Ok, its not as famous as The White Cube, but The Victoria Miro is one of the big galleries of East London. It represents two recent Turner Prize winners, for example. It is some what hidden though. Tucked away behind the drive-through McDonalds on City road, near The Eagle of "pop goes the weasel fame". Technically, its a Hoxton gallery, but don't let the H word put you off. In fact, if you've not heard of this gallery, you should seek it out. They've had some really very good exhibitions there in recent years.
Their current exhibition, is a selection of large paintings by New York artist Inka Essenhigh. These paintings are beguiling. At first they seem superficial, almost cartoon like. But there is something more to them, that is hard to put in words. There are hints of Studio Ghibli, and the illustrations of Dr Seuss, sure, but there is also a slightly sinister sense of chaos. One of the paintings is even very reminiscent of Hogarth. An almost child like love of nature and the seasons runs through these paintings: organic forms that look more animal than the vegetation, clouds or water that they actually are, or the joyous use of bright reds, and oranges.
We like this exhibition. Its nice to see artwork which charms you into liking it, rather than artwork which is the visual equivalent of someone shouting 'are you shocked yet', or requiring an often badly written and dull critical theory essay to justify it.
Words & image by Oliver Gili
Inka Essenhigh is at the Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW until 2nd May. For more information see their website.