, old Nick. These days he hangs about with the likes of Andy Warhol (legendary '60s pop artist who mave v. trendy pictures of Campbell's soup cans), swops "pocket paintings" with his famous painterly friends, and gets lots of his ideas from art exhibitions. "I first took notice of art in Birmingham," he explains. "There was this gallery there called the Ikon - it was a great place to hang out. There was a cafe there, so instead of going to a bar for lunch, I'd go to the Ikon Gallery to see what was going on. Since then I've always found art galleries very relaxing - and inspiring!" So seeing as Nick is such a connasewer (and seeing as Bitz is a bit arty on ver side), we decided to follow him round a recent exhibition of young American artists to find out what on earth he made of it all. . .

ZIPPY PAINT JOB
By Cockrill/Judge Hughes (1985).
Acrylic on canvas.

"This is really zappy. What I like about this graffiti-styled stuff is the way they manage to do things HUGE and still make them look like they're under a magnifying glass. Great! I really do like this sort of thing, but it doesn't have any great lasting content. Once you get the joke, it's like when you're reading the newspaper; you look at the cartoons, laugh, and then throw it away."

NOT ANDY WARHOL
By Mike Bidlo (1985).
Acrylic on canvas.

"I'm so baffled by this guy: he goes round making perfect reproductions of masterworks of art. I love this because I love that image, but it's very confusing because I don't like the concept behind it. Still, the fact that Andy Warhol thought of doing it in the first place was so great that I'm sure he wouldn't mind that someone had done a pastiche of it. It's got to be the most famous image from the '60s, by any artist."

MOIST
By Nancy Dwyer (1985).
Enamel on plexiglass with lightbox.

"I don't know why I like this. I don't know whether I'd say it was art, really. That's always a debatable thing about anybody's work - basically you either like it or you don't, for whatever reasons. Thi is something I'd expect to see in the window of a shop that sold ice or something. Don't think I'd pay lot of money for it, but it's cute."

SUBWAY VANDAL
By Lady Pink (1985).
Acrylic on canvas.

"I love the idea of how the whole graffiti thing got started. (Lady Pink is a new York teenager who started off by painting graffiti on subway trains). They did it just because they wanted to do it, and they did it outside so that people could see it. I love that whole concept, so I have a sort of soft spot there. I'd like to see some of her other work, because I don't really like this that much - it's quite bizarre, actually."