November 2000



Whether it's Tracy Emin appearing in a Vivienne Westwood campaign, Damien Hirst designing Absolut posters or Jeff Koons making props for a Gordon's Gin commercial, advertising continues to plunder fine art's treasures. How satisfying, then, to find art in spaces usually reserved for its imitators - in a working black cab, plying for trade on London's streets.

'Sunny' by American artist Alex Katz

Jason Brown, a London cabby, started the Cab Gallery more than a year ago and has since exhibited the work of a collection of British and American artists. 'l've always been into art and I'm a collector,' Brown explains. 'This was a way to give artists a unique place to show their stuff'. Some artists have made work specifically for the cab - seat cushions or sound installations - while others have exhibited existing work in the tip-up seats or on the door panels. The project has attracted notable names - currently the cab's exterior is by Brooklyn artist Alex Katz, and this year the gallery has submissions by Susan Hiller and Christo. Brian Eno has also agreed to do a sound installation.

Brown runs the Cab Gallery in collaboration with the art dealer Paul Stolper. 'We never mean the art to be intrusive,' says Brown 'We try to pick work that suits the space.' Of course, some passengers just don't get it, as Brown freely admits 'It isn't for everyone. Sometimes you get some very odd questions, but it's there for people who have the time to look, and they tend to be very enthusiastic'.

donald smith photographs
Photographs by Donald Smith appear in the tip-up seats

This month, the Cab Gallery displays interior photos by Donald Smith. The exterior exhibition, 'Sunny' by Alex Katz, will run until September 2001. The Cab Gallery can be found parked outside Donald Smith's exhibition at the Buro shop, Floral Street, London WC1, on 18 October, or driving around London for anyone to hail.