Review of Graffick Exhibition by Andy Prior at Django’s Riff, Wood Street, Liverpool.
Written by Tony Knox.
Photographed by Tony Knox.
Django’s Riff, is a new venue in Wood Street, Liverpool, exhibiting new artwork by Andy Prior. This is a small bar under the Open Eye Gallery.
The space is dark with subdued lighting and throughout the venue the brightness of Prior’s works breaks through. This contrast is suited to Prior’s work in this new solo exhibition which continues until December 2007.
Prior’s art work uses dark humour and satire used to very good effect. One of the focal points to the different pieces around the space is a triptych of three females. These females are sexually exaggerated with their lips, breast and more, stylized, but smoking. Their demeanour explicit, overt and confrontational, where beauty is embodied in the lampoon of the immoral. This is a glorification of the things that are bad for you can be the most attractive. His will no doubt stir the desire to smokers to run outside for a quick puff! The work has a quality of self confidence and an initial energy that grabs the viewer. The work is strong, colorful and provocative.
It is inspired by street culture and the influence of characterisation in Manga. Political correctness thankfully is alien concept to Prior’s work. In fact it may offend the Sunday Painters. I salute you Andy Prior!
From previous art exhibitions I have seen of Prior’s some years ago, his art has evolved significantly. Already demonstrating skill, his work has since become more polished and the subject make an impact. Other pieces in this current exhibition include ‘The Chef’. This is another strong piece with confident lines and a surreal study of two women joined by the wrists that form into a string of sausages, but the male figure, the chef, behind hold aloft a large meat cleaver. The scale of the hand with the sharp implement though is larger than the rest of the composition, bringing to the fore the emphasis of this item and in line above to the sausages. There are so many narratives that can be read to this. Menage à trios, demonic attributes, the living dead, as the characters have white eyes and the palette of their flesh macabre. His work works on so many layers and subtexts. Chris Boyd, who accompanied me on the viewing of Prior work, commented ‘it is a bit razzle dazzle, eye candy’ and both of us approved.
Past work of Prior’s ranges from installations to Graffiti Art, which have include commissions, such as the World Super Bikes, painting backdrops. He was part of the Bart (Art in Bars Programme) during the Independents Liverpool Biennial 2004. This involved being artist in residence to Piccolino’s in Liverpool were during his stay he transformed a Franco cappuccino machine in his unique graphic pop and fine art style, which was auctioned. He has been involved in the designs of a fashion line too. Prior is a bit of an entrepreneur!
For more information on the art of Prior go to: