'Playboy Bunnies, Superman & The Art'

22nd March ~ Fluid London
(Click here for original article)

'The opportunity to take a peek inside this bastion of glamour and bon vivre is too good to resist, add to that the fact that there’s an exhibition of Paul Mellia’s hyper real paintings on show, and you’ve all the ingredients for a party of potentially epic proportions.

So what’s the Playboy Club like? Well, there is public access to the exhibition (before 9pm, then it becomes members only) and the bar is a large, relaxed space with comfy over-sized couches and jet-black walls with large splashes of soft purple and ice blue lighting.

Traverse the bar area and there’s a secluded restaurant, roulette and black jack tables and an outside terrace. It’s stylish without being pretentious and glamorous without being garish. It’s like a Vegas casino toned down to fit into London’s less audacious environment.

Then there’s Mellia’s art, as one of the very few artists globally who is allowed to replicate and sell images of Marvel comic characters, his work is part homage to iconoclasm and part contortion of the same culture.

A huge canvas of The Joker, eyes rabid, with the term ‘Ka Pow’ painted around him dwarfs one wall, whilst a blurred motion shot of Michael Jackson adorns another, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse in oversize control another. The prices range from £1,000 for a print to £15,000 to a full print. Okay, the wife and I have some money from our recent wedding; but I’d feel guilty if I blew it on a piece without her consent.

And, of course, there’s the food, the drink and the Playboy bunnies. The bunnies maintain that famous pairing of graceful beauty and approachability, the champagne cocktails are punchy and the canapés - prawn lollipops with spicy chili mayonnaise; king-size prawns and mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef - are knockout. All in all, the Playboy Club{/link] certainly knows how to put on a gallery viewing, especially when they adorn the walls in current day hyper pop art.

In tribute to an evening of artful indulgence, here’s a brief look at some of London’s bars... (ctd)'