It has been two long years since Le Gun’s last edition, but if its cultish existence had faded from the edges of our collective consciousness, it is returning with a vengeance. The illustration magazine seems to have spent its downtime becoming more Le Gun than ever. The new issue exploits the magazine’s best idea to full effect, filled as it is with lush, double-page, full-bleed illustrations – most of which are unadulterated by pesky words.
To herald its return, Le Gun is creating an exhibition by a group of Le Gun’s core artists, including Neal Fox, Chris Bianchi, Bill Bragg, Stephanie von Reiswitz and Robert Rubbish.
The show, Close Eyes to Exit, was inspired by the contents of late, great English eccentric and jazzman George Melly’s briefcase, which he purportedly left behind in a Le Gun pop-up shop in Hackney shortly before his death in 2007 – ’although no one really knows whether that is true or not,’ says Fox.
The bag’s inventory included a bag of pills, a black eye patch, a packet of condoms with an expiry date of 1959, as well as a sketchbook and an LP of Marvin Gaye’s greatest hits. This collection of objects – particularly the notebook – has spawned a series of large-scale black-and-white interpretations of the mythical city of Legundon, Belgian Surrealist James Ensor’s Belgium and a land called Interzone.
But the exhibition’s main event is The Unknown Room, a life-sized 3D drawing of a living room that you can become a part of, treading its pen-and-ink wooden floorboards and eyeing up its hand-painted spirit bottles.