Happy Bri Day, Gary Pigeon’s Latest Work And The St Ives Collective
It’s been a busy old couple of weeks with the wings working overtime, hence the slightly delayed Bri Day update. There’s also a lot to report including some art from Gerald, news from Gary in NYC and what happened when I flew to Cornwall. Have to say, it is a long fly. Fucking miles in fact. First off, an update on my encounter with Monty, nephew of the famous original Brighton based street artist pigeon called Gerald (see previous post).
A few days after we met in Queen’s Park he took me to see one of Gerald’s earlier pieces (circa 2009). Total genius. Blew me away. It’s on the walkway that runs along the seafront. If you look closely you can see a bit of sea at the top of the pic. What makes this genius is he’s chosen to create it on concrete that runs across the path, therefore creating a new path that runs towards the sea. Brilliant.
He calls it, simply, ‘Path’:
Love his use of lines and angles. Really innovative and way before his time. Lines and angles weren’t widely used until late 2010.
Monty said he’d told Gerald about my interest in pigeons who do art and, despite not even knowing what the Internet is, he might be up for a UK/US collaboration, even if it’s just an ideas exchange. He wants more info, but it’s a good start. Exciting stuff, so I got in touch with NYC street artist, Gary Pigeon, or I tried to…
Back in March I’d sent Gary an email after he’d sent me the picture of him in the snow. I didn’t get a reply so I presumed he was just working on his new piece. Then I sent another one a few weeks ago updating him on Gerald. Nothing, and then I get this from a pal of his who goes by the name of ‘FH’. Turns out all the global attention may have gone to Gary’s head…
This was the email he sent me:
“Gary’s been quite prolific lately, spurred on by a meeting with an artist rep who recently invited him to the ledge on Soho House. Frankly, it’s gone to his head and I’m worried he’s turning into a bit of a knob. He needs to wind his neck in and get his feet back on the ground, so to speak.
Not only this but he refuses to answer to the name Gary anymore, apparently it’s ‘Beaksy’ from now on.
I also think he may be developing a flax seed habit. I’m getting a bit worried. I wanted to have a chat with him about it over a bagel in Fort Greene park, like the old days. He told me he’d get his pigeons to speak to my pigeons and we could peck something in for early May. Unbelievable. At least it’s getting a bit warmer here thank goodness. When it snowed a few pigeons ate the road salt in the mistaken belief it was a snack, Made them thirsty as hell. Not good.”
‘Beaksy’? Really, Gary? Surely what you’re doing pisses on wall painting?
Cheers FH. Nice one, and good luck with getting Gary back on the straight and narrow. Tackling the whole flax seed issue is another one for another time. It’s not as big over here as it is in NYC, but I’m pretty sure it will be.
He sent me this pic of himself with a couple of pals. Think FH is the one in the middle. It’s taken in Brooklyn:
Wonder if any of them have a daffodil allergy like I do? Pain in the arse at this time of year.
Anyway, this is Gary’s latest piece. The one he was working on when we were last in touch. Against all odds he finished it when the snow was still there. It must have been tough. No wonder he turned to The Flax!
Apparently he wanted to charge FH to take the picture, but then he told him it was for me so he agreed. The reason it’s taken so long to get to me is FH was trying to persuade Gary to send it himself, and now we know why he didn’t.
Here it is. ‘(Another) Walk On The Wild Side’, and I love it:
I do hope Gary manages to remove his head from his arse because his work really is rather special.
So, back to the UK now and my trip to St Ives in Cornwall. It all came about after my chat with Monty. He asked me if I’d heard of ‘The St Ives Collective’. I said I hadn’t, and he told me I had to go check them out. Boy am I glad I did, and not just for the art…
I arrived after a rather hairy and very long flight. A lot of it was over water too which is never a favourite for the pigeon seeing as swimming really isn’t our thing. Basic route was Brighton to Bournemouth, Bournemouth to Torquay, Torquay to St Ives. Took two lots of 6 hours with a stopover in Torquay. That won’t be happening again I can tell you. Total shithole. Finally I got to St Ives and what a great place it is. Heaving with tourists too so scoring some decent throaway was a piece of piss. Straightaway I had my beak right into some proper Cornish Pastie. Fucking lovely. Not sure what was inside it, but whatever it was it went down like a treat.
After a couple of minutes post-food shuteye on the harbour, it was time to meet Margot, Head of The St Ives Collective.
When I did, Jesus, the pastie nearly came straight back up again. She was gorgeous. Stunning, and with the most amazing feet.
Honestly, I could hardly speak. This is her:
She reminded me a bit of a pigeon called Mary I was into once. Never came to anything. You can see the post with a picture and read the poem I wrote for her here. Embarrassing looking back on it, but it was years ago. Eight to be precise. Never forgotten her though.
Anyway, back to Margot. Looks aside, she was lovely to chat to. Great sense of humour. Really open. Knew everything about art. She said the reason The Collective had grown around St Ives was the art scene generally is big there. Has been for years. There’s even a Tate Modern, not that pigeon art has ever been recognised by it.
“There’s always time.” She said. “We do keep trying, but they won’t let us in.”
She was really interested in Gerald’s work in Brighton and asked if I thought he’d like to come down for a visit. I said he probably wouldn’t as he rarely left his cliff, but I’d mention it to Monty. You never know. She also loved the idea of a UK/US collaboration with NYC Gary.
In a nutshell, it’s all coming together nicely. I also did something I haven’t done for ages, but if you don’t try and all that. I suggested a follow-up visit. Asked her if she’d show me around St Ives. I can’t swear to it but I think she quite liked the idea too. You never know, she might be into the older pigeon.
I also didn’t manage to get any pics of the work done by The Collective down there as she said she’d have to ask the permission of the individual artists. Let’s just hope that on the next visit I can spend more time looking at the art and less time looking at her arse, sweet though it is.
Happy Bri Day everyone, and don’t forget to keep looking out for pigeon art.
Bring it on.