Norbert Bisky ‘Anomie’ Exhibition Launch // König Gallery London
I got a text from my buddy, Aidan. ‘Hey I’m in London on Friday night, playing with Sam Vance Law at the opening of the Norbert Bisky Exhibition, want to come?’. Of course I do!
I arrived at the König Gallery in Marylebone where the party was in full swing. Launch attendees had spilled out onto the street, inside I could see why. The room was jammed, the band were playing. At the front, close to the band, people were dancing. That also included the artist, Norbert Bisky. Those wanting a chat were further back.
The first thing that I noticed was the space, a basement setting like this in central London is a haven, something really special. The vibrant mis-painted red walls against the concrete brought my eyes to the art.
I was extremely curious to find out why Sam Vance-Law and his band, who had come all the way from Berlin, were playing at an event like this. It turns out that Mr Bisky’s art was used for the cover of Sam’s album, Homotopia. Sam’s music is refreshingly open and honest. The first track on his album refers to asking a boy to dance at a school disco, he’s not afraid to write about his sexuality. The theme of the music, blended beautifully with the theme of the art.
It turns out that this is Norbert Bisky’s first UK solo exhibition. The word ‘anomie’ means the lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group. In a piece taken from the Köning website: “how inclusive a society is towards members of the LGBTQI+ community is still highly indicative of the degree to which humanist values are accepted in a society and to which members of this society are able to live autonomous lives.”
As the band ended and crowds left, I wait for my friend and getting a closer look at each painting.
The red walls are deliberate. The canvas on the walls, on closer inspection, reveal layers and collages. The bright pastel colours, different parts of the male form and one piece where three makes share a kiss, make me recall Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s reworking of Coleridge’s poem ‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasuredome erect’.
This was the first time I had seen Norbert Bisky’s paintings and I adored his work. I also loved how some of the pieces were completed mere weeks before this exhibition began. Making it very relevant and very now.