Saturday, 14 March 2009

Appendix 7: 'Feel The Pain' - Comic Relief ' Mobbing' Uproar

Fleydon once again found himself in the middle of a media storm when the unveiling of his latest work "Feel the Pain - Grabbed by the Wombles" was hi-jacked on national television as part of a Comic Relief stunt. Unbeknown to the artist a well-known comedian and a controversial talk-show host had planned a 'Where's Wally?' inspired jape, secreting themselves at an important sporting event where they would gesticulate and grimace at every passing camera. Vast amounts of money were to be promised by frenzied viewers 'lucky' enough to spot them in a crowd. With an eye for publicity it was perhaps inevitable that the Tempest End was their chosen venue.
As the official photographer recorded the unveiling, comedian Peter Kaye leapt to his feet grimacing broadly. His companion, Jonathan Ross, slipped as he too tried to jump but was still able to raise an arm in triumph, treating those in the vicinity to a glimpse of his special 'JR' diamond-encrusted Rolex watch. Stewards were immediatly on hand to protect them from the fury of the dissapointed crowd and to usher the two gentlemen from the stadium. However the damage was already done and Fleydon was forced to retire to the newly erected First Aid hut for a dose of smelling salts and a brisk rub-down with some Hartleys Emulsified Muscle-Rub Emolioment .

It was some time before he was able to discuss the new work and in the meantime a corrected image was prepared 'erasing' the pranksters from the picture.
After overcoming his attack of 'flittering vapours' we asked Fleydon about his latest opus.

Q. 'Grabbed by the Wombles'? Surely we are looking at a poor pun here?
Less a pun really and more a reference. For Wimbledon supporters being 'grabbed by the wombles' has strong connotations. Most famously when Mr Jones met Mr Gascoigne. You can see immediately one the inspirations behind the canvas.
At first glance you could, possibly should, assume that the the message is an inspirational exhortation, reducing the imposition of pain (emotional or physical) as almost a duty, somthing to aspire to. Indeed the very format chosen is that of a motivational workplace poster.

The sort found in Human Resource centres, designed to inspire uninspired staff?
The very same strong black borders and white writing indeed. As a student of Freud, Jung and Shlipping I am fully aware that these choices are not (indeed cannot be) accidental. Nothing as blatant as certaintly here though for the essence of this work lies in its ambiguity.

Let me ask you a question for a change. Give you a chance to exercise those little grey cells. Who do you think the screaming head represents?

My assumption would be that it represents the pain and anguish of either a player or supporter of a team vanquished by AFC Wimbledon. Is this not the case?
Well of course it might be. Or it might not. That is the basis of the ambiguity. By referencing Mr Gascoigne above that is the interpretation I would expect of you, a mere critic, but consider my other inspiration. What it is that could turn a mild-mannered, gentle individual of temperate hue and pale complexion into an enpurpled and despairing caracature of himself, with veins like whip-cords and neck muscles bulging like a fistfull of walnuts in a Christmas stocking? I'll tell you what...the awarding of an obviously erronious 95th minute penalty to the opposition, that's what! This blatant injustice at our recent game at Weston-super-Mare wrought fearful changes on one particular individual in my vicinity, changes I refer to as 'The Dundonald Effect'. It showed just how deep and personal is the attachment to the club. That and the amount of time and effort the said individual invested in keeping the club financially solvent. Amazing and yet also slightly scary...

So the screaming individual depicted on the flag might just as easily be a Wimbledon supporter?
Exactly. When you support Wimbledon you sign up for the lot. Like a flagellant on the stations of the cross, you expect an emotional whipping along the way but like an addict you keep coming back for more. As I'm sure Mr Jones would put it, the when you're grabbed by the wombles you stay grabbed!
Ambiguity, pain, despair and the shriek of the addict who cannot be weaned from their drug of choice. Supporter or opponent it seems that AFC Wimbledon will put us all through the emotional wrangle at some point. Yet again, with his customary skill and genius, Fleydon proves himself once again modern arts 'master of the oblique'.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Fleydon & Time Out Magazine

Iggy Pop, then Dylan, now Fleydon... Has the artist known for his street-wise sensibilities finally sold out? Will exposure on London's premier arts and listings magazine, and on such a scale, go to his already polished and bulbous head? Can we expect his work to suddenly start appearing on hoardings, bus shelters and adverts? Will he finally follow the path of his estranged former flat-mate Salvador Dali and grab the bucks with both hands? Or is he engaged on a temporary 'consciousness raising exercise' before turning once again to his first love, the Tempest End on a Tuesday night in March for the first round of the London Senior Cup? Only time will tell - but be assured that the 'Art & Artist Review' will be there for every twist in this already convoluted tale...