Monday, 5 October 2009

The Exchange Room of Mr Ian Bruce

All photographs © Jamie Archer **


   10 years ago, back at school, it became apparent to me as I focused intently on  completing second tier painting coursework that Ian Bruce was a disgustingly talented individual who was born to brighten up a canvas. And, to be blunt, he's also far nicer than I am. But we still became friends somehow. Life's that funny

   In the years since I said goodbye to all that, Ian's morphed into something of a dandy, formed a band  named after the best two tone shoes in the world, The Correspondents, and wields a paintbrush or five in a manner of which the creative world of London is growing rather fond, as evidenced by the massive crowd that attended his recent show early last month. Since it's rather likely that the same thing is going to happen in a few days' time, I think it's very much of the moment to give my pal his due here

   This link explains it all, but the Reader's Digest version is that Ian showcased works created by friends and collaborators in exchange for portraits in his distinctive figurative style of those involved, which included particularly excellent "one good turn" portraits of Ian himself by gifted photographers Jess Bonham and Wendy Bevan. The nine-foot portrait of reputedly immoral artist Sebastian Horsley (sporting the same top hatted ensemble that swathed him on Comme des Garcons Homme Plus' catwalk in 2007) was put under the hammer by auction house Lyon & Turnbull over the weekend; the proceeds of which are intended for flying The Exchange Room to New York City at a future juncture

Ian's portrait of Horsley. It definitely adds much character, moral or otherwise

   Since Ian's work is bold and full of life, it stands to reason that his subjects follow suit. Particularly hilarious was Bonham's large scale concept of a nude Ian "chasing" his clothed Correspondent alter ego, while Bevan's nostalgicly misty close-ups are as evocative as usual for her. Katherine May's purses ripped up, rewired and reformed as rather heavy boutonnieres (well, they still contained quite a bit of loose change) were also a genuine delight and I'd love to see more examples of her creative textile manipulation in future


** Except these photographs

   Sartorialists may be most interested in this portrait within a portrait of Ian's father, along with a bespoke suit commissioned by Ian in return for the aforementioned painting. In it, Mr Bruce models the three piece made for his similarly built son by the tailor Jonathan Quearney; the artisan will hang the portrait in his shop. To bring this paragraph full circle, here's an interview with Jonathan, courtesy of The Sartorialist


   Photographs of the attendees follow here:


Guy Hills, one of the two masterminds behind Dashing Tweeds, in an Exploded Houndstooth safari suit of his own design

Your author with Donald of Great British Attire, a man who knows what he's talking about


Our photographer stands on the far left





   Ian's latest presentation is as part of a group ensemble show, Suspended in Process, hosted by Art.In.Flux, taking place at 14 New Quebec Street, London W1H 7RV from the 9th to the 18th of October. And I'm sure you LDN-based readers aren't busy all the time, yes?

4 comments:

Gefundenes Fressen said...

Answer: Barima, I certainly noticed that Cristoffer returned to the blog scene. It is a welcome comeback, as we are heading toward darker seasons and duller weathers.

And the orange knit will give warmth, both to body and soul. The only downside is that if you have one color, you MUST have them all. You want your closet to look like the inside of a M&M bag.

/Fredrik

dapper kid said...

I am loving his glasses. That portrait looks superb, the wall of skulls is quite amazing. I remember seeing Guy Hills in the BBC's Harris Tweed documentary series, I am so keeping a lookout for Dashing Tweeds pieces! Looks like you all had a very fun night.

Made To Measure, NY said...

Your rose lapel pin is fantastic.

-Dennis

Barima said...

Cheers, all. Good times and fun garments are always something of a going concern

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