LONDON: Many of London’s best gastronomic establishments now have art collections and even bespoke, artist-designed interiors which are as much of a USP as the food they serve. The iconic status of The Ivy, for example, is further enhanced by its array of artworks by erstwhile and current clients such as Patrick Caulfield, Howard Hodgkin, Maggi Hambling and YBA guru Michael Craig-Martin; while Scotts of Mayfair has such an impressive array of pieces by frequent patrons including Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Polly Morgan and Paul Morrison that for the past couple of years it has laid on special Saturday morning guided art tours of its art holdings. Maybe Damien Hirst’s love of a well-appointed spread in conducive creative surroundings started it all in 1998 when he opened Pharmacy, his own restaurant in Notting Hill.
The latest talk about town is the restaurant Sketch which has just unveiled the second in its series of artistic collaborations with another all-encompassing environment, this time a joint effort between interior designer India Mahdhavi and Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley, who will also occupy the Fourth Plinth in 2016 with his ten-metre-high bronze sculpture of a raised thumb. Shrigley is best known for his wobbly, cartoon-like works which amiably satirize everyday situations and human encounters. For Sketch he has covered the pink walls, designed along with the furniture by Mahdhavi, with more than 200 of these framed drawings – the largest group of his works ever exhibited.
Book a table during Frieze this week and see how art and food work perfectly well together.