Illustrated throughout with rare and fascinating artworks and photographs from the Factual Nonsense archive. For Joshua Compston, life was a special kind of nonsense; Factual Nonsense. Seen by some as the romantic martyr of his generation nd by others, as a prankster, sending up the art establishment, Compstons gallery Factual Nonsense (FN) was quite unlike any other. Called a crazy powerhouse of ideas, Factual Nonsense was a cultural think-tank located in a then run-down area of the East End. Determined to change the world through art, he was a driving force that helped turn the East End of London into the cultural hub that it is today. Factual Nonsense The Art and Death of Joshua Compston is both a biography and an alternative portrait of the 1990s art scene in Londons East End. It is also a guide to living fast and dying young in the contemporary art world; Joshua Compston made Hoxton hip and Shoreditch sexy. The list of the fifty or so interviewees in the book reads like a whos who of the contemporary art world, with contributions from the likes of Jay Jopling, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gary Hume, Gavin Turk, Maureen Paley, and Sir Peter Blake. Joshua was a mass of contradictions; he bridged two different worlds, the son of a Judge, before his demise he had been stockpiling dynamite to blow up the artworks he detested. The most social of people at the height of his infamy he became the point where art, entertainment and real estate met. Joshua knew everyone worth knowing in the London art world and now the people who knew him best tell his remarkable story to Darren Coffield. Darren Coffield has blended the voices of Joshuas lovers, haters, acquaintances and colleagues into a captivating narrative. Here we see the entire span of Joshuas life from his suburban childhood and his early days at college; his first success bringing contemporary art to the Courtauld Institute: his highly active love of danger, the mould breaking excitement of his events such as A Fete Worse than Death; his pivotal role in the regeneration of Hoxton and Shoreditch as a thriving cultural area; and his final days of rejection and isolation. I knew in Joshuas lifetime that he was going to become this sort of fascinating figure posthumously. I knew that he was always going to be the dandy romantic of that time as well. And I think he knew that too Sam Taylor-Wood. Full of captivating stories, startlingly intimate and altogether fascinating this is the most entertaining and beguiling account of Joshua Compstons life yet.
The Word Machine
The art and death of Joshua Compston