Art and Alcohol

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4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Art and Alcohol
Gilbert & George, 'Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After - Drinking Sculpture', 1972. © Gilbert and George

Once it was healthier to drink gin rather than the water in London. Thankfully – or not – those days are long gone, but the act, or should that be the art of drinking, remains a constant source of creative inspiration. This BP spotlight display curated by David Blayney Brown, who curated last year’s phenomenal Late Turner show, charts Britain’s relationship with alcohol from George Cruikshank’s temperance-themed 'Worship of Bacchus' to Gilbert & George’s ‘Drinking Sculpture’. 

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Looks like screen pictures capturing different details of surroundings) Probably the surroundings of a drunken person. I'm not against alcohol but I once read that it kills your brain cells. It is dying in 17 hours, so the next morning you are going to toilet you are kind of pee your brains out. Tragic truth of what kind of brain cells which kind of alcohol kills you may find on our website - Tequila kills your sense of humour, whisky kills your creativity... What is your favourite type of brain killer?


Small but well curated little exhibition bring together some acclaimed artists' works depicting alcohol. The poster boys' piece by Gilbert and George is certainly a highlight. 100+ photos inside Bethnal Green pubs distorted to make the viewer feel like a drunk fly on the wall - each image depicting a different angle and showing different perspectives of the same pub. However, for me the real star of the show is the huge satirical painting, showing the ruin of man through alcohol, showing how little has changed when it comes to alcohol-related societal issues. Sadly painted as a reaction to the artist's own father's alcohol-induced death. Perhaps not worth a special visit (it's only one room), but certainly worth a combined visit to the main gallery.

I would attempt and take Vodka, since it's truly shabby, and brush it on with a paintbrush. I think this is a really magnificent thought. I'd affection to see it done. Perhaps attempt and do little areas at once, rather than lighting the entire thing up on the double that way it's less unsafe and more averse to escape control.


Once you manage to navigate the maze that is the Tate Britain and find the gallery this is in (do wander through the hall with The Last Post bugle sound installation on - it's mesmerising) then you should enjoy the small exhibition. There aren't many pieces but it's definitely quality over quantity. From Hogarth's The Gin Lane to photography by Gilbert and George, the exhibition very consicely sums up the relationship that alcohol has had with, and through, art over the centuries.