Mandy McCartin and Mohammed Sami on show at Royal Society of Medicine

Saturday Art Fundraising: IKWIL artists contribute to leukemia and lymphoma fundraiser at Royal Society of Medicine

I am happy to announce that two painters from the IKWIL team, Mandy McCartin andMohammed Sami, are contributing to a fundraising event this Saturday. The gala takes places this Saturday at the Royal Society of Medicine and is in support of the Petrie Project, who will donate 25% of proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to fund blood cancer research and provide education and patient services. 

There will be two other artists taking part in the event, David Stanley and Emma Davis. The evening will be accompanied by live classical music performed by musicians from the Royal Academy of Music, and there will be wine and canapes served throughout. 

Mandy and Sami will participate with works that we haven't shown before and this is a good chance to see them. Please join us and give generously through buying art!

Click here for tickets and do email me if you would like to see the work in advance.

Venice Biennale Preview

IKWIL Director Sabina Andron visited the Venice Art Biennale 2015 and wrote some suggestions about which exhibitions are not to be missed in the world's biggest art event. 

"Take each and every piece of art that is in Venice during the Biennale and move the whole thing to anywhere else in the world, and it won’t have half the impact it has right where it is. The magic of the palazzos, the unchanged urban infrastructure, the rhythms of the city and the constant joy of encountering yet another unexpected gem could not be equaled in any other location. Nor could all the Spritzes, lunches and dinners that make all the walking and art viewing possible."

Read more here.

The Spring Ball art and why you’re not seeing it in advance

This post was initially published over on the Studio189 page. Come to our party on 25 April to understand more.

Fay and I have talked about the many unknowns we’re expecting people to commit to by coming to the 189 Spring Ball: the secret address, the house full of strangers, the mysterious erotic art. We could have made all this information available in advance, but that would have taken away the pleasure of discovery, which is one of the key things about Studio189: there must be a few unknowns left. Aside from the anticipation of meeting new people, the anticipation of the art is what I am most excited about.

Last time we showed art at 189 was in September 2014 for the preview of the IKWIL debut group show at Curious Duke Gallery. We showed work by three artists who tend to work quite large, usually with pieces above 1sqm. The 189 space behaved amazingly well and accommodated several of these canvases but this obviously limited the number of works we could show. 

This time however, sizes vary considerably, and we have no less than 57 artworks to show and sell on the night.

The exhibition is of erotic art, the kind of sexy, fleshy, funny, attractive and sometimes disturbing visual material that the five artists have produced. It is about their own and other people’s bodies and desires, the result of exposure, immersion and playing around with artistic languages and techniques. 

I was interested in some of this work’s exuberance and its challenging abilities, but also in the dialogue it can generate. This is why we’re only showing bits of it before the night, because we want to register viewers’ reactions there and then. Perhaps we should even do a “seeing-the-art-face” blog post after the 25th and gauge our guests’ opinions on the erotic art.

And so....all will be revealed on the night.

Studio189 Spring Ball Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets for the Studio189 Spring Ball tickets are now available to purchase from the Studio189 website. This will be a high end evening of art, music and poetry to celebrate the arrival of spring.

There will be an erotic art exhibition curated by IKWIL with painting, photography and collage by five international artists, a music recital with a mezzo-soprano and a guitarist, and a spoken word performance. The artists will be present. There will also be art collectors, architects, designers, photographers and other creatives, making this the perfect high end networking opportunity for educated people with an interest in art.

The event is limited to a number of 50 guests, so get your tickets soon:

Contributions Wanted for London Gallery Guide

Art Map London are putting together guide to London art galleries and are looking for contributors to vote for their favourite art spaces. 

The Guide will take an ebook format and be distributed at Art Fairs around London. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of galleries in the capital, rather to give users a cross-section of the most influential and innovative galleries of all types, from large publicly-funded galleries, to emerging commercial ones. 

LAM are looking for input for their project from arts professionals and IKWIL members who are interested in art. This can be offered through the following document, which allows you to vote which galleries you think should be included in the guide:

Answers should be submitted by Friday 27th of February.

Graffiti Sessions Conference comes to a close in London

Read full conference review here:

Where does graffiti belong in our cities, and who has the right to decide? How can one balance creativity and criminalisation when it comes to writing graffiti? Does the law have different approaches when it comes to the production of street art and graffiti?

These and other questions were tackled in a three-day conference in London on 3, 4 and 5 December. I Know What I Like supported the efforts of two universities, several research centres and a number of independent organisations to produce and deliver the event, which was successfully attended by hundreds of delegates from the UK and the world.

Conversations were guided by three main themes:

How can cops, courts and cleaning be more economically and socially sustainable for the publics they serve?

Can street art and graffiti practices support claims that they can resocialise, regenerate or revitalise cities and neighbourhoods?

And a call to action: How should policy and practice shift, to take account of contemporary perceptions of street art and graffiti? What approaches could better represent the diverse communities involved and affected?

Read the full conference review, see all the speakers and get an impression of attendance and participation here: Visit conference website for full video presentations and image gallery:

IMPREINT Balloons Project featured on The Hill

The Balloons Project by IMPREINT has recently been featured on The Hill website, the local guide for events in London's Notting Hill. The post features a couple of sneak-peeks into IMPREINT's installation at Arancina, which I Know What I Like had the pleasure of previewing the other week.

The spectacular display at Arancina features 500 photographs from the Portraits series, alongside a few of IMPREINT's balloon paintings. 

Join us on 12 November for a dissemination of the Balloon Project, an artist talk and an arts debate on the aesthetics and function of the balloon. Read more about the project and book here:


I Know What I Like Opening Night Atmosphere

The opening night for the I Know What I Like group show was a success, with hundreds of people visiting the show on the night and since then. You can see some of the opening night photos below, courtesy of our photographer Sonia Sanchez Lopez.

We are also working on a video introduction of the show, which will be published here in due course. 

The show is still on until Thursday 9 October, you are welcome to come to the Curious Duke Gallery between 11.30-18.30 and see the art!

IMPREINT + I Know What I Like = Collaborative Art Installation

A conceptual artist pairs with a group of art fans to make rather than look, touch rather than talk, and produce rather than interpret. This is the story of IMPREINT and I Know What I Like, and their 2-hour guerilla exHibition project outside the Serpentine Galleries in London.

IMPREINT met I Know What I Like through a balloon-holding ritual in West London. One was out snapping portraits of people holding a balloon (simple, clever, scalable concept), while the others were doing critical rounds of Mayfair galleries and their proposed exhibitions. Questions were asked, balloons were held, skepticism was exercised, photos were taken and contact details exchanged.

The next decision was for IMPREINT and I Know What I Like members to challenge each other outside their comfort zones and create something together. On a slightly irreverent note, the collaborative process took place in the shadow of the Serpentine Gallery, which had just hosted the blockbuster Marina Abramovic collective meditation sessions. Was our project worthy of occupying just the outskirts of the art establishment? Maybe so, but it was still very energising to make it happen.

IMPREINT’s proposal was to replicate an installation he had constructed on two previous occasions the year before, one on the beach in St. Ives in 2013 and the other one in Regent's Park during the Frieze Art Fair of the same year. The installation consisted of 93 unique yellow painted canvased provided by IMPREINT, which would be arranged by I Know What I Like members to form a giant letter H – the symbol for a landing helicopter. The canvases each had different cracks on them, resulting from the glue and spray paint technique used in their production, so they were far from being perfect yellow rectangles, which was part of the point. Eager to compose the H, they all fell together so smoothly that the resulting symbol could have easily been mistaken for the real thing, had it been seen from afar.

One by one, the canvases were then removed from the giant H, poking holes into the straight propriety of the letter and making us ask ourselves at what point the H stopped being an H, and would a helicopter still come land on it?

Lessons we all learned:

1.       Making art and enjoying the moment is almost as fun as questioning the value of what we made

2.       People like simple things to bring them together – see the success of the 512 Hours performance

3.       It is worth trying this out with a real helicopter

4.       Would a vertical H make any sense as a landing helicopter symbol?

5.       It is all-round rewarding to challenge people outside their comfort zones through art – so more of that please! 

PS. Notice that we're all wearing limited edition exHibition tshirts that we also got to keep!

Balloon Collaboration with Conceptual Artist IMPREINT

I Know What I Like members have spent a wonderful afternoon behind the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens on Saturday together with IMPREINT, a London-based conceptual artist best known for his balloon project which has been uniting people from all over the world.

We spent a couple of hours together helping to build an installation which we are going to reveal later, and enjoyed contributing to the balloon photos collection, which is now getting bigger and bigger.

Send IMPREINT a photo of you holding a balloon by December 2014 via his FB page and become part of the project! More details on what we were up to on Saturday will be revealed soon.

Mohammed Sami on Saatchi Art Investment List

Mohammed Sami's solemn, narrative paintings bear within them powerful underlying themes, which the artist has been exploring since fleeing war-torn native Iraq: trauma, migration, broken geographies and ruptured identities.

Two of Sami's massive works have just made Saatchi Art's investment list for work over $5000. More affordable work by this dedicated artist will be available in our October group show.

See both selected paintings and follow Sami's work from our Facebook Page. Read the artists' profile here.

Paid research for gallery goers *updated*

Market research company Attitude and Thoughts have already recruited a number of participants for their London gallery research - but they need more! [scroll down for initial announcement]

Please write an email to, including your contact number, if you fit the criteria below:

Participants to live in South London, preferrably:  East Dulwich, West Dulwich, Brixton, Peckham, Herne Hill or Tulse Hill.

Have never visited or have not visited Dulwich Picture Gallery in the last 5 years.

10 more people needed, 5 females and 5 males in each group.

Tuesday 5th September - 90min- London Soho - £50

Group 1 - 6:15pm (21-44years)

Group 2 - 8.00pm (45-75years)