BEING EVEN MORE ignorant about art than I am about footy, it was with mixed feelings that I accepted an advance tour of this week's sparkiest new exhibitions. Despite certain obvious advantages of having a curator hovering over your shoulder, it's a bit like trying to watch sex scenes on TV with your parents in the room; rather ungratefully, you can't help but will them to bugger off so you can enjoy the view in private. Still, I can't complain, I saw some fantastic stuff this week, especially the new Jack Vettriano exhibition Between Dawn and Darkness at the Portland Gallery (Bury St., St. James', runs until July 11). Vettriano's work has a surreal, poster-art quality to it. Powerful, sometimes disturbing stuff, his paintings are rammed with images of dark, sexual powerplay between men and women (usually depictions of himself and his regular muse/girlfriend) and often set in what I took to be the Thirties. Self-taught, Vettriano, 44, was commissioned by Conran last year for his Bluebird restaurant and is now collected by establishment porkers like Jack Nicholson and Tim Rice. I pondered buying one of Vettriano's doodles myself until the gallery owner cooly inquired if I had a spare pounds 9,000. Ha Ha.

On to another gallery, the groovy new(ish) Artmonsky (108a Boundary Road, St., John's Wood) for a special preview of its upcoming homage to Victor Pasmore, the hugely influential British figurative and abstract artist who died earlier this year. From Wednesday you can view and buy selected etchings from this prolific artist's abstractionist phase. I won't pretend to understand what the hell Pasmore was getting at and I have to say that his prints look like the kind of thing you might knock up after one too many spliffs. Yet his work is strange and beautiful, and worth a look. Runs until July 12.

Now here's one to try at home - nude photography. In the meantime, anyone with an interest in perfectly formed rumps should race down to Julian Hartnoll's space (14 Mason's Yard, Mayfair) for the fantastic photographic show Naked Men - Pioneering Male Nudes 1933-1955 by George Platt Lynes (runs until June 20). Platt Lynes, who famously quipped "I don't have an unpretentious bone in my body", was taking daring snaps of the male nude - including portraits of Yul Brynner (plus hair, minus knickers) and Tennessee Williams (sunny side up) before Richard Avedon was a twinkle in his mother's eye. By day a fashion photographer, Platt Lynes' beautifully posed, inventive, often homoerotic images were mostly taken using friends and aquaintances, and the 30 images used in the exhibition were among those he was most eager to preserve. Definitely worth the effort, and not just for sad old muckers like myself.

Foodwise, I'm disturbed to report that arch restauranteur Terence Conran is opening up yet another sodding restaurant this week. I have decided to veto Conran from this column from now on, as the whole thing is getting ridiculous. He'll be trying for Mayor next. Rather more plausibly, those lovely boys from hipper than thou bar Shoreditch Electricity Showrooms (39a Hoxton Square, Shoreditch), opened their kitchen for business earlier this week. Less a restaurant than a cafe/deli type deal, it's all very right-on, catering primarily for veggies and vegans with dishes like carrot and red lentil soup and chick pea chilli. It's not the sort of thing you'd want to scoff after a hard night on the toot, but it's an unusual, healthy menu, and at pounds 3.50 for caponata with foccaccia (I tested it, spot-on), going up to pounds 7.50 for fillet of salmon, it's pretty good value. There's a takeaway option on lunch too, though why you'd bother when you can chill out on that big brown sofa I don't know. Lunch 12-3pm, dinner 6-10pm.

On the club front, it's been a launchomatic week for DJs. Last night Bar Rumba's Phil Mison celebrated his new Soundcolors mix album with some wicked dancefloor jigging at Subterania, and tomorrow it's worth doubling your money at the Blue Note's respected Swaraj, with the dual album celebrations of TJ Rehmy (Mind Filter) and Transglobal Underground (Rejoice Rejoice). Remember boys and girls, it's no admission after 12.30am these days at Blue Note because the local residents need their beauty sleep, but if you're a BN lover you should go along anyway and soak up the vibe - not long now til it shuts up shop and moves permanently to N1.

Theatre junkies should check out Gas Station Angel, Ed House of America Thomas' new play (Royal Court Theatre, West St., WC2, until June 27), about two dysfunctional Welsh families, who are fighting to bring back the good times. "Dark, strange and very Welsh" as one of the characters puts it. Funny too. Amused to see the Taffia out in force (well, Ffion Jenkins anyway) at the afterparty. What Ffion, no baseball cap when you're hanging out with the funky young things? Meanwhile, the much talked-about new production of Enda Walsh's Disco Pigs (Arts Theatre, Great Newport St., WC2, until July 25) was fast, bewildering and brilliant. Originally shown at the Edinburgh Festival last year, it scored Eileen Walsh the best actress award there and she's definitely the best thing about this production too (apart from the set design, inspired). Runt and Pig are the two Irish characters, born within seconds of each other and living in their own imaginary world. Won't (can't!) explain it any further but if you want your mind blown away, this is the one to do it.

Finally, I grabbed a sneak preview of the LEA's Spacejunks: Electronic Art Scene from Quebec, Canada which screens next Saturday and Sunday at the Lux (2-4 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch). The 16-film line up includes work from Nelson Henricks (Crush), multimedia artist and actor Alain Pelletier (Faust Meduse) and Mario Cote (Variations Vertov). This is really intense, experimental stuff, meditations on life, death, denial, memory, the body, etc., and while you feel like you're experiencing something amazing as you're watching it, you'll probably leave the theatre thoroughly confused. Ah well, life's full of little mysteries.

Clockwise from top:

An arresting image from the George Platt Lyne photographic exhibition, Naked Men - Pioneering Male Nudes 1933-1955, at the Julian Hartnoll gallery;

a Victor Pasmore etching, on show and sale at Artmonsky gallery, St John's Wood, from next Wednesday;

Nelson Henrick's Crush, part of the London Elelectonic Art's Spacejunks: Electronic Art Scene from Quebec, Canada 16-film show, which screens next Saturday and Sunday at the Hoxton's Lux cinema;

Characters Runt and Pig from Enda Walsh's `97 Edinburgh smash Disco Pigs, now showing at the Arts Theatre, Leicester Square;

and Scottish artist Jack Vettriano's painting "The Altar of Memory", part of Between Dawn and Darkness, an exhibition of his work at the Portman Gallery, St James'

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