In the middle of London’s kings’ cross lies Britannia street based Gagaosian gallery only minutes’ walk from the world-famous Central Saint Martin’s so the art aura is thick as fog in the London air. Sterling Ruby produced his first dedicated show in London ever although he has works shown at the Victoria and Albert museum from back when Raf Simons used some of his spray paint pieces in his dresses.
Words by @ligerprince
The show is in the largest of London gagosian spaces and was well needed as the works engulf the viewer, a tractor beam to the mind to the urge of the admirer.
The show entitled ACTS + TABLE contains 4 works from ACTS and one from TABLES. ACTS “absolute contempt for total serenity” is prisms of time and emotions held deep in dyed urethane blocks expressing his brutalist approach to a gentle desire, further pushing his idea of corrupting masculinity as a social construct set back in time.
The high white walls with the majority white staff and the essence of white wine are nothing new for blue chip galleries and Ruby’s work hacks this ideology in half with these pieces engulfing a sense of destruction of creation of something after the chaos due in time.
The second room contains one of his large cast iron pieces where he has entitled it TABLE (DOUBLE LAST SUPPER) once again pulling down the statues of past ideology to the modern-day constructs that we all so desire.
Ruby himself is as politically aware as he is visually hunting for further greatness and further creation. Within these two rooms we are fully engulfed by only 5 works. We walk closer, we close our eyes to imagine something more something less however we choose to construct our ways. These works from 2015 to 2019 of ACTS have not lost their edge of appeal even though they span from years apart and still have the desire to induce not just the intellectual but also the intellectual to his practice as one of the world’s most formidable artists.
There’s no better way to describe Natalie Moses’ latest single than with its own title, “Windy Vanity,” other than maybe “rainy mania.” With haunting vocals over a trap beat, the Queens native perfectly encapsulates a feeling we all know too well: being crazy stuck on someone and the inability to shake it.
As she dancings around, trapped in a high rise loft with floor length windows looking out to grey and rain, the accompanying music video gives modern rapunzel vibes. Except instead of being trapped by her fat king husband, she’s trapped in her mind. In this case as the lyrics, “Call me, I want you to calm me,” convey, it’s a very specific kind of mind spiral. The kind where you’re stuck in cycles of obsession and unrequited love.
“One can become so engulfed by desire and heartache, that it consumes everything and sweeps you like a strong, uncontrollable wind. It can go so far as to enclose you in isolation, make you bedridden, and bring you to renounce your world, all in devotion of the dream that will never manifest,” writes Moses.
A far more grounded aspect of the single? A portion of proceeds raised by the bandcamp release are being donated by Moses to two community orgs. The first is the Herbal Mutual Aid Fund, founded by Yves and Good, which provides free herbal care to Black folks. The second is founded by Natalie Moses herself. Court Square Justice, is an initiative started to organize the Queens community in the fight for Black lives.