Santiago Montoya: Surfin' USA
After years of field research, we've realised that there are all kinds of things you can do with money. One thing, shown by the Colombian artist Santiago Montoya, is to create socio-politically motivated works of art that explore the culture, currency and political issues of the USA. Well, we've spent it on worse things. He cuts, alters and stretches the bills to explore the meaning beyond their surface, creating a unique visual language by reinterpreting paper currency as both a canvas and raw material. The aim is to explore complex subject matters with a little bit of humour: combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol with the aesthetics of popular culture — icons like Mickey Mouse and The Velvet Underground are used to draw attention to the social and financial crises that have affected 2016.
Tickets: Free Entry
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Here's a startling little fact to hit you straight up: 48% of art is now bought on Instagram. You've heard of Instagram haven't you? It's that safe haven for your holidays snaps. Unit London have teamed up with prominent Instagram art platform Avant Arte to mount a fairly small exhibition of art that's been publicised via Instagram. Avant Arte's aim is to democratise the process of finding and buying contemporary art, removing any elitism from the whole thing and they've been mighty successful doing it. Among participating artists are Avant Arte’s Jason Seif, Lionel Smit, and Brian Willmont and Unit London’s Ryan Hewett, Ivan Alifan and Massimo Agostinelli. And they're covering all sorts in their works.
James Lavelle: Daydreaming with UNKLE Presents...THE ROAD: SOHO
Founder of the music collective UNKLE, electronic musician and all-round creative sort James Lavelle is pretty obsessed with the collision of music, fashion and art. So obsessed, in fact, that he's seized some space to put on an exhibition about it. This exhibition is a unique and interactive survey of his British music collective UNKLE based mainly on their Soho roots, London's hub of counter-culture. You can check video installations and hear the forthcoming album exclusives with Keaton Henson, Mark Lanegan and Eska. In addition to paintings and special edition prints by a diverse group of artists, the gallery will host a series of events including talks and film screenings. This is about celebrating the past, present and future of a super creative collective.
Sticks with Dicks and Slits
The non-conformist punk artistic duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster have tried their hand at a whole new art form: sculpting in twisted bronze. This show, playfully titled Sticks With Dicks and Slits consists of huge self-portrait sculptures that provocatively display the human form stripped down to the stick like basics. First made with wire doodles before being turned into huge pieces, it's kinda hard to know whether to take these creations too seriously. Either way, it should provide some entertainment, which is what you probably deserve at this time of year.
Women of Ghana
Head to Hoxton Square on Friday and Saturday and you'll find a free photography and film exhibition showing the stories of the women of Ghana. The idea is to give a vivid documentation of women who have achieved their ambitions and overcome hardships such as poverty, low levels of literacy and even just being a woman. The words come from the ladies themselves, so you can expect something quite powerful.