A trip to London usually includes a few essential missions, check out Stolen Space and everything else on the ever changing walls up Brick Lane, fire into Tate Modern and have a walk along the river and hopefuly catch any other decent art shows that happen to be on. However with only a day to really get out and explore London's cultural offerings I found myself running about like a mad thing taking in 6 different shows and one of them happened to be the 'Ritual Spirits' exhibition by 3D aka Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack fame.
If your a Massive Attack fan then you've already been exposed to 3Ds distinctive artwork. Creating his own motifs and using strong symbolism such as the flame logo on Blue Lines or the dark brooding stag beetle on Mezzanine, 3D has established a style and aesthetic which is uniquely his own, but its something he's been working on for decades, pre Massive Attack as part of Britsol's soundsystem / graffiti collective the Wild Bunch. There's a great looking tome of a book, 3D and the Art of Massive Attack which will be the next addition to my expanding art library and looks packed with career spanning photos and art work.
This latest batch of work draws on 3D's massive archive of work and saw him create a series of limited edition prints with Lazarides Editions, an offshoot of Lazarides Gallery with each print being hand finished and embellished by 3D. The show coincided with the release of new music from Massive Attack in the form of the 'Ritual Spirit' ep which was released on a limited edition vinyl, each one with a hand printed cover by 3D. Gold dust you say. 3Ds work is pretty iconic and seeing it in real life was pretty cool, the holes where he'd used a blow torch to burn through the prints and just seeing images you've seen at CD size in all their full size glory. It looks like 3D is quite full on when making work and there's a real physichality to his process and methods which comes across in the work. You can check out a great interview with him in VNA Magazine # 26.
Its the first time I've been to a Lazarides show and I have to say the staff were really cool and gave me a good introduction to the work and the show, something you don't always get. I was bit gutted I didn't make it to their A Decade of Lazarides show at the main gallery as it contains work by some of my favourite artists but seeing 3D's show made up for it.
Ritual Spirit runs until the 5th March with all work for sale and if you're a big fan you can order a Massive Attack Logo print portfolio online here. What I'd give for one of those orange Heligoland prints!