Jonny Akers is a screen printer by trade and I’ve known him since we met in Leeds a few years back. I’ve witnessed him at work in his print studio and know his attention to detail is impeccable, so I knew this exhibition would have that same high standard that he achieves in his printing. Once he listed some of the amazing artists involved and mentioned that all the work was inspired by MF DOOM, I was in.
The theme of the show was perfect for me. I had already produced a series of hand lettering based on MF DOOM lyrics with my MF DOOM Typog-RAP-hy series. I usually like to produce new work for shows, but in the build up to this exhibition I had a small skateboarding accident that took my drawing arm out of action. I decided to re-colour two of the original pieces from my MF DOOM Typog-RAP-hy series and produce one off art prints, especially for the show.
On Friday 5th May 2017 after some last minute plinth painting, a little curating and some super quick hanging of the work, the exhibition was open to the public. It didn’t take long for the space to fill up and before long the the gallery was full of people taking in the work. I always find it’s a good sign if you turn up to an exhibition and it’s too busy to be able to stand in front of the work.
Steve Gumm of Two’s Company Studios was the DJ for the night and provided a real nice Hip-Hop soundtrack, which really strengthened the viewing of the work. When I wasn’t standing at the bar trying to win a limited edition t-shirt on hand-made MF DOOM scratch cards, I was cruising around chatting with people and meeting some of the other artists showing work.
The air was filled with discussions about which pieces were peoples favourites and why. Asking people what they think about the work is what I love about opening nights and they’re usually honest because the booze is flowing.
I also like to share my own opinions, so here’s some of my favourite pieces in the show…
I’ve always had a huge fascination with bootleg toys and Trap Toys create amazing Hip-Hop inspired custom action figures, that just make you want to own them. This MF DUFF piece is no exception and when I heard that they had produced 130 and hand-painted each one individually, I was blown away.
RichT & 45RPM
I’m a sucker for detail and RichT’s illustrative comic book influenced ink work is full of it! You can spend an age exploring the various intricacies within his line work and this piece didn’t disappoint. I’m a big fan of 45RPM’s strong simple graphic cartoon style too.
As soon as we hung the work I was strangely drawn to the amazing spaced out laser beam Alleykats piece. It’s not the kind of work I’m typically drawn to but after some deliberation I figured out that the colour scheme along with the overall feel that the print was giving me was a winning combination.
Last but certainly not least, the Eko piece. An exciting moment for me was accidentally meeting Eko the day before the show whilst he was dropping off the original artwork he produced for MF DOOM’s limited edition Danger DOOM album. He’s worked on multiple MF DOOM album covers in the past, so I had a great opportunity to geek out a little and ask him some design questions about some of my favourite albums. To have my work alongside the original artwork of one of my favourite MF DOOM albums feels pretty amazing.
This brilliant collection of work from a selection of seriously talented artists will be on display until mid June 2017. So if like me you have a love for illustration, or you’re a big MF DOOM fan, head down to Two’s Company Studios and check it out. There will also be a closing wrap party on Saturday 10th June 2017 from 10am to 11pm.
Thanks to everyone involved and to all those visiting the exhibition and showing their support.
Trap Toys, 45RPM, Tony Riff, RichT, Philth, Cheba, Aero, Greg (Alleykats), Eject, Nathan Evans, J.A.P.P, Idle1, Lukas Wigflex, Electric Mustard.