1. New Post: Something You Should See… Screens at Space Studios


    Something You Should See… Screens at Space Studios

    Jacques Monory: the painter who developed his style after systematically destroying all of his early work in pointed rejection of his education at the École de Paris. Jean-François Lyotard: the philosopher who developed pivotal changes in thought across several different disciplines after systematically breaking down traditional notions of reason and knowledge. What would happen if these postmodern power houses found themselves together? In 1982, they did, and the results are documented in film Instantanés et Cinéma. Space Studios is offering the rare opportunity to watch the conversation between the philosopher and the painter in their screening of the (newly translated) film at their space in Bethnal Green.

    Monory’s direct reference to contemporary popular culture in his painting has had some critics align his 1960s work with Pop art of the period. But Monory produces a more pensive and sombre portrait of the modern world than that of his American contemporaries. Juxtaposing images from advertisements, magazines and newspapers, Monory creates cinematic, dreamlike paintings. Each is bathed in his distinctive Monorychrome filter of yellow, magenta or his signature Monorian blue.


    Monory’s unexplained and incomplete narratives suggest that the artist has no intention of uniting his viewers in a shared understanding of the paintings’ content. He creates a narrative climate, but then he stops, and it’s up to us to create our own reality from his ambiguous paintings. No singular truth or meaning to be found? Oh hey Lyotard, the postmodernist theorist who defined contemporary culture by ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’. Lyotard saw something in the paintings of Monory that chimed with his own thinking and sent a letter across the French capital to tell him so. The film’s production follows the exchange of a series of letters between the two.

     Lyotard may now have had to make new celebrity friends in Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery but Monory is still practicing artist. Space will be showing some of his film work and photography alongside the filmed conversation. (Words: Florence Ritter) 

     On until June 2nd.  For more info, visit: http://www.spacestudios.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/jean-fran-ois-lyotard-and-jacques-monory-screens


  2. New Post: Somewhere You Should Go… Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House


    Somewhere You Should Go… Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House

    With any luck, for the rest of April, we will finally have broken free of the shackles of this torrid winter and will be in the mood for innovative design in an inspiring and grand location. It’s not too much to ask, is it? Well, though we can’t guarantee the weather what we can guarantee is a pick-me-up, in the form of the, er… Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival! Yes, the great and the good of contemporary art, design and illustration are back featuring a smattering of the old guard mixed in with a healthy dollop of the best new creative minds.

    Expect Modern Toss, Nelly Duff (bringing such street art luminaries as Sweet Toof and Ben Eine) and Bristolian collective SOMA, who will be showcasing new work and hanging around for a little chat with you. That’s nice, isn’t it? You can even be the canvas yourself if you so wish. Check out Puck Collective and you can get a tattoo whacked on you by your fave illustrator. If that’s a little too hands-on, why not pop over and hang out with Day Job? Play with the toys they’ve created while watching a selection of animation. Whatever your desire, whatever your design delectation, Pick Me Up has it. And all the while you get to feel grand as it’s in the superb surrounds of Somerset House.
    The great thing about all this as well is that it’s not only the fruits of creative labours that you will have access to; it’s also witnessing the mechanics of said labours. Seeing how the best operate can only rub off and help with your own creative endeavours. Aesthetically pleasing, diverse, contemporary and inspiring… what more do you need? (Words: Ed Spencer) 

    From April 18-28th. For more info, visit: www.somersethouse.org.uk


  3. New Post: Something you should see… Gaia: Show of Hands at Nelly Duff


    Something you should see… Gaia: Show of Hands at Nelly Duff

    Gone are the days when graffiti artists acted under the cover of darkness and were the bane of every Daily Mail reader’s lives (well, perhaps that’s asking too much). Nowadays the art works are shown in the White Cube and street artists are household names. Their socially and politically astute messages aim to help re-engage communities with public spaces and that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed around London in recent years. East London is a hotbed for street art talent; the walls are lined with art and even galleries have opened their doors to this once marginalised practice.


    Take American artist Gaia, who at just 24 years old, has risen to international status for his public artwork. Named after the Greek earth goddess, Gaia’s work often aims to unite nature with the urban landscape. But the Nelly Duff gallery in E2 has decided to exhibit a specific section of his oeuvre under the title Show of Hands.

    Whatever it is that fascinates this artist with the human hand, he isn’t the first. Our hands have occupied space as representers of our connection to each other – our own personal imprints but also an outward symbol of our link: not so different from graffiti then? His hand paintings grace buildings in London, Buenos Aires, New York and Baltimore, his hometown. The works on show in the exhibition are original sketches of hands, many those of his fellow Baltimore residents. You may be able to check out his work on London street shutters on Roman and Hackney Road, as well as large-scale paste-ups. But the exhibition will be the first gallery show for the Gaia in the UK and will be a great opportunity to see this young artist’s drawing work up close. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    From April 11th – 18th.  For more info visit: www.nellyduff.com/index.php/art/shows/future


  4. New Post: What we’ve been up to.. La Forchetta, CocoBamboo and Dante Fried Chicken


    What we’ve been up to.. La Forchetta, CocoBamboo and Dante Fried Chicken

    For all our food-filled escapades, it’s rare we’d be indulging three nights in a row – but that’s exactly what happened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as we went Italian, Carribean/Brazilian and finally Soul Food American at a variety of spots in town you might just want to book:

    First stop, Friday : La Forchetta, Bethnal Green

    They’re not your typical Italian outlet and favour authenticity over bougie branding – so eating here on Friday night was a real treat. Portions are extremely generous too, considering the friendly pricing (desserts under £4 are a rarity nowadays) and the ambiance was cosy enough to make a good option for a date.



    Info: www.laforchettabethnalgreenroad.co.uk

    2nd stop, Saturday: Coco Bamboo

    It’s hard to find a quality Caribbean restaurant in London that ticks all the boxes (top service, great food, decent location), but it seems this eclectic spot up North (which fuses Caribbean and Brazilian) wants to earn that title.  As our party exceeded six people Saturday night, our only option was the party menu, which gives you the choice of 2 or 3 courses featuring crab cakes, fritters, jerk chicken,  curry goat and traditional Brazilian dishes. Service was super attentive, and the dishes were beautifully presented but were a bit comme ci, comme ca for the charge (£23.50 got 3 courses) – but definitely worth considering for a night out with friends.



    Info: www.cocobamboo.co.uk

    3rd stop, Sunday: Dante Fried Chicken at Death by Burrito

    Surprisingly, this was the first time we’ve been to DBB, but we weren’t here for the Mexican – we’d been invited to get a sneak preview of the brunch LA’s Dante Fried Chicken will be throwing this weekend, and we weren’t disappointed. Breakfast tacos, biscuits, grits-styled polenta and of course, the fried chicken were delicious – and topped off with a sweet potato pie, made this the perfect finale to a weekend of good eatin’.






    Info: www.billetto.co.uk/en/events/dfctakeover


  5. New Post: Something you should see… Ty at the Jazz Cafe, April 10th


    Something you should see… Ty at the Jazz Cafe, April 10th

    Bog standard hip hop gigs come and go, but if you are looking for something a little bit different, say an international rap artist, producer and curator who performs killer live shows? Then, we will no doubt see you at the Jazz Café on  April 10th. British Hip-Hop artist Ty is launching his new EP A Kick Snare and An Idea and we reckon it might just go off.


    Ben Chijioke, aka Ty, has been making music for 10 years. He has made three albums and collaborated with fellow musicians from Tony Allen, De La Soul and Damon Albarn to Terri Walker, Scratch Perverts, Afro Reggae and Estelle. His second album Upwards was released on Big Dada records, the label that also works with Roots Manuva and the album’s success earned Ty a Mercury Prize nomination in 2004 alongside Amy Winehouse, The Streets and Franz Ferdinand.

    Despite these years of wall-to-wall musical achievement, Ty has also found time to run workshops in schools and beyond; a practice he has continued since his involvement in the Ghetto Grammar Organisation in the mid-90s. As an artist known for his wise lyrics and engaging mix of articulate wordplay and politics, Ty has also spared some time to appear on the BBC 2’s Daily Politics Show. Need we go on…?

    So cue the Jazz Café turned Hip-Hop Haven, filled with art, culinary delights and a few undisclosed surprises to boot. This party is sure to be something else. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    For More info, visit: www.facebook.com/events/158427924314206


  6. New Post: Something you should see… Project Colony


    Something you should see… Project Colony

    Fourth Monkey appears to specialise in productions that explore the darker side of human nature, or so their Edinburgh Fringe appearances say. Past productions include A Clockwork Orange in 2010 as well as 4.48 Psychosis in 2012, a production that left it audience slavering for the next installment. And, here it is: Project Colony, a new take on  Franza Kafka’s 1914 novel.

    Originally,  In the Penal Colony was written as a short and featured only four characters: The Explorer, The Officer, The Condemned, The Soldier. The story was written from the Explorer’s point of view as he is guided around the prison site, encountering the ‘torture machine’ for the first time. Thankfully, Kafka’s work always lends itself to interpretation and easily resonates with other ages and experiences, like the Fourth Monkey’s production will no doubt do for us.


    Throwing the minimal cast list to the wind, this new production features a 52 strong group and takes place at the Trinity Buoy Wharf,  an East London, regenerated dockland oozing with atmosphere. Hamish MacDougall and James Yeatman direct the production. Their last collaboration took place at the Barbican (nice work if you can get it) on Complicite’s  The Master and Margarita. The company have earned a rep for presenting challenging theatre experiences for both the actors and audience (no hiding at the back then?). The audience will meet at a designated point and from there on in, be transported into the immersive experience. The story is taken to the 1950s and features a travelling salesmen invited to witness the execution of a prisoner.

    This highly-anticipated production will no doubt take the immersive theatre trend to the next level and shock and impress those who visit. It is also a great opportunity to visit one of docklands new creative communities, located across the water from the o2, with stunning views of the river. Plus, it’s the site of London’s only lighthouse. Life just doesn’t get much better, does it? (Words: Laura Thornley)

    On until April 27th.  For more info, visit: www.fourthmonkey.co.uk


  7. New Post: Something you should see… Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan


    Something you should see… Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan

    New exhibition Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at the Wellcome Collection brings together a host of visually stunning works in a wide range of media. Bold, blocky coloured pencil drawings hang beside tightly detailed scratchings in biro; chunky, expressive sculptures sit below elegantly abstract geometric patterns in pen. Souzou is full of works that are carefully executed, aesthetically striking and overall memorable for their originality; by conventional measures and in formal terms, the exhibition could be called a success.

    But this is not a conventional art exhibition as such. You are unlikely to have heard of any of the artists, and they haven’t thought about you as an audience. Neither are they particularly interested in – even aware of – their work’s marketability, or, in some cases, the fact that it is on display at all. All of the works brought together for the Souzou exhibition were created by adults with a range of mental disorders and illnesses, living in social welfare facilities across Honshu, Japan’s largest island.


    Souzou is a Japanese word that can be translated as either creation or imagination. Some of the works convey or communicate a particular idea or experience, others fulfil an essentially private function; in all cases there is little to no engagement with history and theory. In some ways, this exhibition represents a purer form of art-making, unshackled from a debilitating awareness of critical reception and the art market. The works are very personal to the individual’s particular outlook or perception of the world. Toshiko Yamanishi writes love letters to her mother in the form of multicoloured swirls of jagged patterns; Shota Katsube creates brilliant little action figures out of shiny bin-ties; Ryoko Koda reduces his name to one unique character and repeats it again and again in artfully arranged geometric patterns.

    Exhibitions of ‘Outsider Art’ like this one always throw into question what it is that defines the ‘Insiders’ of the (fictional) concept of a singular and cohesive Art World. The Wellcome Collection’s exhibition offers an alternative kind of self expression through the visual arts and is not to be missed. (Words: Florence Ritter) 

    Souzou: Outside Art from Japan, Wellcome Collection, runs until Sunday 30 June 2013. Click here for more info. 


  8. New Post: TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – April 2013


    TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – April 2013

    The fourth month of 2013 promises aplenty in the way of festivals, parties, exhibitions and food glorious food – so forgive us if we’re feeling a little giddy about what we’ll be getting up to this April…


    Bird’s Eye View Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, April 3-10th – This year’s BEV will be honouring the work of women in the Arab world, offering insightful docs, film shorts, Q&As, live music and a special Fashion Loves Films programme, offering a host of parties and galas.

    Art & Culture

    Gaia: A Show of Hands at Nelly Duff, April 11th – One of the most thought-provoking street artists of our time will be presenting his first UK exhibition for one week only. The New York-born, Baltimore-based artist has built an international rep for his street murals, and this show will demonstrate his continuous fascination with hands through his unique style.

    Eat & Drink


    Dante Fried Chicken at Death by Burrito April 11-14th – We happily chowed down at Mr Dante’s finger-lickin’ pop-up last year so pleased to hear he’s back on our shores, this time with a cookbook and an exhibition. He’ll also be joining forces with Death by Burrito for a guest chef residency, where he’ll be serving up an exclusive dinner menu and all day brunch on April 14th, to mark the final day of the show.



    The Doctor’s Orders Presents
The Doctor’s Orders 250 Featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Nextmen And Rich Medina At Scala, April 13th – To mark their 250th event, the Doctor’s Orders guys are going all out to bring together some of the most celebrated DJs in hip-hop – and this is one party that won’t stop until the sun comes up.

    Art & Culture

    Pick Me Up 2013: Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House, April 18-28th – Feast your eyes on an incredible array of illustrations and designs at this 11-day celebration of all things graphic. Highlights include workshops, creative forums and lively events every evening.

    Eat & Drink

    The Lab at Tobacco Docks, April 25-27th – The creators of the Taste of London fest are debuting a new experimental foodie weekend, featuring some of the most innovative chefs from around the world and masterclasses in experiencing food like never before.

    Best bits from last month


  9. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Loco Moco at The Diner


    What we’ve been up to… Loco Moco at The Diner

    I’m usually guilty of going for a traditional short stack with all the trimmings whenever I hit up The Diner (they do culinary Americana so well), but did you know they offer a famous Hawaiian brekkie/lunch called the Loco Moco?  Me neither, until a pal and I were invited to try this unusual dish that’s big in the Aloha state, and just one of the many all-day breakfast offerings you can get at The D.


    It’s quite a  full-on meal for 9am, as you get dirty rice topped with a generous burger patty (cooked to your liking), cheese, jalapeño peppers before it’s all doused in gravy, but it’s pretty darn good – and curbed the hunger pangs for a good part of the day. You’ll find Loco Moco under “The Blue Plates” on The Diner menu, but for more info about its history, visit www.whatscookingamerica.net/History/LocoMocoHistory

     Check out more of our pics from The Diner on our Tumblr


  10. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Popin’ Pete’s Pop Shop, Box Park


    Somewhere you should go… Popin’ Pete’s Pop Shop, Box Park

    If you’re from a gen’ of hip-hoppers who attempted to bust a move while watching Wild Style or Beat Street (on repeat, of course), here’s the sort of  rare homage to the good ‘ol days that should be in your diary. The Popin’ Pete Pop Shop has dropped into town courtesy of the legendary Electric Boogaloos dancer, who’ll be bringing back the old school at the Box Park through a week-long series of daily workshops, performances, DJing, Q&As, stuff for the kiddies,  live art and parties.


    Pic: BigWanPro

    It’ll be the chance to perfect your P&L’s (poppin’ and lockin’) and learn a bit of dance history before putting it all into practice at the Get Down Social Dance Party at Rich Mix with DJ Biznizz on Sunday, March 31st. Can’t wait to sign up!

    For more info, visit: www.boxpark.co.uk/popinpete

    Check out  Popin’ Pete in action: