When I arrived at the Annroy Gallery to view the joint efforts of Damien Hirst and Rankin’s Myths, Monsters & Legends, I was greeted by a room full of food and various pieces of set for some kind of photo shoot. The girl on reception apologised and explained that there was a shoot taking place next door. To be expected in trendy Kentish Town, North West London. Yet all the hustle and bustle going on backstage lead to a relaxed atmosphere, which was strangely comfortable compared to the tense, stuffy ambiance that can often be found at more conventional galleries.
Rankin and Hirst, photographer and artist, show historic, mythical, traditional monsters in a modern light. It is as though the creatures we were told about as children have just undergone a transformation and gained a 21st century edge, a sort of fashion overhaul. With the help of model, Dani Smith, the long term friends took their influences from antiquity, and transformed beauty into the grotesque, with skulls, darkness and prosthetic creatures.
The exhibition shows off a world of fantasy, fairytale, and the reincarnation of inspiration and influence from classical Rome and Greece. It is a surreal space full of beasts, the mystical and the ethereal. A ghoulish halloween treat for monsters who crave art instead of blood.
Myths, Monsters & Legends is on show at the Annroy Gallery in London and the Rankin Gallery in Los Angeles until November 5