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Toothfish - International Street Artist

When:

Tue 30 Oct 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Wed 31 Oct 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 1 Nov 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 2 Nov 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 3 Nov 2012, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: Photospace, Level 1, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: James Gilberd

When pushed on the subject, Photospace Gallery owner James Gilberd expressed some anxiety about the upcoming Toothfish exhibition. For one thing, he has never actually met the ‘international’ street artist (or artists) who operate under that banner. For another, Toothfish has some oddball idea about paying people to take some of the artworks away from the gallery. This would, Gilberd says, appear to be bad business, and perhaps to be taking anti-capitalism too far.

“I heard about Toothfish from an artist friend in London, who organised a Toothfish exhibition earlier in 2012. This friend had never met the artist either. All he can now tell me is of dealing with a person wearing what looked to be a mask made from a horse’s skull. The artist refused to remove the mask, which was hampering communication, and she even denied that it was in fact a mask."

So, Toothfish is not your average street artist. Whatever Toothfish actually is, its posters have appeared all over the world. Many depict animals as righteous gods of nature whose wrath we all should fear. Toothfish itself claims not to be human but some sort of creature/s called into existence by the nightmares of our collective unconscious.

The most recent poster, which covered walls in Luxembourg, London, Paris and Wellington, features massive dollar signs and the word 'Sold!' Other posters have also addressed what Toothfish calls our “skewed value concepts”, and at its show at Photospace Toothfish is putting its money where its toothy mouth is. Much of the work, which includes prints, posters and primitive masks, will be for sale in the conventional way; but there will be a number of works that Toothfish will pay people to remove from the gallery! The first three people to twig the new value system can walk out with a work and some crisp, new banknotes if they remove the art from the gallery straight away and promise never to bring it back again.

No wonder the gallery owner is feeling a bit like he’s fallen down a rabbit hole.

Interviews with Toothfish can be done by phone or email only, as a live appearance is really not on the cards. Please contact James Gilberd at Photospace Gallery for contact info. Photographs of artworks can be supplied.

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