Published on Culture 24
Exhibition: Made in Brighton, Ink_D Gallery, Brighton, until October 4 2009
For a small gallery, this is a big group show. Seventeen artists have been squeezed onto the wall of Ink_D in the North Laine. All are Brighton based and much of the work is Brighton inspired. So just how much talent can one seaside town accommodate? Each has been given 30 square cm to demonstrate what they can do.
James Cauty, who once set fire to Â£1 million of profits from his band KLF, is still causing controversy, just on a smaller scale.
Stamps Are So Gay is a page of perforated covers showing two cowboys engaged in a lewd act. As with a photo stand from the pier, there are oval holes where the faces should be, and a young straight couple peers through.
Imbue has also made a statement. Taking cues from the logo of Brighton and Hove City Council, he has made an emblem which looks more like DisneyLand. Perhaps life here is too much fun.
Another comment on the city’s reputation for hedonism comes from satirical cartoonists Modern Toss. Come To Brighton shows a couple of daytrippers on the train, taking a stroll, dancing and finally throwing up into a dustbin.
Andy Doig designed the neon sign above the gallery door and his medium is light. He has responded well to the brief with a fairground bulb mounted on a section of painted wood from a pier.
A gaudy cable joins it to the mains. Ride Relic is a simple, well-executed slice of city life.
Another sculpture provides another highlight. Sean Madden has taken inspiration from Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock to produce a cut-throat razor with the words â€œI Love Youâ€ engraved in the blade.
It is a brilliant evocation of both old style gangsterism and also the dark side of a dirty weekend.
There are 25 pieces by every artist and all the works cost just Â£75. Whether you’re coming to Brighton for the day or you’ve lived here all your life, it would be hard to find a better souvenir.