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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'