Sao Paolo Series I, 2010
Digital photograph printed on brushed gold
aluminium. 595 x 457mm
"The work stems from a fascination with the centres we construct, the forms they take and what they reveal about us, at a time when more than half of the world's population live in cities, a proportion that is expected to rise to three quarters by 2050."
Nye came on an Artfeelers tour - a First Thursday tour for the Whitechapel Gallery - not so long ago. It was a strange tour. The last stop on our tour, the one I was looking forward to and building the group up for, was most inconveniently closed. Embarrassing is not the word. I was fuming. But Nye saved the day. She'd picked up a flyer for the BMW art car exhibition which happened to be a two minute walk from the closed gallery in the car park on the junction between Great Eastern Street and Curtain Road, EC. We wandered over and wound our way through the car park. On the top floor overlooking the grit and glory of East London, beyond the artist designed cars - designed by the likes of Warhol, Rosenquist, Holzer, Calder - we saw the giant red moon preside over Olympian London and we were happy once again.
And so when I got an invitation from Nye this week to come to the CASS MA show at the Metropolitan School of Art across from the Whitechapel, I happily accepted. There was quite a bit of decent work and it was clear that the students were a mature bunch, their styles firmed up and despite the pretty poor exhibition spaces the art looked pretty good.
One artist stood out. There's always at least one. This one was Jaykoe. I'd seen him at the Other Art Fair. He stood out there too. His fellow students are clearly aware of his talent too, using his image for the exhibition poster. Obsessed with cityscapes and delighting in diverse media, Jaykoe's shimmering depictions of urbanity were clearly head and shoulders above his peers' work.
Jaykoe's explanation of his work is a stimulating mix of quotes from the Situationists International and Toni Morrisson's advice to us to; "Do what you please in the city, it is there to back and frame you no matter what you do. And what goes on there on its blocks and lots and streets is anything the strong can think of and weak can admire."
I bid you to watch out for this artist, as long as he remains one of the strong that Morrisson speaks of, he should continue to interact urban life and to create art for the rest of us to admire.
The image above conveys little of how the sunset/ sunrise of Sao Paolo is brought to London by Jaykoe. The brushed gold alluminium scintillates before us. I often think inferior art can look better in reproductions, mechanical or digital and that true art cannot only be deteriorated by it. Jaykoe's is definitely to be seen in real life. So basically what I am trying to say is - keep an eye out for him and go see his work, don't just take my word for it.