Dan Gold – HEAD at the Sanctum Soho Hotel
The Sanctum Soho Hotel is glitzy and glamorous. Dan Gold is a big name in the tattooist scene across the world, and deservedly so – so it’s a shame that this one-night show, curated by the Monsters of Art Studio and Gallery, constituted more publicity event than exhibition.
It was nice to see an exhibition do something more modern and innovative than nail pictures to the walls in a series of silent rooms, if only the content was actually trying to innovate. HEAD was exactly what it said on the tin: heads – more accurately, skulls. Perhaps one should not have expected otherwise, but whatever the case, the show clearly had only one thing in mind. There were pictures of skulls and models of skulls, and more pictures of skulls. Along one wall there were pink, green and red neon glowing crosses overlaying images of skulls. It all called to mind legendary pop artist Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe series in the 60s, but the link was shallow and facile. There was more to see than was immediately clear amid the crowds of star-struck people, but still everything on display was the same.
Dan Gold performed a live demonstration in the centre of the room at one point and that was interesting – in fact it was the highlight of the show, because aside from the many prints of skulls, there wasn’t much else to see. This was disappointing because he clearly has a lot to show – his Flickr account has a wealth of talent on display. By contrast, HEAD had very little. Arguably the entire thing could have been infinitely more interesting if there had been more varied content. He has obviously got the skill up his sleeves (excuse the pun). Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all this, Box of Grey launched a new brand of chocolate body paint.
HEAD was a publicity event – an art exhibition with the art in the background and the chocolate body paint, celebrity status and glamorous location driving the show. It was fun, but you’d be better off going to any other exhibition where the drinks are less extortionate and the content isn’t selling only by virtue of the nametag attached to it.