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Out of Focus: Photography Exhibition

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by Alan Perkins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, editor and teacher based in north London.
Event: -
Shots at the Saatchi Gallery

Several times a year I like to take a trip down the King's Road and see what Uncle Charles has lined up for us all at that monumental centre for contemporary art; The Saatchi Gallery. I have never seen an exhibition here and utterly loved every piece. I get the feeling that's not the point.

While other gargantuan galleries have people-pleasing blockbusters, filled with postcard friendly images and household names, the Saatchi is more concerned with questioning the whole meaning of artistic endeavour. After challenging and invigorating trips around Chinese, Middle Eastern and American art, the focus is, quite literally, on photography for this Autumn's big event: Out of Focus.

Rather than exhibiting the kind of images found on ten-a-penny calendars (there are no vistas or seascapes here), the exhibition highlights innovative uses of the medium. The artists here all use the camera in a unique or interesting way, creating images that defy the conventions of photography and strive to make something new. In some works the colours are inverted, giving an acid sheen, while in others abstract shapes appear out of the lines of the natural world. The viewer is greeted by hyper real images of odd ball downtrodden characters that look like the last gang on earth, roaming after the end of days.

In other rooms 80s Playboy bunnies stare out of cut-out cardboard stands, with garish smiles and unnervingly serene expressions. The discomfort is increased by the mismatched eyes and faces in the following room and the pictures make a creative use of space throughout the gallery. All in all, this was an interesting and stimulating way to spend an hour in Chelsea.

There are always one or two stunning pieces in the Saatchi exhibitions and the gallery never charges an entrance fee, making it a great, cost effective afternoon out.

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Why? See a different style of photographic art
When: 27th September - 5th November
Where: Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, London
Cost: Free
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