That gorilla has stolen my coat hanger…

David Mach's Silver Streak (coat hangers)

It’s step back, jaw-droppingly, massively impressive. It makes your twisty metal art mobiles and car aerial replacements seem, frankly, pathetic. Yes – it’s a huge gorilla made from coat hangers. Finally David Mach has revealed why coat hangers were invented in the first place.   This is their true purpose realised at last. Tucked away in your wardrobe, closet or car aerial slot are hangers who’d give their eye teeth to have their hook become this gorilla’s eye teeth.

This is what lies in wait for you at the Royal Academy‘s Summer Exhibition. It’s not boring – as you’ll know if you saw Sexy Funny Art. It bills itself as the world’s largest open submission contemporary art exhibition. Now in its 242nd year, it includes painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film.

I could tell you what is in it, but sure you can find that out for yourself. Instead I’ll show you what prompted me to get my cash out. Maybe you’ll guess which it was before I tell you.

Here’s clue No. 1 – It was not the £265,000 Silver Streak above. Obviously the money isn’t a problem. It’s just that your clothes would keep catching on the gorilla’s hooks  as you walked past, wouldn’t they. I can hardly pass a door handle without it gouging a strip from my jumper. So that £265,000 will be invested more sensibly in drink.

Anselm Kiefer - Einschusse (oil, emulsion and accrylic, with mixed media)

Clue No.2 – It was not Anselm Keifer‘s muscular and arresting Einschusse either. It wasn’t for sale, or naturally I’d have knocked down a wall to? get it into the house. The picture could have replaced the whole wall.




Norman Ackroyd - St Kilda in Sunlight - Stac Lee (etching)

Clue No. 3  – It wasn’t Norman Ackroyd‘s etching of St Kilda in Scotland either. I’m not greedy. One’s enough. I already have his etching From Malin Head – Tory Island. Admittedly it’s only a postcard, but I’ve got a lot to fit on the wall.


The Doctor and Leela (That's Austin Ruddy's work in the background.)

Clue No. 4 – Dr Who? Leela? What were they doing in the Summer Exhibition? They weren’t – but the designer for the Face of Evil episodes was. He’s Austin Ruddy. I couldn’t find an image of his picture A Raw Night (oil on card). Sorry. He sometimes exhibits here though.




James Martelli - Road Sign (Previously called Pedestrians this Way) (enamel on roadsign)

Clue No. 5 – But James Martelli‘s Road Sign caught my eye too. Vivid. A mere four figure sum to purchase. Is this the one?




Angie Lewin - Winter Persephone (wood engraving)

Clue No. 6 – And here’s Angie Lewin‘s Winter Persephone. Down to three figures. Yes, yes, I know. So vulgar and common to talk about money. But hey – it matches my taste. Er, no offence Angie. It’s delicate and lovely. Like you. (There’s a good wee 90 sec film of her at work here.) Right enough of the ingratiating apologising. Moving on…

Clue No. 7 – Which brings us this final very cute silkscreen print from Chitra Parvathy Merchant.

Is cute a compliment or an insult to an artist? Someone let me know. Unbelievably it was unsold at £35. No red sticker. Get in! And I could afford it as I’m off the drink for the month of June. (A whole month! Covering weeks of the World Cup! It’s horrible!)

Chitra Parvathy Merchant - Multi-Tasking Hair (silk screen print)

Except it turned out to have been already sold after all, as had the cheaper edition of 50. They just hadn’t got round to adding the red stickers. Ah well, that’s more cash to invest in the breakout fund for midnight June 30th. And I’ve still got me Norman Ackroyd postcard.

Others who caught my eye included David Denby, John Wragg, Mila Fustova, sculptor John Cobb and Nicolas Granger-Taylor (though I’ve since gone off him, I think it’s his website).

And yeah yeah Tracey Emin exhibited too. It was disappointing.

There are more good pictures of the Summer Exhibition at the Daily Telegraph.



Filed under art

17 responses to “That gorilla has stolen my coat hanger…

  1. When the bonnet came off my Renault R4 in the mid 1970s I used a coathanger to repair the hinges. If the car is still on the road, which I doubt, it will be running on a coathanger.

    They are also useful for hanging paint tins on a ladder while painting the front of the house.

    They can be infinitely shaped. My broadband wireless receiver is currently hanging from a curtain rail, suspended by a reshaped coathanger.

    This is an area of life where plastic is definitely a regression.

    Long live the metal coathanger – lego of its day.

  2. The gorilla’s pretty awesome. Not too fond of the last two I must admit. Looks a whole lot better than our Museum of Modern art which is decidedly . . unawesome. I used to be able to break into a car with a coathanger. These days it’s easier with a plastic strip but I didn’t tell you that.

  3. I have often suspected that coathangers breed in some way.Everytime i look in my warddrobe i seem to see more…..come to think, that monkey seems to be getting BIGGER!!!!!

  4. Nice post, nice pics, nice art.

  5. Pingback: What is the most ludicrous modern / conceptual art installation you have ever seen? | Custom oil painting

  6. Sorry to hear the Chitra Parvathy Merchant silk screen was sold – a lovely piece, and quite unbelievable at that price! I think Tracy Emin’s work is never really appealing unless it’s in an exhibition of just her stuff. It deosn’t make much sense out of context. I noticed that Waldemar Januszczak hated this year’s exhibition, but I think it looks great, and I think it has its own unique vibe, worth seeing. I haven’t seen it so thanks for sharing your insights!

  7. huaguan

    Classic post.

  8. blackwatertown

    Thanks for your coat hangers comments everyone, and for the insight into your dodgy past Baino.
    Tony – don’t let that gorilla hear you calling him a monkey.

  9. Wow. That gorilla puts every plasticine ninja turtle I’ve ever made well and truly in its place. Hang your head in shame, Michelangelo.

  10. London Caller

    Ha ha… That’s when King Kong met Hellraiser!
    How did you come across my blog, mate?

  11. The gorilla is extremely impressive! Thanks for posting!

  12. That gorilla leaves one “hanging” for more of the same by Mach. Great post! Makes me wish I had scads of money for collecting art. Sigh.

  13. Willie Potter

    Keep working ,fantastic job!

  14. Rosa Debenedittis

    Great article.

  15. so much culture is alluring! miss the museums n gallaries. thanks for sharing.

  16. so much culture is alluring! miss the museums n galleries. thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s