Strolling through the back streets of Hoxton trying to find Hoxton Arches Gallery, home to the Joan Cornella
exhibition. I decided to invite my God brother Param, he has recently moved to London and I was eager to show him around and introduce him to some cool art. However, it didn't go down as I had planned.
Upon arriving at the arches we are confronted with a giant poster of one of Joan's signature characters, the tongue-in-cheek expression drawn in its simplest form put a huge smile on my face. It was a great welcome! Joan Cornella's work has been growing on me over the past couple of years, his dark sense of humour proved to be a match for my own. To be fair, I thought I was dark until I discovered Joan! Turns out I'm more PG than I realised.
Once inside I was in my element, I couldn't help but laugh as I came face-to-face with certain pieces however, once the laugh came out I often found myself looking around the gallery...did anyone else laugh? Is anyone laughing? Shit! Should I be laughing out loud to this..?
For me Joan is an artist who has become an important reference to today's world. He uses his characters to make us see and understand the bleak, dark side of human nature. Knowing that society has fallen into a horrid narcissistic pit, filled with backward political polices, Joan does more than make us aware of the changes we are going through, he gets us to stop dead in our tracks and question what is in-front of us. Joan encourages the viewer to indulge in a conversation we are sometimes to scared or unsure to have.
As Param and I walked around we discussed the various images on display, there meaning, our interpretation, it was great...and then we left. We had been at the gallery for close to 2 hours, walking around, taking everything in. As we made our way back to Shoreditch Param turned to me, he told me he felt a little traumatised. I understood, the art is dark, its meaning even darker. He told me that there were a few images that are going to be stuck with him for weeks. Initially I felt a little bad but that soon passed when I gave him a big slap on the back and welcomed him to adulthood!
His work is on display till October 1st - Hoxton Arches Gallery