“I absolutely hate those two artists, they are just so morose… and sickly.”
Nicholas grimaced, and every wrinkle in his face was activated, like a big scrunched up piece of paper. “Their art is morose! It’s morose goo!”
“Uh-huh, uh-huh’ Mac the Australian was nodding along passionately despite having praised the ‘morose’ duo just seconds before.
“What I particularly hate is that thing they made with the pile of rubbish, where it’s actually a big sculpture of their faces” Nicholas continued, ironically resembling the very spectacle itself. His tone was tense and clipped, as though constipated and now only the whites of his eyes could be seen – as he had rolled them they had become momentarily stuck, so intense was his scorn.
“Oh yeah, I know the one you mean, I saw that in Paris back in 2007 -” began Mac enthusiastically.
“It just makes me want to dismember them and arrange their arms and legs into a big heap, and say ‘oh look this is actually a sculpture of a beautiful swan’,” snarled Nicholas, swirling the merlot in the glass in his hand, his irises now visible again and gleaming with contempt.
“Mmm. Mmm. Yeah” Mac joined in, smiling unsurely. They were at a private view in Albermale Street in the West End where photographs hung around them in straight lines – a series of a naked man doing his shopping. Suddenly Mac caught sight of a gallery assistant circulating in the background, clutching a piece of paper to their chest and his smile faded. “Oh strooth,” he mumbled looking down. “It’s the list”.
“Oh that thing we’re all on, that identifies us as scrougers void of interest in anything other than booze and nibbles?” Nicholas twitched, and his greying brown bob flicked around his ears.
“Yeah,” said Mac nervously. “Oh God, here we go…”
The man stopped before them. He was a tidy individual who wore tight black jeans and a chunky crucifix pendant, his hair was carefully blow-dried into an auburn boufant.
“Excuse me Sir, but I’ve been watching you both all night, and you really haven’t looked at the art once,” he began snidely, launching into a speech that the liggers had become all to accustomed to. The surrounding groups of elite guests fell silent and looked on at Nicholas and Mac with suspicion.
“That’s because it’s shit” said Nicholas abruptly, before knocking back his drink.
The man blinked. A snigger could be heard and he flushed pink momentarily before attempting to regain control.
“Well, if you feel that way Sir, then perhaps you’d like to leave,” he said defiantly.
“Well, no I don’t want to leave actually. I want another drink.”
“That’s not possible I’m afraid” he said brightly, lifting his arm in the direction of the door. As he did so the piece of paper flapped about in his hand.
“What’s that then?” snapped Nicholas. “A warrant for my arrest?”
“No, it’s just the guest list,” he bit back callously. “That you’re not on.”
“I think we both know that’s not true,” said Nicholas, his voice dripping with cynicism. “It’s your stupid little index of human beings who come to fill your otherwise sterile space, and resultedly need to drown their sorrows over the fall of British culture.”
The man was beginning to display symptoms of panic now, he had fallen mute and looked around frantically for assistance.
“Now, you’ve bored me to death with your horrible nudes,” finished Nicholas, combing his hand nonchalantly through his bob. “So just give me some fucking wine.”
Text: Josie Demuth
Art: Jason Gibilaro
Excerpt from Liggers and Dreamers: Tales from the London Art Scene
Published by Thin Man Press