It’s colourful, it’s loud, it’s long. Exhibitionism perfectly befits the Rolling Stones’ career.
Giving yourself enough time to see everything will mean you need to allocate about two hours to wander around; the same amount of time as it would take to listen to the Stones’ last two albums. Arguably however it's a much better usage of your time.
As a show Exhibitionism is absolutely fantastic, and is a suitable highlight to the endeavours of Keith, Ronnie, Charlie and Mick. Nothing within their creative scope is left uncovered, from music to album artworks, stage design to tastes in fashion. There’s even a section for the jackets Jagger’s worn during live renditions of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, further pushing the dress-sense of mere mortals into the “hideously conservative” bracket.
Entire sets have been built throughout the gallery that compliment authentic artefacts, be it the group’s first Chelsea flat or the ready-to-hit-the-stage backstage area. The immersion is a flawless touch to the gallery, with the creative use of display taking it above and beyond the simple glass cases so often seen in galleries.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the framed exhibits, especially in the case of Exhibitionism. When legendary guitars from Richards and Wood are beside original artworks from Andy Warhol, David Bailey and Shepard Fairey you’d have to be pushed to find a more complete - or wide ranging - exhibition. The specially curated video featuring Martin Scorsese is the olive in the Martini.
The only downer to Exhibitionism is the sheer volume of people that are squeezed into the venue at any one point. Perhaps intentionally reflective of the VIP front of audience section sponsored by AMEX at any Stones gig (and if so, props for the realistic execution), it was difficult to see the smaller exhibits on show - reluctantly the looking over handwritten Q&As and original studio recordings had to be missed for fear of crushing.
Exhibitionism is the Harry Potter Studios Tour for anybody into not just the Rolling Stones, but music. The four men with faces more leathery than Tom Riddle’s diary have produced the most varied of exhibitions at the beautiful Saatchi Gallery. The notion that you can’t always get what you is now incorrect, at least when it comes to art shows.
Thanks to Saatchi Gallery for the images.