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Freedom One Day - Arty review

Review relating to an exhibition, 2002
Published by: Arty
Year published: 2002
Number of pages: 2

image of Freedom One Day - Arty review

The Summer 2002 edition of the art fanzine Arty contained this  review of Chris Ofili’s Freedom One Day exhibition at Victoria Miro Gallery, 25 June - 3 August 2002. The review was written by Cathy Lomax, Publisher of Arty. It appeared on pages 34 - 35 of the issue, Arty 7 “The Anarchy Issue”. The review covered both components of the exhibition, the red, black and green paintings and, on the gallery’s upper level, Ofili’s collaboration with David Adjaye, The Upper Room. Komax was unrerstrained in her praise of the exhiobitions.

She begins, “Chris Ofili takes all the clichés mashes them together and makes them great. His new show Freedom One Day at Victoria Miro’s gallery is the best thing I have seen for ages.” Lomax then proceeds to discuss the aforementioned red, black and green works. “Ofili’s paintings are unashamedly decorative, swirls and drops of colour, glitter and twinkley stars mix together to make images that parody European views of black ethnicity. The voluptuous painted black girls border on the pornographic with their false lashes, lavish hair styles and polished talon nails[.] They lounge around, carelessly eating bananas, posing as if they were models for African hair salon signs. They are surrounded by tropical vegetation, 70s afroed men and in one case cannabis leaves. The colours? Red, green and black of course - the colours of Marcus Garvey’s flag for an African nation. The style with little dots of colour owes a lot to Aboriginal paintings and then of course there is the Elephant shit…”

She continues, “This is all going on downstairs and would be enough on its own, but wow there is more.” Lomax then proceeds to discuss the Ofili/Adjaye collaboration and the paintings of the monkey-like creatures, claiming  that “This is art at its best, accessible, deep, contemplative, funny and ultimately anarchistic.”

Related people

»  Cathy Lomax

Born, 1965 in Croydon, United Kingdom

»  Chris Ofili

Born, 1968 in Manchester, UK

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Victoria Miro Gallery

London, United Kingdom