by Eddy Frankel
Shadi Al-Atallah, Luke Burton, Gareth Cadwallader, Emma Cousin, Rachel Howard, France-Lise McGurn, Glen Pudvine, Mary Ramsden, Olivia Sterling
30 March - 15 April 2022
BLOB is a book and exhibition project by Eddy Frankel. It's a vile, miserable little short story about a man whose bones disintegrate, published alongside newly commissioned artwork by Rachel Howard, Olivia Sterling, Mary Ramsden, Shadi Al-Atallah, Glen Pudvine, France-Lise McGurn, Emma Cousin, Gareth Cadwallader and Luke Burton.
Eddy, Time Out's art and culture editor, approached a bunch of artists he loves and asked them if they'd be up for making work in reaction to this story he'd written. Was he nervous about sending all these amazing painters what is essentially an incredibly depressing wank joke? Yes. But somehow, they all said yes, and produced stunning paintings and drawings to go along with the story.
The works in the show track the physical transformation and emotional degradation of the blob. It starts with Rachel Howard’s vision of a man lost in the contemplation of his own bits, before Olivia Sterling goes deep on the blob’s relationship with himself and his partner, obsessing over his weight and drinking away the misery as his girlfriend cups his jiggly belly and the material of his bones starts coming out in his semen. Glen Pudvine shows the blob in his fully realised, boneless, horny state, Shadi Al-Atallah depicts him splayed across a hospital corridor with an erection and France Lise McGurn shows the blob losing himself in nothingness. Mary Ramsden abstracts the mundane, everyday misery of his emotions, Gareth Cadwallader shows him as a self-obsessed middle aged man staring at himself in the mirror, and Luke Burton depicts the blob’s ultimate nightmare: suburban mediocrity. It all ends with the blobby oblivion of Emma Cousin’s three near-formless masses of flesh and goo.
BLOB is part fiction, part art catalogue, part curatorial project. It's about depression, ageing, anxiety, body dysmorphia and erections, but, you know, in a kinda funny way?