Time for cocktails at the cutting edge of art

Contemporary Art Market: Geraldine Norman discovers two exclusive worlds colliding head-on at a London nightspot

Stringfellows, the London nightspot in St Martin's Lane favoured by the super-rich, is currently doubling as a work of art. Two young artists, Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, have talked the club's owner Peter Stringfellow - a blond raver who sprang to prominence in the Sixties - into a collaboration. They have mounted photographs behind short velvet curtains on the mirrored walls of the club which are scheduled to remain there until 15 July unless they get knocked down by a drunken carouser.

The colour photographs depict Deller, Kane and Stringfellow exploring each other's pleasures during a single afternoon outing. They visit a degree show at St. Martin's, the local art school, drink beer in a pub, lunch off oysters and champagne, row across the Serpentine and dig a discarded sandwich out of a litter bin in order to feed it to the ducks. The photos, each in an edition of five, are for sale at pounds 100 each.

But the real art work is the linkage of two mutually exclusive worlds, cutting-edge contemporary art and celebrity night life. The photos are just props. "We could have put anything behind the curtains, really," says Deller. Stringfellow, who is listed as one of the three exhibiting artists in all ads for the show, is one of the few people who have grasped what it is all about.

A girl asked him last week: "Why have you got your photo behind those curtains downstairs?" and he replied: "It's conceptual art, dear." The concept is lifting contemporary art out of its gallery environment and putting it in a night club. Packs of "chat-up lines" invented by Della and printed on business cards are available from behind the bar - free.

In a similar spirit, the Cabinet Gallery in Brixton has hung its latest show in the pub across the road - the Prince Albert in Coldharbour Lane. It is devoted to charcoal drawings by the young American artist Elizabeth Peyton. The bar prints - pussycats, flowers, hunting scenes - have been removed from their frames and Peyton's drawings substituted. Peyton, like Warhol before her, is hooked on the concept of celebrity.

Her very competent drawings are mostly intimate reworkings of photographs: John McEnroe in 1981, Marie Antoinette choosing her clothes, Princess Elizabeth and Cecil Beaton, Rupert Brooke, Marlon Brandon as Napoleon ... They are priced between pounds 650 and pounds 800 (excluding the frame, which still belongs to the pub).

But Peyton's consuming interest is the late Kurt Cobain, leader of the pop group Nirvana - the hero-icon of the slacker generation and grunge personified - who committed suicide last year.

There are two drawings of him in the show and a slim artists' book is available behind the bar priced at pounds 2. It comprises 15 stills from a video in the course of which Cobain articulates a single word into a microphone and turns his head.

The book is published by Imprint 93, an independent press publishing artists' books run by Matthew Higgs. He photocopies them in his spare time and sends them out free to people he thinks "are doing something interesting and won't throw them in the bin". Anyone else who is interested has to pay pounds 2.

A show of works by all 23 artists who have made books in the Imprint series - including Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, as well as Peyton - opened at City Racing in Vauxhall Street, London SE11, yesterday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?