The Daily Philistine – January 2nd – Paul Kenton and Desire

Picture of the Day – Paul Kenton’s ‘Lights of Fire’


When my parents come to visit me in Birmingham, we often go out for lunch. One of our favourite Italian restaurants is next to a small fine art gallery and shop – part of a chain – and we’ll often pop in there after lunch to ogle all the paintings and sculptures that plebs such as ourselves will never be able to afford to buy.

The last time we were in, they had a few pieces by Paul Kenton on display. His were all wonderful, in a rough, basic sort of a way. He did one really interesting one on a shiny aluminium sheet – a scene of a rainy, downtown Manhattan, and he left the reflective metal uncovered to form the puddles and rain-streaked windows.

But the one that really caught my eye was this one, ‘Lights of Fire’. It’s stark, and stunning, and somehow really lonely. This may sound daft, but one of the bits that really made me fall in love with it was the ceiling office lights you can see in the top right, just barely shining through the reflection on the windows. It makes it feel real, the sort of thing that would be there, but that you wouldn’t really notice.

He’s done some amazing other pieces, too, but this was my favourite. I’ll likely never be in a position to own something like this (even with 0% credit, as advertised on the little cardboard label next to it), but if I was ever in the position to drop £750 on a whim, a piece of art like this would probably be one of the first things I’d spend it on.

Music of the Day – ‘Under Your Spell’ by Desire

Spotify Link: ‘Under Your Spell’ by Desire

This is a song I first heard when watching the movie ‘Drive’. ‘Drive’ had a brilliant soundtrack (alongside brilliant casting, brilliant cinematography, brilliant lighting, brilliant pacing…) and this is one of a few songs from the film that I still listen to frequently. I know little else about Desire, and haven’t listened to much of their other work, but I really like this one.

It’s again, a bit weird, it has a spoken-word bit in the middle which may be annoying, but I appreciate the timelessness of it – it feels like it should be a track straight from the 1980’s, played on a cassette in a car stereo on a long drive in the middle of the night. Which is probably why it was selected for the film ‘Drive’ in the first place.

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