Robert Del Naja/ 3D: Fire Sale
What with one thing and another, I totally forgot to write up a trip we made to the Lazarides Gallery a few weeks ago to see the small but perfectly formed exhibition of works by Robert Del Naja, better known as 3D from the band Massive Attack.
I’ve been a big fan of Massive Attack ever since first hearing Unfinished Sympathy in the early nineties, but I have to admit that it wasn’t until a number of years later that I discovered that Del Naja, who had started off as a graffiti artist on the streets of Bristol, was also responsible for all the cover artwork for the bands albums and singles. The last time we got an opportunity to see his work was when he exhibited a few pieces as part of the James Lavelle curated Daydreaming With… a few years ago.
The many works on show at the Lazarides however, have all been created especially for this event and are a combination of both reworked and remade ideas from his back catalogue, from Blue Lines right up to Heligoland, along with a spattering of brand new and previously unseen pieces…
The down side of which is that there is nothing radically different here, no big departures from his easily recognisable style of Baconesque faces, montaged backgrounds and the simple graphic devices which he seems drawn towards.
The upside however is that in the relative smallness of the gallery, the sheer density of stuff on the walls gives it all a real added punch. The collected dark figures seem even more unsettling (despite Del Naja’s almost perverse use of bright colours) whilst the repetition of motifs in both the paintings and the wall coverings behind, binds the work together and gives the whole show real consistency.