Memo to Tracey Emin: Unless you suddenly mutate into some sort of Margate Caravaggio, Brian Sewell is never going to like you. So stick to your guns. We know you think you can paint. But we only know your name because of all the other stuff. This documentary makes an assertion, but hardly resolves it conclusively – possibly because the claim is slightly simplistic in the first place.
Painting never really went away and the presence here of the likes of Paula Rego and Peter Doig suggests that it’s always been bubbling under. All the same, the new enthusiasm for the form from the likes of Emin and Damien Hirst feels somewhat reminiscent of the ageing rock fan who respects the canon and overvalues the technical brilliance of Eric Clapton guitar solos. Besides, as this film once again confirms, Hirst’s paintings are irretrievably rubbish.
Boxpark Croydon is bigger – much bigger – than its Shoreditch sibling, with a supersized dining area, but its best asset is the warm community feel. Music helps that vibe – we wouldn’t expect anything less from the town that gave us the BRIT School (esteemed alumni include Amy Winehouse and Adele). There’s free live music on Thursdays and Sundays, and resident DJs on Fridays and Saturdays – but you’ll need to register for tickets. Check online for details of the full events schedule. Top tip: it’s great for breakfast on the go. If you work or live locally and are the kind of person that likes to have a proper warm-the-cockles brekkie, it’s well worth dropping in first thing in the morning. Most of Boxpark’s vendors are raring to go by 8am and breakfast specials abound – £2 baps at Bukowski Grill, pastries and artisan coffee at Mud and ample takeaway options at The Breakfast Club. No more soggy cornflakes at home. There are not just one, but three independent coffee shops here, along with a host of other punnily named eateries from Soho, Shoreditch and Brixton. It’s a shame there aren’t more Croydon originals here, but the bar (read: the rent) is pretty high for new entries – a fact reflected in the prices. But it’s a minor gripe. There’s still some major humdingers at Boxpark. Here's a list of current food traders: Arancina, Bao Bao, Bang Bang Hawker Kitchen, Bread Tree, The Breakfast Club, Bukowski Grill, Carioca, Chillbox, Coqfighter Chicken & Beer, Cook Daily, The Cronx