E lVAI. front of house
He’s not a comedian, he’s an entertainer, as JOHNNY VEGAS will tell you in no uncertain terms. Anyone who has seen his show will know that he’s also a dab hand with a potter’s wheel which is why he’s reviewed the craft fair Artisan 98 for us.
As a kid I never dreamt of becoming a pop star. I never did the air guitar in front of the tnirror. Pottery was and always will be tny one true love. I‘d take cups out of the cupboard. pretending it was a kiln. and inspect tny latest creations before Dad would come in drunk and throw them at a wall. So where did these sweet and innocent childhood ambitions go wrong'.’ When did I stop being a potter and become the showbiz slapper of the ceramics world'.’ Big questions that may not have been asked had I not stumbled across the Artisan festival of contemporary crafts the other day.
l was back among my real peers and if pottet'y‘s the new rock ‘n‘ roll then I was the ceramic Spice (iirl. admired only for me good looks and ability to titillate an audience while making teapots. llere were the true ambassadors of art and they had every right to be miffed with tne for selling out ceramics. l've prostituted myself on the dark streets of that is the lidinburgh Festival. ()ffering light executive
relief to the lusty kerb crawling critics who cruise the comedy capital in search of the vulnerable vixen that is Johnny Vegas. a small time ceratnicist who came to the city in an
attetnpt to escape the artistic indifferences of
24 THE usr 27 at; to 80:) 1998
'Thanks to these people I could face the caning the critics had in mind 'cause I has a big book down the back of my pants called self- belief and my cheeks would never glow rosey with rejection again!’
I‘d been pimping out pottery to the highest bidder and had found tneself riddled with the social disease of schmoo/ing. Like a Damien Hurst exhibition in a small Welsh settlement. my ceramic stunts were intended to shock! Not to sexually arouse you.
At last though this midnight cowboy has found the ranch of mutual respect. I spent the day swapping glaze recipes with old friends. There was saltgla/c. slipgla/e. stoneware. on glaze enamels. thrown-ware (even textile designers dropped their guard as I learnt all about the secrets of screen printing) all this sculpture and not a single sexual connotation in sight.
Forget comedy. this was the place to be if
Johnny Vegas: riding the pottery wheel of fortune you‘re looking for creative kicks and I didn't mind bending over and receiving my punishment. Thanks to these people I could face the caning the critics had in mind 'cause I has a big book down the back of my pants called self-belief and my cheeks would never glow rosey with rejection again!
Too often TV bigwigs have tempted me with a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag of broken promises bttt now I‘m drying ottt and not in some Betty Ford clinic full of sloshed- ttp celebs. l‘m pottery"s prodigal son and luckily for tne the craft community welcomed me with open arms and hearts. Thank you Artisan for saving this wretched soul from the purgatory of pro-celebrity ceramics!
Johnny Vegas: Selling Out (Fringe) Calder's Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 31 Aug (not Tue) 10.45pm. £8 (£7). Johnny Vegas at The Palladium (Fringe) Calder's Gilded Balloon at The Palladium (Venue 26) 226 2151, 28—30 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).