Rated and opinionated

Weekend Combo: Hockney, Rembrandt, Bourdin and a mouthful of Poitín
By Thomas Davis | Art | 28 November 2014
This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

We bring you our guide to living well in the world’s capitals, from exhibitions to cinema, food, drink, fashion, music and beyond. Just call it culture and take it, it’s yours.


“There are enough no smoking places now”
First up this week is a portrait of one of Britain’s most beloved artists, with revealing contributions from the man himself and his friends and colleagues. It’s David Hockney of course. Taking into consideration director Randall Wright’s previous subjects, who include Lucien Freud and Sister Wendy Beckett you immediately get a feel for the weight behind this doc-biopic without a weakly plotted or press adapted backstory in sight.

Awash with snippets of Hockney’s own collected history and home-movie footage, from the molten pools of California to images of the boys at Bradford Grammar School in 1947, this weight portrayal of a man most people will now know for his various opinions about smoking and the like is the ideal weekend watch; insightful, inspiring and entirely uncompromising. It does the man justice.

Hockney: 113mins, in cinemas now

Provocative pop
Guy Bourdin’s now iconic series of works marks a high point in which fashion photography took a steep swerve away from the norms of editorial and advertising imagery into something all together more artistic and provocative.

See a selection of his works in the incredibly well curated retrospective at Somerset House, featuring 100 colour exhibition prints charting his 40 year career from protégé of Man Ray to photography revolutionary. Legs, buns, phallic replacements and tongue in cheek taste aplenty. Oh la la.

Guy Bourdin: Image MakerSomerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Until 15th March 2015

Master blaster
If you’re after something a little earlier and considered to be in far better taste this weekend then head to the National Gallery, which is displaying some of the finest groups of paintings anywhere in the world.

Four self-portrait canvases and an etching by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, all made during the last eleven years of his life, hang oozing the incomparable brilliance of Rembrandt’s genius. His almost sculptural way of painting effects the viewer from the very second you lock gaze upon them, showcasing with unrivalled force examples of the everyday and prosaic made mysterious. If you don’t get a little chill viewing these you shouldn’t be allowed in a gallery.

Rembrandt: The Late Works, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Until 18th January 2015

Always check the label
If you’re into spirit redeeming music consumption, bypassing the greed of corporate cannibals as well as swerving brain-annihilating X-Factor nightmare fodder, then the founders of the planet’s greatest independent record labels have the ideal Saturday afternoon out for you. Joining together to pitch stalls and sell their own records themselves at this very unique brand of farmers market, The Independent Music Market does exactly what it says on the tin.

Throw in 20 of London’s best breweries with their pitches alongside record label reps and you’ll be wanting to be signed up yourself. Can you hold that note?

Independent Label Market, Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, London, E1 6EW
Saturday 29th Nov, 11:00–18:30

I’ll have a bottle of poe-CHEEN. Or two.
The formerly illegal home-distilled adult beverage by the name of poitín (pronounced poe-CHEEN) is making a heavy come back at a revamped Hackney boozer as of this week, Bethnal Green’s The Sun. Stocked with a plethora of the good stuff this well appointed waterhole will have locals awash in a sea of tanked-up bliss – the whisky selection alone stands at 40, and that’s just the Irish monikers.

There’s stripped back bare walls, bare stools, the odd sofa or two. No gimmicks, no crap. A short cocktail list and beer on tap. What more do you want?

The Sun Tavern, 441 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN


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