Monday, September 04, 2006
Secret Wars - Heat 1/2
Secret Wars is a battle like no other. Similar to Fight Club it thrives on word of mouth. Put simply, it is a war between artists. The ultimate question however, is who will reign supreme? The only weapon they carry is the pen they hold in their hand.
There are sixteen artists in this first series of the competition, each of whom have been hand picked to battle against one another for approximately one and a half hours each round. The aim of the game is to create a piece of art that is going to impress the carefully selected judging panel, who will then cast their vote at the end of each round, determining who will make it to the next stage. The battle itself has been "Set up like the FA cup system in football, each round will be a one on one battle to the death."
LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE! The date: Saturday the 26th August.
As the tiny Juno bar in Shoreditch, London made way for the event of the year; the artists Sam (under the alias Wood), Gustav Balderdash, Capt. Bukioe and Okkle were stretching their fingers and limbering up for the tournaments first battle. Wood and Gustav were first up to the podium and what a battle it turned out to be. So different in style it made it very hard as a spectator to guess what way the judging panel would sway. Wood's piece, with its intricate detail and highly complex meaning had no similarity towards Gustav’s character set-up. Totally different artistic styles brought together not to join hands, but to compete to avoid elimination.
With a judging panel consisting of Matsuri's Taka, Paul from clothing giant Terratag and Edding Markers (sponsoring the event) hero Andy, there was definitely something to be nervous about. With the hour and a half drawing to a close, it was now time for the panel to start making their decision on which artist should go through to the next round. Votes were cast and Gustav Balderdash beat Wood by one vote.
The first casualty of this tournament, Wood described the theme behind his loosing piece, "It's based on War. It is a battle between circle and squares. I wanted to ask the question... Will there ever be peace in geometry? For me the answer is no, not if money can be made from their differences."
Gustav Balderdash who described his work as "clean, fuddy-duddy and sometimes bitter" had these words to say on the theme of his winning piece, "it is basically about an old man reminiscing on his younger days and past adventures." Although pleased with his win, Gustav was not so optimistic about winning the tournament. He saw himself facing Capt. Bukioe in the final and loosing. Capt. Bukioe of course was up next against Gloucesters very own Picasso, Okkle.
From the offset it was clear that this second battle was going to be much harder for the judges to decide. Both artists Capt. Bukioe and Okkle had very similar styles. Like Gustav in the earlier battle, both had character pieces, but both quirky in their own way. Gustav's character won in the last round, but would this round leave the judges torn. Capt. Bukioe had more of a grimy piece with a hooded ape smoking a spliff and drinking a beer, whilst Okkle went for a more cute design with a whale like creature and a cat holding a paintbrush. Both artists tried to make a dig at each other’s pieces with clouds of lightning and the hoody on Bukioe's ape, reminding the spectators that this tournament is really a War of art.
Pens down and the judges had to come to their decision. Some members of the crowd were quite shocked with the outcome. Andy from Edding Markers was the only judge to vote for Capt. Bukioe therefore eliminating him from the tournament and rendering Okkle the winner. Gustav's prediction of facing the Captain in the final was quashed. Instead he would be facing Okkle the underdog who battled to victory in the first stage.
Reading's very own Capt. Bukioe, who described his style as, "sketchy, lopsided and bitter" did not have too much to say on the matter of losing. He has high hopes of Gustav going on to beat Okkle and also win the tournament. He described the theme of his piece as, "The theme of my piece tonight? Hmm I dunno, Reading".
Okkles main inspiration comes from artists like Pete Fowler and Jon Burgerman, described his winning piece as, "a bit quirky". Okkle decided to take part in the tournament after being contacted over the Internet about a year ago by Monorex's very own Terry Guy. When asked if he had a game plan to get through the tournament, Okkle replied that he would, "play it by ear".
This laid back chappy with his cartoony designs may go far, but he certainly has a battle to the death in the quarterfinals when he faces Gustav Balderdash who is mates with Capt. Buckio the looser in Okkles round.
The end of this month sees battle three and four taking place, with artists D Bug facing MR Shrew and Fybe facing Teck 1 each fighting for their own place in the quarter finals. The winner of the tournament will receive a £500 cash prize, a gold pen trophy, their very own foosball table and numerous other goodies. The pressure is building as we get one step closer to the Secret Wars grand final.
Why not check Secretwars.co.uk for more info on the fixtures, the prizes and also the memories of each event. This month's War is on Saturday the 30th of September. With a new judging panel, more DJs, drink offers and of course the live art battle it's set to be an even bigger night than the last.