As soon as I arrived at the Royal Academy of Arts, three nice black stoned Barry Flanagan’s rabbits welcomed me in the courtyard. It was like being Alice in Wonderland and I hoped that many wonder-pieces were waiting for me.
The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission of contemporary art. There are more than 1,200 works of both emerging and established artists in all media.
I walked into this 242nd exhibition, room by room, passing by many works.
I was not really interested in anything in particular, however, while sitting on a bench at room number 8 I heard a nice young mum saying to her two blond, blue eyed, children: “Come here sweeties, let’s see this nice work.”
She was pointing at The 40th Wedding Anniversary – La Plonge Nuptiale (oil on mdf and gold leaf), by Anthony Green. Like the two innocent sweeties, I followed the mother’s forefinger. It was a work painted on wood. At the top of it there was a man who had a tridimensional, rigid and brass penis. Gosh! I wanted to shut their eyes with my hands, but ended up shutting mine.
Moving quickly from there, I went to room number 10. “Very contemporary artworks,” I casually listened to an elegant lady talking to her friend, both seemed to be able to recognize a masterpiece when they saw it. Relaxed by the news, I approached one of the screens in the middle of the room.
Dog, by Anneke Cotrotsos, 10 editions, £320 each. I like dogs, I thought. I sat and the movie started: two minutes. Wow! I like dogs but not as much as she does. I spent two minutes liking her dog video.
The following one was Raw Thoughts, by Izak Hoffman. I watched a man with a white stocking on his head, with artificial fixed eyes, red mouth and a brown curly wig staring at me. I could only see half of him, the top part. Anxiety was looking out on me.
Suddenly, he began to wave an electric saw in his right hand. Anxiety was growing in me.
Then, his right hand started to move slowly down towards… not sure what, but my anxiety was too high then: I stood up and shouted.
The two sweeties were looking at me, laughing out loud. Also their mother was staring at me suspiciously. While the two experts looked at me in disgust.
I felt uncomfortable. Trying to find a nice and friendly face, I eye contacted the Barbie girl in a picture on the left. It was Undress Hatstand, by Allen Jones (black and white silver print photograph on paper mounted on aluminum), 8 editions, £9,400 each. Naked, with two big and audacious tits in evidence and a black whip in her hands, Barbie was waiting for me.
I run quickly out of Wonderland. Alice and all of her friends did not suit me.