Popping Around Post Pop Art


I thought I’d try something different and write down what comes to mind on walking around an exhibition, with an incy bit of rhyming. The Saatchi Gallery’s Post Pop: East Meets West was my first target…

Whiteread’s book case is black, not white

a flying sink wacked on the wall 

and a perspex box makes small 

my hero Basquiat’s paint on a door

I’m not sure this is what he saw. 

A giant black lock from Moscow hangs 

clinks with hostility 

chastising fertility 

and the pussies that riot. 

Dirty rags tickle 

labelled ‘maps of nickel’

an armchair explodes from the ceiling, 

Its origin – a car boot sale in West Ealing?

It foams from the core, 

A hoover threatens to eat its particles; spilt on the floor

Kitchen utensils shoved in the corner, 

I think there’s something I’m not getting? 

Am I cooking dinner? I keep forgetting… 

An unfinished installation, 

Oh! Then up to the imagination?

If you just saw a lethargic pen and paper,

could it be archived? 

could we call it literature?

based on what might have happened 

When they met?

As the copy does read, you want us to plead 

Where, oh where did the artists go? 

Please can they return and make this work 

No picture, but I picture them  – glee in their smirk 

Next is the Chapel

stained glass beauty pokes out of corrugated iron, 

and twigs fly from the top 

repressed by institution 

no plant can photosynthesise in this silver structure 

My mind drifts to my heart’s latest rupture

Some irrelevant canvases lead me to gallery three, 

where a hideously colourful bucket is named ‘pricks’ 

on another white wall is fixed,

Hume – Gary not David, 

some ‘doors’ in colours faded 

I thought I liked him,

forehead wrinkles to a frown

Whiteread’s back with a sculptural light switch, 

I thought it real, till I read accompanying pitch

A room filled with arcade machines 

Am I in Trocadero? 

But alas, no hot dogs. 

Oh yeah I’m in Sloane Square 

trying to look at art. 

I’m that girl.

A piece about selling souls, I see

and at once feel more at ease

Jovially a coca cola sign claims to be 

‘the real thing’ 

not too far sits

a shrine of caviar. 

The diamond series make makes my stomach turn, 

a gruesome girl covered in jewels with a sickly smile 

fails to beguile.

Not that it wanted to.

jewell girljpg

Basket balls replace Hirst’s cows in equilibrium tank

So Koons was at it before Damien,

I want to get in it and float

The Marlborough sign is actually Malevich’s black square 

and a McDonalds vendor sculpture jokes, 

at our fast food nation – fun it pokes. 

Next to the religion room… 

plastic red sculpture of Lenin, Mickey Mouse and Jesus stand

labelled ‘hero, leader, God’ 

to halt us in our reprimand. 

Oh I think I get it. 


And there’s a sickle and hammer with a dollar sign, 

while last supper guests sit drowning in bubbles opposite 

Can’t make it out, but one of them looks quite fit?  

Black cloth covered mannequins backs arched

as they pray on the ground

accompanied by the mechanic sound

of  plastic bodies rocking.

In the corridor to the next room

a rabbit headed spaghetti man

Donnie Darko of the saucepan

In the sex and body room now

a video of hands applaud 

A porn star lies in cupcakes, 

Not even partially gnawed 

Skeletons fuck on the floor 

Richard Prince prints women 

fingering their actual insides. 

Then at last I come to a room that takes my breath. 

On one side a slab of stone reads ‘commandments updating’ 

and on the other is David Mach’s coat hanger and steel crucifix

beautifully painful, 

Painfully beautiful. 

And the rest of the room stuns more

drapes of human hair and white glue 

make Gu Wenda’s 

United Nations: Man and space,

the frailty of  humanity lace.

hair drapes

The art history room makes little sense to me, 

some colourful pots 

‘The Diary of a Victorian dandy’ 

is a photograph vaguely debaucherous 

Not Duchamp urinals lie about –

different colours, different material,   

in the next room,  a floored box of cereal 

And a canvas of Campbell’s soup

called  ‘Not Warhol’ 

‘It’s the real thin, Lenin’ shouts a Coca Cola sign 

In a perspex box Oleg’s plastic tennis player’s jump is grand 

While Gavin Turk’s pop ghosts eerily lurk over her backhand 

And then some extraordinary tapestry I can’t even begin to describe 

leads me ‘Deep into Russia’ where I stare at a cow’s backside. 

A foam singer does hang on the following room wall 

and a canvas shouts ‘looking forward’ 

I move forward and out.

But the last garden of post pop art does call 

An odd smell – oil if I recall?

Richard Wilson’s installation 20:50 Boundary Road 

Oil indeed, a reservoir of it

chills and thrills

poignantly peaceful.

And so the Saatchi gallery, I do depart. 

I forgot – I’m just not mad about pop art.