Friday, 12 January 2018

The living spit

I am fortunate enough to have an exhibition of the work of acclaimed sculptor and ceramicist Roger Law right on my doorstep at the moment. I had to go. His ceramics, including incredible vases of hand-carved porcelain that are nearly as tall as me, are beautiful works of art.

But... (and maybe that name is ringing a bell with you already...)

...the main reason I went along, with all due respect to those ceramics, was to see his works of satire, from the 1960s to the present day...

...and if the bell still hasn't rung, I was mostly drawn in by his work in latex from the 1980s... with all apologies for the poorly lit camera-phone photography:

Not for turning

For yes, Roger Law was once half of Fluck and Law, the visual creatives behind Spitting Image. We're all about the same age, right, so I'm guessing Spitting Image was as much a part of your teenage or student life as it was mine. That's why I had to go along. And why I couldn't stop taking pictures.

[Click images to embiggen - definitely worth it for the Last Supper pic, and Trump's atlas of the world]

L-R: Norman Tebbit, Leon Brittan, Douglas Hurd, Cecil Parkinson, Denis Thatcher
L-R: Michael Heseltine, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Lamont, The Queen Mother, Ted Heath
Mental sorbet required! Thatcher as Monroe
Sylvester required! Ken Livingstone as Tweety-Pie
The Last Supper - L-R: Norman Lamont, Kenneth Clarke, Kenneth Baker, David Mellor, Douglas Hurd, John Major, Virginia Bottomley, the head of Neil Kinnock (on a platter), Margaret Thatcher, Nigel Lawson, Cecil Parkinson, Geoffrey Howe, Norman Tebbit, Michael Heseltine and Chris Patten. Oh, and Denis Thatcher, under the table.
"Pass the peas, Norma."
Ian Hislop, some-time writer for Spitting Image
Ian Hislop, some-time writer for Spitting Image
Note Law's innate skills as a caricaturist. Here he has drawn a war criminal.
A more recent commission, for the 2010 general election. Note Mandelson wearing all the rosettes...
The Assassins was an earlier political work (1969), showing the "designated killers" Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan.
Murdoch Pissing On England - sadly, as relevant now as it was in 1981
It wasn't all political though. Here's Jack Nicholson in "The Shining".
Law also developed the artwork for albums in the 60s, notably for Hendrix and, here, The Who.
Still at it - a recent figure of old Wotsit-face Tinyhands
Law also had a hand in this slice of brilliance


  1. Absolutely brilliant, love their work, and that map is inspired. Is the show on for long? I was wondering if I could get up there to see it. Love seeing the sketches in particular.
    Fluck and Law both went to the same art school that I went to (twice!) in Cambridge, and we were lucky enough to have them visit and give a talk, show a film, etc. the first time round for me (1982), which was just before Spitting Image hit our screens, so they weren't known to any of us there at the time. Wish I could go back in time and listen again with new ears, knowing what a phenomenon the Spitting Image puppets were going to become.

    1. Well, the exhibition is on until the 3rd of April, so you've got time. It's not a huge show, if you're weighing up the commute, but the museum has plenty of other stuff too. Details here.

    2. Oh, and there's a whole wall of those sketches...