Review: Faris Badwan Drawing A Straight Number Nine

Faris Badwan from The Horrors, a dead on arrival indie band, channeling the ‘Chain and early Roy Orbisons’ hair, and a sound from beyond Vincent Prices sofa, has a show on at the Book Club, Leonard Street, Shoreditch EC2. It’s called ‘Drawing a Straight Number Nine: Exhibition of drawings’.

Hold on Faris Badwan sounds like an anagram right? How about, bad fair swan, rabid fan saw, drab fa swain, dabs infra aw, barf aid swan, brain wad fas, bar and waifs, swab and fair, a drab sawn if, bra wads fan I. Ok, that’s enough! You get my point on this strangely exotic and bizarrely pleasing name.

The Book Club is an acheingly trendy bar, crawling with tight jeans (boo! For that revival) loose splashy t-shirts and big psycho Billy quiffs (yay! for that revival!) and any show in a bar is a secondary activity, but the work fitted in somehow. It’s a series of fairly intense obsessive graphic shape ink drawings with some nice figurative drawing. The bulk of the ink drawings are linear, repetitive and maze like. Imagine leaving Joey Ramone in a windowless room for a week with an ink pen, ink pot and a bag of speed. Therapy through fairly crazed drawings. Highlights were some figurative sketches and a big evil mouse. Which was great, it just needed more of that quality. Even though there were a hundred pieces, It needed more standout pieces like the mouse to make it a destination show rather than, “oh look at that drawing and get me a couple of pints please!” With no colour, no centre or story to the show, and Faris staring at you posing at the bar, pretending it didn’t matter, it was all a bit of a downer. I’m outta here.

Keld Van Schreven

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad

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