Sunday, 26 September 2010

Still Reigning, Still Dreaming. My VIP pass to Fin DAC's Hendrix exhibition

Beautiful Crime sure know how to host an event. The creative agency (specialising in urban art and culture) hosted the pre-release party for Fin DAC’s highly anticipated collection of hand-finished screen prints at the uber-funky Red Bull Studios last Thursday. Still Reigning, Still Dreaming celebrates musical legend Jimi Hendrix, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his death.
A smattering of paparazzi lingered outside as the event drew an interesting crowd. I shyly shimmied past Gemma Arteton and her super-gorgeous pals (and puppies), was nearly bowled over by an aggressive Goldie, and was surrounded by those who just generally ooze coolness. Lots of strong eye-brows, awesome afros, sick trainer and suit combos etc. As I finally got a place at the bar, I was accosted by a hairy man who insisted the barman make me one of his ‘deadly specials’ after he’d overheard my pathetic order of one beer and a cranberry juice. Wrapped up in counting my pennies from my purse, I realised that there were no tills and it was in fact a free bar and I understood why people before me had carried off two trays full of shots. Having turned an appropriate shade of pink, I slunk off into the not-too-dark to observe Fin’s work, handing my plus one the hideously rum-tastic freebie and squeezed past those with tattoos and caps and skateboards strapped to their backs.
The artist classifies himself as ‘Sub-Urban’, claiming to be a kind of hybrid someplace between street-art and beyond. He uses an unusual ‘spitting style’ technique to explore the creative possibilities of painting with aerosols. It was a real privilege to see such interesting work up-close as it hung on the studio walls. The detail and layering is stunning and provides such depth that is often missing from two-dimensional street-art and graffiti. From a distance, the image of Hendrix is truly striking but the real beauty of the artist’s work is in delicate precision and careful use of stencils to create patterns and shimmers and luminance through metallic paints and a spectrum of colours.
DAC completed the final piece of the collection on the night, which was quite pongy but nobody seemed to mind. Crowds gathered round to watch the artist at work and although the zillion camera flashes probably didn’t provide a perfect working environment, the artist was engrossed. The four special edition artworks, completed on wood, copper, metal and canvas, were up for sale and priced at the hunky sum of £1,970 each – relating to the year that Hendrix died.

Meanwhile, there were DJs and live music from the talented Lewis Floyd Henry, who played one hell of a guitar and a half-size drum kit to perform as his one-man band. There was an electric atmosphere, and the Red Bull Studios were the perfect setting for such an exhibition that combined contemporary class with an urban edge.
At the end of the night, all guests received a goody bag which included more fantabulous freebies from the event sponsors – I was extremely happy to find a hefty can of Tigi dry shampoo, a mini bottle of Uluvka vodka, a Red Bull shot of caffeinated goodness and The Red Bulletin - a very cool little monthly magazine which combines extreme sports, photography and culture.
What a treat!
You can see Fin DAC’s personal photo stream here:

[Originally written for Pop Weasels:]
All photographs KB©


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