1. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Stylist Book Club presents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


    What we’ve been up to… Stylist Book Club presents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    When life gives you the opportunity to connect with one of the most remarkable writers of our time, you don’t waiver. Which is probably why just over a month ago, tickets for this exclusive event with the award-winning Chimamanda Adichie sold out within hours (while around 500 people tried their luck with the waiting list, according to organisers). Those fortunate enough to snag a ticket were sent a copy of her latest novel Americanah to read ahead of the glamorous evening at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel on 29th May.

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    Adichie’s third novel  - which won the US National Book Critics Circle award earlier this year -  uses love to masterfully explores race, immigration and identity  and it’s just as beautiful and charming as its author. When the 36-year-old appeared on the stage with Stylist publishing director Glenda Marchant,we cheered, instagrammed and tweeted our delight. She read a short excerpt from the book and was interviewed by Marchant, before the audience got the chance to ask questions about everything from her writing process to her thoughts on Beyoncé, who sampled the author for her single Flawless. But many people simply wanted to thank Adichie, particularly one man who shared how the book helped him understand how to become a better father to his daughter.

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    The night was capped with Adichie signing books and taking pictures with her fans, proving that with all the right elements (stunning venue, wine, canapés) book clubs can be pretty fabulous: but landing a phenomenal author doesn’t hurt either, so well done Stylist!

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    Below are some of my favourite quotes from Adichie on the night:

    On writing Americanah
    “I know I wanted a love story. But I’m also suspicious of excessive happiness”

    On the book’s lead character
    “People have said they didn’t like Ifemelu. But what does it mean to be likeable? And how much does that deny you of who you are?”

    On the representation of women in the novel
    “Strong women are not remarkable to me – they’re normal”

    On exploring mental health in the book and admitting to suffer from depression 
    “(Depression) is something (Africans) don’t have the language to talk about”

    On Barack Obama
    “There’s a thoughtfulness to him. There’s a liberal backlash I find it difficult to understand and I find it unfair. I find that anger has to do with a certain liberal entitlement”

    On Beyoncé sampling Chimamanda’s Tedx Talk for her single Flawless
    “Feminism is a party that isn’t exclusive. People should be allowed to define it for themselves”

    Advice for aspiring writers
    “Read, read, read. I’m not sure one can be a good writer without being a good reader. Read books you don’t like, at least one chapter. If you’re going to build a desk, it’s good to see what other carpenters have done”

    “Tell your truth. We live in a world now that’s forcing you to conform”


  2. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam


    What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam

    Last night TCé was invited to the press launch of Dub Jam – a jerk BBQ and rum shack in Covent Garden that’s one of the most creative food spots we’ve seen in that part of town for a while.  The obvious risk is that lovers of West Indian food might be tempted to weigh up DJ against the more established restaurants in the capital (i.e Cottons)  - but the good news is,  this novelty bar doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a casual drop-in with good tunes (provided by the legendary Trojan Records), decent grub (the jerk skewers here are tame at best, but the plantain chips, sweet potato fries and beach beef burger we tried were delish), nice prices, loud and proud interiors and an incredible signature rum punch which was so good we had it twice.  We imagine it’ll be a hit in the summer as the obvious vibe here is “reggae in the sunshine” so pass through when it opens on Saturday if you’re curious – we’ll be back for more rum!  Check out our pics from last night below, but for more info visit: www.dubjam.co.uk










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


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

    October, October, October – the month where we’re not only reminded of how close we are to the end of the year, but which also offers the last of the worthy happenings around town before everything starts to take a certain red and green tinge (with a whiff mixed spice). So here’s your chance to join forces with fellow bike enthusiasts, catch a flick at the LFF or salute Nelson Mandela, amongst other top things we’ve picked out. Enjoy!


    London Bicycle Film Festival at Barbican, October 3-6th – It’s officially a decade since the Bicycle Film Festival was created to celebrate urban cycling around the world, so this year’s events are quite the milestone. The London leg kicks off with a party at Hackney Downs Studio followed by a symposium and a selection of  insightful short film screenings at the Barbican – all worth checking out, especially if you’re a lover of bike culture.

    Arts & Culture

    Mandela and De Klerk 2011 by Richard Chauke

    We Love Mandela: Art Inspired by Madiba exhibition, October 3rd – 16th – The touring exhibition of paintings, photographs, sculptures and  artefacts were created to celebrate the milestone birthdays of the South African leader and comes to London following a stint at Johannesburg’s Peacemakers museum.  It makes a brief visit, so catch it if you can.

    Arts & Culture 

    BFI London Film Festival, October 9-20th  - After a run-of-the-mill summer movie season, autumn really needs to start with a bang. Thankfully, the 57th BFI London Film Festival is more than up to the task. The LFF has assembled its strongest line-up in years and  there is something for every film lover in this twelve days celebration of the magic of cinema.


    Bilal at Islington Assembly Hall, October 24th – This Philly soul singer has collaborated with some of the best in the biz (Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, Robert Glasper), but has always put on a heck of a show when rolling solo.  We’re looking forward to seeing him in action when he hits North London at the end of the month.

    Eat & Drink

    PipsDish, 15 Exeter Street Covent Garden - The Islington pop-up makes a permanent home on Exeter Street in Covent Garden this month,  promising to bring something new to the table. They’ll be serving brekkie for starters, and will continue their “no-menu” tradition of offering a variety of seasonal dishes made with quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

    Best bits from last month

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  4. New Post: Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery


    Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery

    Artist Claire Aho began her career as a photographer during a time when men dominated the industry. A cultural icon in her native Finland, British audiences now have the chance to see the images that made Aho’s name at London’s Photographers’ Gallery. The exhibition concentrates on Aho’s career from 1950 to 1970 – a period where her use of colour and inventive style made her a leading name in the world of advertising, editorial and fashion photography. Studio Works is the first solo exhibition of Aho’s work in the UK and will include the original Finnish lifestyle magazines featuring Aho’s cover pictures, as well as images from her archive.


    Considered a pioneer of Finnish colour photography, Aho started her career in film before establishing her own commercial studio in the 1950s. Aho’s photographs from this era depicted domestic life around Finland and many of these images will be on view. Aho’s pictures are saturated with colour and contrasting palettes usually appear side by side. It was the quality of Aho’s colour photography that created a commercial demand for her services across a range of industries. If colour is thematic in the work of Aho, so is humour and audiences will definitely get a sense of that at the show. Photographs such as Compressor Refrigerator, which depicts a children’s tea party wouldn’t feel out of place in a current ad run for Ikea. The fun and playful quality that underscores much of Aho’s images at the show should connect with audiences.


    Claire Aho says she never saw her work as pioneering during the 1950s, she ‘just worked hard’. But you need only watch the travails of Peggy Olson from the fictional show Mad Men to realise just how hard that must have been. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Claire Aho: Studio Works is on at The Photographers’ Gallery, from 19 April -21 July. For more info, visit www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk


  5. 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: 


  6. New Post: Something you should see… George Bellows: Modern American Life at the Royal Academy


    Something you should see… George Bellows: Modern American Life at the Royal Academy

    When George Bellows died at the age of 42 from a ruptured appendix, he was acclaimed as one of America’s greatest realist artists. Now British audiences have the chance to see what all the fuss was about this month at the Royal Academy. The exhibition, which is the first UK retrospective of his career, explores the principal themes in Bellows’ work and includes both drawings and paintings, as well as lithographs.


    New York’s urban landscape – its people and places provided the setting for Bellows unflinching portrayal of early 20th century America. From the lawless violence of the boxing ring to gritty scenes of tenement life, to cityscapes and social scenes – he painted them all. Visitors to the Royal Academy can view life in New York and its diversity of inhabitants, as it emerged into the 20th century – from the 71 works on show. Bellows is best known for his boxing paintings and the exhibition includes his most famous work Stag at Sharkey’s (1909). The painting depicts a brutal underground bout at one of New York’s ‘private’ clubs on Broadway. The frenzied energy and raw aggression captured by Bellows in his early fight scenes helped to establish his reputation as a ‘formidable’ painter in New York art circles.


    Thought of as the ‘all-American painter’, the variety of subject matter suggest Bellows was a more complex artist who was attuned to the social and political issues of the day. Lithographs Bellows produced for leftwing publications and paintings showing German atrocities during the First World War – both included in the show, attest to the social conscience for which he is known. Those looking for some light relief from the depressing studies of daily city life should seek out Bellows’ scenic paintings of Manhattan under snow and portraits of summer fetes in Central Park.

    George Bellows left an extensive body of work for what was a short career, so here’s a great opportunity to see some of those works and find out why this American painter was so highly praised. (Words: Eri Otite)

    George Bellows (1882-1925): Modern American Life is on at the Royal Academy from 16 March – 9 June. For more info, visit www.royalacademy.org.uk


  7. New Post: Something you should see… Yinka Shonibare: POP! at the Stephen Friedman Gallery


    Something you should see… Yinka Shonibare: POP! at the Stephen Friedman Gallery

    Yinka Shonibare is having a bit of a moment. Fresh on the heels of a major retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Stephen Friedman Gallery is hosting a show of new works by the British-Nigerian artist. Inspired by the financial crisis, the exhibition explores the subjects of corruption, excess and debauchery. With his characteristic humour, Shonibare critiques society’s obsession with luxury goods and the behaviour of the banking industry.

    Shonibare’s lavish re-working of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper,  described as his ‘largest and most complex sculptural tableaux’,  is one of the main pieces of the exhibition. In Shonibare’s fantasy, Christ is replaced by Dionysus – the mythological God of fertility and wine – surrounded by twelve over-indulged disciples in various states of sexual abandonment. The celebration of mindless excess continues in Banker (2013), which depicts a sharply dressed mannequin simulating a lewd act with a champagne bottle.


    Headless figures and the use of Dutch waxed fabric are common motifs in Shonibare’s work. Throughout the exhibition, the colorful Batik print is used in the tailored costumes of the figures and the cloth also appears in the installationToy Paintings. Manufactured by the Dutch, and initially for sale in Indonesia, it was only after the textile failed to take-off that it eventually made its way to West Africa. A signature of his practice for nearly two decades, Shonibare’s use of ‘African’ material  - that is actually European in origin – plays on its rather complex colonial history. The beheaded figures are an attempt by Shonibare to discourage associations with race on the part of the viewer.

    Large-scale self-portraits based on Andy Warhol’s Camouflage series of 1986, which represent new lines of enquiry for Shonibare, also deserve a mention amidst all the decadence and depravity on show. Yinka Shonibare is of course the man behind the widely acclaimed Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, commissioned for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square – and now on permanent display at the National Maritime Museum. Shonibare’s new work should resonate with audiences, losing none of its theatre, colour and style  in its witty and damning take on contemporary life. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Yinka Shonibare: POP! is on at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, from 16 March – 20 April. For more info, visit www.stephenfriedman.com


  8. New Post: Something you should see… Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House


    Something you should see… Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House

    Most successful artists have a breakthrough moment in their career, when they make that leap from relative anonymity to being well-known. Pablo Picasso was no different. Becoming Picasso at the Courtauld Gallery focuses on the story of the young Spanish upstart’s breakthrough year in Paris in 1901, in which he took the French capital by storm. This exhibition brings together major paintings from his debut summer show at a gallery on rue Lafitte and explores his development as an artist during that seminal year.

    In the work produced for his Paris show, Picasso reconceived the styles and subjects of other modern painters, including Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh, to wide acclaim. This synthesis of styles can be appreciated in works such as Dwarf-Dancer and At the Moulin Rouge, both on display. Despite the success of his first solo show, in the latter part of 1901, Picasso’s artistic development took a new turn.

    3. Picasso Child with a Dove

    The iconic Child with a Dove appears as a transitional work at the Courtauld show, signaling the radical change in Picasso’s style. The painting, which expresses the fragility of childhood innocence, heralded the beginning of Picasso’s Blue period. Previous works of bright café scenes painted in brilliant colours gave way to works characterised by a monochromatic use of blue and blue-green tones. The themes during Picasso’s Blue period also became much darker and were partly influenced by the suicide of his best friend, Carlos Casagemas. Visitors to the Courtauld can view a death portrait of Casagemas and the funeral scene Evocation (The Burial of Casagemas) – in which the artist depicts the ascension of his friend’s soul. Much has been said about the barely dressed women in this painting, so I’ll leave you to your own interpretations. It’s worth pointing out that Child with a Dove could be lost to the UK, if attempts to keep it in the country fail. The painting was sold to a foreign buyer last year, so another good reason to get over to Somerset House to see it!

    Becoming Picasso is an opportunity to experience artworks that are now considered to be the earliest masterpieces from a giant of the 20th century. With capacity limited at the Courtauld, queuing may well be the order of the day – but this is a show worth standing in line for. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 is on at The Courtauld Gallery until May 26. For more info, visit www.courtauld.ac.uk


  9. New Post: Something you should see… Man Ray Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery


    Something you should see… Man Ray Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

    The great, the good and the beautiful are all on display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of a major exhibition on the photographer Man Ray. Best known for his avant-garde images, the American artist also took portraits throughout his career and it’s these photographs that are the subject of the show. The images, which were taken between 1916 and 1968 journey through Ray’s early days in New York, his spell in Paris during the twenties and thirties, the decade spent in Hollywood and his late years in Paris until his death.


    Artists and writers captured by the photographer include Picasso, Salvador Dali, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Marcel Duchamp. Also featured in the exhibition are fashion icon Coco Chanel and film siren Catherine Deneuve. With more than 150 vintage prints on view, these photographs really are a list of who’s who. However, there is more to this exhibition than just famous faces. Alongside these pictures of Man Ray’s contemporaries and cultural figures are the more personal portraits of friends and lovers. Included in the exhibition is one of his most famous images of lover Kiki de Montparnasse. In Le Violon d’Ingres (1924), the French cabaret performer and actress sits with her naked decorated back to the camera. The US model-turned photographer Lee Miller also makes an appearance in several prints. Miller was not only in a relationship with him, she also collaborated with him professionally.

    For an artist for whom photography was never his principal artistic medium, Man Ray certainly made innovate strides with this form. He was instrumental in developing a type of photogram or what he called ‘Rayographs’ which were made by putting the image directly onto the photographic paper and is also credited along with muse Miller for inventing the process of solarisation. The use of solarisation can be seen in the portraits of Miller and of the French singer and actress Suzy Solidor. Rare examples of Man Ray’s early experiments with colour photography are also on show,

    There are probably very few people who haven’t heard of the name Man Ray or seen any of his images, but as a comprehensive survey of his photographic career this exhibition is definitely worth a visit. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Man Ray Portraits is on at the National Portrait Gallery until May 27th. For more info, visit www.npg.org.uk


  10. New Post: Something you should see… Carl Andre: Mass & Matter at the Turner Contemporary


    Something you should see… Carl Andre: Mass & Matter at the Turner Contemporary

    Before Tracey and her unmade bed, there was Carl and his pile of bricks. The artist behind the notorious 1970s sculpture of ordinary bricks stacked on a gallery floor, otherwise known as Equivalent VIII, is the subject of a new exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Kent. Mass and Matter is Carl Andre’s first major show in Britain for over 10 years and features sculptures made between 1967 and 1983, as well as poems from the same period.

    A leading member of the 1960s Minimalist movement, Carl is famous for his sculptures of raw building materials arranged in linear or geometric patterns directly on the floor. Several examples of Andre’s floor sculptures are on show, including Weathering Piece (1970) – a giant chessboard formed from weather-beaten and oxidized metal plates. Many of the floor pieces were also conceived by Andre to be experienced by the spectator, as well as looked at – so, visitors to the Turner can walk across the metal sheets that make up 4 x 25 Altstadt Rectangle (1967). Andre has experimented with brick configurations throughout his career and a number of these works are on view. The piece 60 x 1 Range Work (1983) which has been described, as resembling ‘an enormous Toblerone’, is one of his more recent. Alas, the ‘controversial’ Equivalent VIII is not being exhibited which is a shame, as it would’ve been nice to see what all that fuss was about!

    The re-ordered individual words and phrases that characterise the poetry at the show reference Andre’s approach to constructing his sculptural forms. Words in Andre’s poems (just like a wood block or a brick) are used as solitary units to be repeated, stacked or boxed. For the generation of artists who followed, Carl Andre redefined the nature of sculpture – it could consist of ordinary materials, didn’t have to be carved and could be set straight on the floor. Even though, he’s mostly known in Britain for the stir he caused back in the seventies, there is more to Carl Andre and his pile of bricks – and it’s worth leaving the capital to see. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Carl Andre: Mass & Matter is on at the Turner Contemporary until May 6th. For more info, visit www.turnercontemporary.org