Eddie Farrell & Henningham Family Press
£180 (£348 framed)
Exhibited at Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011
We were printing “price prints” with Eddie Farrell as the recession hit in 2009; packets of groceries he had bought that he then screenprinted with their original value in the hope that he might recoup his living costs by turning them into art. These prints were frozen in value to prevent inflation. The radio was on, repeatedly mentioning this new “Credit Crunch” thing. We had a pile of cereal packets as yet unprinted that seemed destined to be rebranded. The fact that this session was also prompted by Eddie’s imminent departure for (cheaper) Berlin made this an even bleaker breakfast.
There were many things we enjoyed about this print. Firstly, it was a comment on the fact that the greatest print technology in the world is utilised to sell cereal. It isn’t the corn you are paying for. This means the biggest print market in the world is the supermarket. What of the ‘fine’ yet rudimentary prints we artists make? Secondly, it would become a kind of time-capsule for design, print and sporting celebrity endorsements as time goes on. And lastly, it seemed so unreasonably popular, provoking a feeding frenzy at Christie’s auction house and the Royal Academy that can only be accounted for by catharsis.
Eddie Farrell’s black stencilled Credit Crunch on a flattened Corn Flakes box and the drunken Escheresque style of Neil Pittaway’s etching of Westminster station, come as welcome light relief. And from here on out doolally seems to be the operative word as somewhere behind me a woman yelps, rousing images of the Suffragette that went ballistic on a Henry James portrait at the 1914 Summer Exhibition. – Spoonfed