Home to a branch of the White Cube, Bermondsey is also seeing other galleries growing up away from the main Bermondsey Street stretch. One of these galleries is Drawing Room, a public not for profit art gallery dedicated to international contemporary drawing and their current exhibition is well worth a visit.
The exhibition shows 30 cartoon style drawings by the Mexican artist Daniel Guzman. Some are funny, some grotesque and all just a bit weird, which is probably why I liked them very much. The drawings are often simplistic, but the female figures show the artist’s skill while the subject matter feels like he is emptying his brain’s random thoughts onto paper. It reminded me of outsider art, such as Daniel Johnston, the American musician and artist and it was interesting to read that much of Guzman’s work is inspired by music and references lyrics and song titles.
In this particular exhibition Guzman’s work is inspired by culture, myths and history from Mexico including powerful female goddesses. In these drawings eyes, claws, limbs and breasts become disjointed or separated from the body creating monster like images. It takes some time to try and work out what is happening in each image and often it is not possible at all. The work reminded me of the type of mind explosion that Tracey Emin would strive for, in deed both their female nude sketches are very similar, but having not seen Guzman’s work before it felt a lot more vibrant and interesting.
Ultimately the drawings are interesting to look at, but won’t necessarily take you hours to look round (unless you get REALLY into them) and you’re unlikely to be surrounded by hoards of other people (unless you take them with you), making it a very nice experience.
Drawing Room, Tannery Arts, 12 Rich Estate, Crimscott Street, London SE1 5TE
Until 21 February 2015