Back in the autumn, we reported on the ludicrously, brilliantly, bizarrely designed LN-CC shop in Dalston – a space created by set designer and illustrator Gary Card.
Now, the store has opened its exhibition space, with the inaugural show from Richie Culver opening tomorrow.
The exhibition of his new work, entitled Too Dark One Light, showcases his fascinating and frequently disquieting works, in a variety of media including paintings, collages and mixed–media installations.
LN-CC’s creative director, John Skelton, says, ‘I think Richie’s work has a synergy with what we do in that he is a Northern boy from a very humble background, and his work is not influenced or jaded by a scene or trends.’
He adds, ‘What Richie is into as a person, and what we are into, are completely different in their appearance but the core values and base from where all of his work stems from are pretty much exactly the same, which is why I feel it is so relevant and such a good alignment for it to be launched in our store.’
Exploring the themes of ‘love, loss and communication’, his Emin-like rawness and honesty is depicted with bold candour.
Sketlon adds, ‘It is very much an honest and personal expression of himself and what he thinks and feels, which is exactly what LN-CC is to us.’
One such brutal work elicits thoughts of ‘restraining order’ – I Loved You is the starkly autobiographical result of the artist’s attempts to communicate with a former girlfriend after the relationship fell apart, by spraying these words on her new home.
An LN-CC spokeswoman says, ‘He’s very honest and real – there’s a bit of a backlash against art students as he never went to art college.’
The sense of grief and loss is a recurring theme for Culver. Some of his found object works feature a Ouija board, representing humanity’s struggle with accepting those who they can no longer contact – whether through death or breakdown of communication. It conveys the frightening, all-too-real longing to stay in touch when it’s impossible.
Skelton says, ‘Richie has that rare ability to be able to touch people and relate to them in a very natural way. No matter whether you love it and want to buy it or just look at it for 10 seconds you can understand and relate to what his work is saying. That’s very powerful. That’s because it comes from a completely true feeling. Its real.’
Too Dark One Light runs from 15 June – 15 July at LN-CC, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, London, E8, by appointment only.