Neil Raitt is a young artist who studied at London’s prestigious Royal College of Art. He clearly had a lovely time and met some lovely people; opening up London project space Westminster Waste with a few of those pals he met along the way.
Pals like Brendan Giles, Joshua Sex (who has probably changed his name), and Tim Zercie — who have been so influential to the Leicester-born artist that the press release for his Brussels solo show, Landscapetual, comprises largely of their biographical information. I don’t know why. We didn’t bother reaching out to Raitt to find out why, but sometimes (often) your imagination is a cosier place than the hard truth.
So? Brendan? Born in Sevilla, Spain, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2011, and now lives and works in London. Sex? Ditto, bar graduating two years later than Giles. Simba? No idea who Simba is, but he was so scared, so scared man. Luckily, the namesake of a famed lion grew into himself when ‘that strange dust settled, the dust that rearranged everything.’ Excellent. Vista had a sister, ‘never knew how much he missed her.’ Like I said, seems our friend Neil had himself a lovely time at the RCA.
What bearing does all of this have on his Brussels exhibition? I haven’t got a clue, but frankly it makes for much better reading than 90% of the pretentious twaddle that galleries send out to us, so I’m running with it. Perhaps Simba was the key influence in Raitt looking to corny American painter Bob Ross, whose ’80s telly show The Joy of Painting was a bit like Rolf Harris without the court cases. Maybe Vista’s passion for Cactaceae rubbed off with prickly abandon. Maybe Neil Raitt just made some fucking lovely art and put it in a gallery.
Landscapetual continues at MonChéri, Brussels, until 23 July.