Sunday, 14 November 2010

RCA Secret 2010

Event: RCA Secret 2010
Location: Royal College of Art

The RCA Secret Postcard event is an annual art exhibition that shows and sells postcards made by famous artists and personalities, as well as students from the Royal College of Art. It is billed as a 'secret' event because 'the postcards are displayed anonymously and are signed on the reverse, so that the artist remains a secret until after the cards are purchased and their signature is revealed on the back.'

I read that Yoko Ono contributed artwork to this event, so I decided to check it out just now ... it was fun at first, going through walls and walls of tiny artworks, but after a while, it got a bit overwhelming. Not having any labels on the postcards actually made it a lot more of a difficult task to analyse and judge what was 'good' and what was not. Museums usually help you along because you trust that someone with the right expertise curated the show and put together artworks that mean something together or would provoke and guide your thoughts towards a theme or an idea. But with this random collection of 2800 postcards, who knew which postcard was a 'great' piece of art or not?

It was kind of fun to guess which one was created by a famous person. I couldn't find a single one that screamed Yoko Ono, which made me wonder if the artists played along by not creating any of their usual signature styles. Other famous celebrities who made contributions were: Stella McCartney, Will Alsop (architect), Manolo Blahnik, Quentin Blake, Mike Leigh ... there was also an Emma Watson, but is she the famous Harry Potter-franchise figure or not?

Anyway, after a bit of guessing, it became dull since the answers won't be revealed until the following week. I then focussed on ones that I found pretty or interesting. I tended to like black/white drawings and informal doodles ...

This was familiar - was it done by a Wallace & Gromit artist? And I liked the postcard at the top - very idiosyncratic and cute. Reminded me of the Moomin cartoons.

I liked this postcard the most. Not sure why. The details. The use of space in the small confined rectangle. Reminded me of times when I would climb to the top of a cathedral tower and look down at the square below.

It is worth a visit, though I wouldn't recommend staying there for long. And if you have 45 pounds or more to spare, you can try to buy a postcard next weekend.

1 comment:

  1. If you need a little sign there to tell you it's great art... maybe it isn't great art! Ok, so art is context sensitive, and knowing what you're looking at can be important, but if it doesn't make an impression on you that's OK. Art is subjective.

    Unfortunately most people are just looking for the famous name, or the piece everyone agrees is 'great' regardless of what they actually think about it.

    I like the picture of the little girl shaking hands with the sheep, it reminds me on a children's book illustration.