Nothing polarizes our designers’ personal tastes and opinions more than this vast array of styles, genres and disciplines, whether typographical fetish, tattoo-art or childhood book illustration. However, the one thing that unites us all is the arterial vein of humour and accessibility that penetrates the whole of the exhibition.
Where ‘professional’ exhibitions invoke a reverence, purposefully or inadvertently, regarding subject matter and in physical display of media, Pick-Me-Up effortlessly bypasses these norms to submerge the visitor in the subject on their own terms.
Graphic artists occupy their own stands, frequently in the midst of practicing their own discipline between sales. However, there is no ‘Do-Not-Disturb, Artist-At-Work!’ pretension here, visitors are encouraged to participate, to get their hands dirty, and for me this is the fundamental difference that underpins its success.
This approach accomplishes two unique results; it demystifies the pragmatic process behind the art and unabashedly celebrates the ability of the artist. Demonstrating the pragmatism of mechanics allows the visitor to appreciate fully the skill of the artist and drives aesthetic appreciation and with it, the commercial worth of original art.
This paradigm shift is illustrated inherently in the attitude to camera-phone policy within the exhibition (officially or not). Where, in other establishments, gap-year security personnel would be respectfully accosting you to stow your media device, iPhoners snap happily away, unimpeded by the artists and curators. There seems to be an unstated and implicit understanding by all parties that the object itself, its aesthetic and intrinsic worth can never satisfactorily be reproduced as the artist intended. In respect of this our illustrative photos are unashamedly un-edited for quality.
This branch of the arts, in a commercial world concerned with intellectual copyright and reproduction seems refreshingly, if not curiously, at peace with itself. An industry that has evolved from a process of reproduction and dissemination of information has matured with common sense and with dignity.
- James Breaks