• Ewen_1
  • Ewen_3
  • Ewen_4
  • Ewen_5
  • Ewen_2
  • Ewen_6
  • Ewen_7
Photography

Ewen Spencer Wag Lad

Posted by Alex Bec,

Opening tonight at KK Outlet is a new show from photographer Ewen Spencer. Capturing the modern in an effortless, astute way, his most recent project explores what it means to be male in the 21st Century, focusing in particular on one group of males that interests him most. To me or you, a ‘metrosexual’ guy who spends too much time in the bathroom plucking his eyebrows, to Ewen, ‘The Modern Dandy’. We caught up with the man himself to get to the bottom of the curious moniker and subject of his latest gallery show.

Hi Ewen, can you tell us a little bit about your show at KK?

Over the last decade My primary interest has been youth culture and adolescence. More recently I’ve focused on ideas around arrested development or the exstension of adolesence. We seem to want to become grown up sooner and remain younger longer. The latter applying to men in a more supprissing manner or maybe a less visited way. As we see less of this in mainstream culture. I began by making pictures of very classicaly heroic men cage fighters marathon swimmers that type of man. Basically the opposite to where I have ended up with these pictures.

What exactly is a ‘Modern Dandy’

I believe many creative processes can be biographical. I ended up searching out a more extreme version of how I may have been as a young adult. Lots of guys imeet who are say a decade younger than me are very interested in their appearance. There is nothing unusual with this. Although there seems to be an accepted level of self awareness that may have not applied previously. I grew up in Newcastle during the ’80s, I pranced around as a teenager. Being tough was important but looking good was everything. I went from mod to casual to poseur! We pampered ourselves and pursued women with little shame or idea or consequence. So nothing too unusual there then. Today a similar type of man takes an awful lot of care of themselves. A sunbed once a week is not enough – several sunbeds and a washbag filled with product is the norm.

For me the existence and goals are similar but 20 years since my days prowling Newcastle’s city centre the cultural differences are of course very different. Today we have the internet as apposed to style mags and the tube on a Friday night. Premiership footballers are the staple rolemodel for ambitious working class kids. The glitz and glamour are no longer to be ridiculed but embraced and lorded.

What can we expect to see hung at the show?

You can expect to see 12 – 15 large prints showing different characters I have been working with over the last 6 months. I spend time with the fellas going about their everyday business. It’s fairly revealing and honest but made with great compassion.

Is it important to have gallery shows for your work, or are you happy for people to see them through other means?

To show your work on a wall in this way at a gallery such as KK is a fine way to begin leaking a project like wag lad. Eric Kessels is a terrific advocate of photography and design he’s almost impulsive in his desicion making it seems very natural to show this work here. Of course I could have spent a lot of time courting photographic curators and book publishers but this work is in it’s infancy and Eric asked if I had anything going on and here it is. I once worked for fashion and style mags (I-D, The Face, Sleazenation) that reached out to a youth audience but all that seems to have been replaced by cracking websites like yours. KK is a good place to sit.

Exhibition runs 1 — 29 October 2009
Private View on Thursday 1 October 7pm – 9pm

KK OUTLET
42 Hoxton Square
London
N1 6PB

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

  1. List

    There are equal doses of pleasure and frustration to be had in stumbling across the work of a photographer you’ve never seen before. It’s classic FOMO on a macro scale, coupled with joy at the prospect of showing off the treasure you’ve found. At least that’s what I felt when I discovered that photographer Mark Neville was to be showing two of his photo-series alongside one another in a new show entitled London/Pittsburgh at London’s Alan Cristea Gallery.

  2. List-flyers-for-the-institute-at-sexology.-photography-by-russell-dornan_-design-by-liam-relph-(3)

    London’s Wellcome Collection space always hosts explorations of the things that fascinate us most. It’s covered death, it’s exhaustively explored the human body in all its glory and grotesquery, and now it’s moved on to surely the most fascinating of all – sex, or more precisely, how people have studied it.

  3. List

    How’s this for a collaboration? Artist Quentin Jones, who counts photography, animation, painting and filmmaking among the tools of her trade, has teamed up with spatial designer Robert Storey to create the setting for her new exhibition in the The Vinyl Factory Space on London’s Brewer Street, with Robert creating a set for each of Quentin’s works.

  4. Main

    Right now, illustrator-turned artist extraordinaire Jordy van den Niewendijk is probably having a nap. For the last few weeks he’s been rushing around the world getting his work together for a very exciting solo show at New York’s trendy Moiety Gallery. It’s safe to say Jordy is one of our favourite artists, and to see his work evolve aesthetically over the years yet still cling on to that trademark style is great, a little bit like watching one of those cool videos of flowers blooming in slow-mo.

  5. Mp

    Hands up who loves boobies and butts? The pervier of us will appreciate this brand new show from Mike Perry which sees him collate all his brilliant nudie drawings in one place, and if you’re not a perv you’ll just love the colours. They say the human form is a beautiful thing, but sometimes people forget that it’s also super fun too. Good for lovely, bearded Mike for noticing this and spending ages drawing people with legs akimbo on coloured paper to entertain us straight-laced British folk. If you’re into illustration and/or nudity, head down to KK Outlet tonight for this scintillating show.

  6. List

    In 1963, the Royal College of Art held an exhibition celebrating 15 years of the school of graphic design. In the show’s catalogue, Professor Richard Guyatt remembered the days when the term was adopted by the college. “With a certain sense of relief, but not much conviction, the name ‘Graphic Design’ was chosen,” he wrote. “No one was quite sure what it meant, but it had a purposeful ring…”

  7. 4list.-charles-jourdan_-spring-1976-%c2%a9-guy-bourdin

    In the summer of 1979, several legs boarded a ferry travelling from Dieppe to Plymouth. However unlike most other legs making the journey, these didn’t have any feeling in their toes.

  8. Main1

    Just over a week ago It’s Nice That’s Jamie McIntyre and I took a train from London to Glasgow to the much-antiticipated Graphic Design Festival Scotland. We had been invited by Beth Wilson and James Gilchrist, two students who had recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. During their degree the two had found themselves working best when together, and decided to form Warriors Studio as a duo. They began thinking about the climate of graphic design in Scotland, the need for something new and exciting and – most importantly – what the hell they were going to do when term ends and they were turfed out to fend for themselves.

  9. List

    Designing for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year must be in many ways a dream project, in many ways a nightmare. Creating graphics that can seamlessly place disciplines as disparate as graphic design, furniture, product and architecture comfortably next to one another takes skill and an eye for leaving said projects to speak for themselves. Ok-RM’s graphics did just that, sitting back to let the viewer to make their own decisions about each project on its own merit, regardless of how it was made or by whom. Clean, well-spaced and scant typography work with clever colour-coding to form an overall aesthetic that more than deserves its place alongside the best designs of the past 12 months.

  10. List

    Listen up digital art types! If you’ve got great idea for a project that you haven’t been able to make happen, The Space may just be able to help. The not-for-profit venue has launched an open call to help a creative make that one crazy idea a reality, with funding and mentoring on offer. They say: “Nothing’s off limits; this is about pushing the boundaries and the project can take their point of departure from any artistic discipline, from music and film to visual arts and gaming.”

  11. Main

    Victoria Siddall has worked at Frieze for just over a decade and two years ago was made Director of Frieze Masters. Excitingly, just a few weeks ago she was appointed Director of Frieze Masters, Frieze New York and Frieze London. As well as being one of the most powerful women in the art world, Victoria is also my sister, so I was curious to find out how she’s feeling on the dawn of her new career.

  12. Main

    Imagine a dream world in which the heavy task of town planning was given over to the artists and creatives whose visions could ignite the city and bring out its most defining features. Some cities in the world are known for their cultural heritage: Nantes wasn’t one of these until 15 years ago, and since then it’s been a slow burn fuelled by the imagination of a group of risk-takers coralled by French public art impressario Jean Blaise and his curator David Moinard.

  13. Avlist1._alexander_rodchenko_costume_design_for_bedbug_1929__a._a._bakhrushin_state_central_theatre_museum

    For years I ventured no further than the hallowed halls of the lower floors of the V&A. And then, one day, like Lucy and Edmund tiptoeing upstairs to discover Narnia, I crept into the Theatre and Performance Galleries and found another magical wardrobe.