All that glitters…is grisly.

Raqib Shaw Exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery.

Collection of thoughts

Invigilator at gallery:

Paintings that will not let your eye settle, you are constantly catching the glitter and gleam of another part of the picture that distracts you from the part you are looking at. Paintings that are uncomfortable to look at.

Mancunian review, I’ve selected the part describing the Narcissus sculpture of swan and figure:

Shaw takes the moment of Narcissus’ self-discovery and turns it into something much more gruesome. Narcissus’ eyes have been gouged out and his bat-like features are contorted in agony. The artist used his own body as the model for Narcissus; beauty, in the shape of a swan, has turned on its creator. -Esmé Clifford Astbury

Both Searo and Esme mention, in particular of the Cheetah and Stag with Two Indians response, there’s a lack of intellectual grounding,  ‘it’s not clear that any ideas are at stake’. 

‘an assault on the accepted’  Stefanie Elrick concludes her review of the show (Now Then Issue 4).

I may add new thoughts as I go back to the exhibition. I’m obsessed with the popular culture references that shine through his work, there’s a feeling of having seen the characters or the scenes he depicts before that reoccurs as you walk around. The St Sebastian of the poppies piece is so reminiscent of the poppy fields in Wizard of Oz and the flying monkeys.

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