The Evening Standard profiled Mat Collishaw’s studio last weekend and profiles him as the last of the YBAs because he is finally getting recognition:
His studio is full of the usual artists’ knick- knacks: decaying wooden throne; singing tree stump (he’s fitted a record player inside it); a poster of Josef Fritzl, used as a dartboard; a couple of tatty dead birds. In fact, those belong to his girlfriend, he says. She’s a taxidermist. Not London’s most glamorous taxidermist, Polly Morgan? He gives a gruffly proud assent. What a mawkishly perfect coupling: Mr and Mrs Dead Things. He squashes moths; she stuffs squirrels. […]
There isn’t much of Collishaw’s art around – it’s off being fabricated’ in Ashford – but on his computer is a new prototype for his latest creation, a 3-D carousel that, when spinning, shows cherubs behaving badly, smashing eggs and prodding snails, a fabulously twisted take on the Victorian zoetrope. The London Evening Standard’s art critic Ben Lewis described it as unforgettable’; the Ukrainian art-collecting oligarch Victor Pinchuk owns one and so does Damien Hirst, Collishaw’s friend and Goldsmiths contemporary.
Collishaw, now 43, is, in the words of the critic Julian Stallabrass, the nastiest’ of the YBAs, which is quite a tag. True, his oeuvre has included studies of (take a deep breath): women using sanitary towels; dead Nazis after their last debauch; women having sex with zebras; schoolgirls passed out in the undergrowth surrounded by spent needles; creepy saintly children holding bouquets; and images of himself as an ogre catching small girl fairies in a butterfly net. Nastiest, am I?’ he laughs. At least it’s a superlative.
Mat Collishaw is Art’s Mr. Nasty (This is London)