Forget the big galleries, forget the established names – there are a bunch of young artists with shows in smaller spaces in London right now and it’s awesome. It’s such a relief to get away from all the old dudes and their paintings sometimes and experience something new. Here are three artists you need to check out this week if you care about younger artists at all.
Molly Soda at Annka Kultys Gallery
Soda is an internet celebrity, a social media star with hundreds of thousands of followers. She does YouTube makeup tutorials, does live cam chats, tweets, Instagrams, the whole kit and caboodle. Except it’s actually art. Those makeup tutorials find her covering herself in white powder and giving herself giant blue eyes, she cries through the video chats, films herself singing in her bedroom for 19 hours – then, she posts all the heinous comments she gets on the gallery wall. It’s pretty grim, and totally awesome.
Petra Cortright at Carl Kostyal
There’s a video online of Cortright flicking through the settings on her webcam. It’s totally serene, just a young woman staring at the screen. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s sort of a pivotal moment in contemporary internet-based art and it made Cortright into something of a star. Since then, she’s taken on more traditional image-making, and this rare UK show features a bunch of canvases and shifting TV paintings that seem to mix the quiet and calm with the intense and aggressive. There are neat nods to art history here – abstract painting and all that jazz – but it’s the way they’re made that helps to make these paintings special: all digital, all surface, but somehow vibrating with a human touch. They’re good, okay?
Amalia Ulman at Arcadia Missa
Like Soda, Ulman is an internet celebrity. But unlike Soda, her art is sort of an adventure in fiction. It’s fake, basically. She made a name for herself as an Instagram sleb who broke up with her boyfriend and moved to LA. She got tons of followers. And then she became pregnant. And then she grew loads of arms. The whole thing was fake – she was living a fictional online life and duping loads of people in the process. This show of new work is sort of a continuation of that, a room filled with red balloons, a chequered floor and some TVs, exploring ideas of power and celebrity. It’s weird, unsettling and affecting, what more could you want?