Articles Tagged with: art

ANTIHERO – Benjamin Murphy in Helsinki

ANTIHERO is British artist Benjamin Murphy‘s 6th solo exhibition, and his 2nd in Helsinki following 2016’s ‘Vile Oblivion’.

 

To enquire about available works, please click HERE
Antihero

Black electrical tape on glass (encased in clear resin) FRAMED

ANTIHERO, however, marks a stark departure from what we already know, or think we know, of Benjamin and his work. Having spent much of his artistic career occupying a rare and liminal position within the conventional art world at large, his work bearing the hallmarks of many artistic movements and trends and yet never being fully identified or categorized within them, Benjamin has decided to eschew all preconceived expectations and assumptions about his work. The unconventional nature of Benjamin’s chosen medium (black electrical tape on glass) defies easy classification by being neither drawing, painting, nor sculpture has often seen him the outlier of many a group exhibition. But not dissimilar to the journey of maturity experienced by the titular character of Hans Christian Anderson’s 19th-century morality tale, it is after many years of honing his skill and singular vision in the artistic wilderness that Benjamin is able to thrive when given the platform of a solo exhibition. ANTIHERO, therefore, is Benjamin’s most earnest attempt at encapsulating his work and presenting it to the audience in exactly the way he deems fit, away from any outside influence.

ANTIHERO also marks an arrival, as, after many years with a sole focus on depicting predominantly female forms, Benjamin is presenting works portraying other genders for the first time. This change is due in part to growing frustration with the subject matter of his work, as well as an increased awareness that he’d had ended up operating from within his comfort-zone, and in part Benjamin’s realisation that he was representing only one type of beauty. By creating artworks that were popular and yet artistically safe, Benjamin was not only struggling to evolve as an artist but also neglecting the aesthetic beauty of other body-types ANTIHERO, therefore, can also be seen as a creative course correction for Murphy, away from his comfort zone and towards more challenging and rewarding lines of artistic enquiry.

Benjamin carries this anti-establishment and individuality through into his other artistic endeavors, principally among them Delphian Gallery, which he co-founded with friend and fellow artist Nick JS Thompson in 2017. Delphian manages to circumvent the traditional gallery model by operating as a nomadic curatorial practice, presenting the most exciting and innovative emerging and early-career artists on a national and increasingly international stage. They are also pioneers in harnessing the creative potential of social media, and their most recent annual open call competition garnered over 10,000 submissions from a global community of artists.

Benjamin’s prolific lust for learning, achieved through both a BA, MA and multiple online higher education courses, as well as his own personal autodidactism, not only sees his work imbued with many literary, art historical and philosophical references, but also sees him occupy the position of Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London. Benjamin also writes extensively on art theory for a number of periodicals and publications.
ANTIHERO, finally, should be seen less as the presentation of a new body of work and more as the culmination of Benjamin’s last 7 years navigating the pearls and pitfalls of maintaining an artistic life, continuously experimenting and innovating whilst enriching his solo practice through a pervasive programme of reading, writing, curating, creating, lecturing, and most importantly, learning.
Hector Campbell, Art Historian, Writer and Curator

Private View – 18:00-22:00 03/07/19
Korkeavuorenkatu 7, 00140 Helsinki
The show then runs until the 11th.
To join us for the private view, please click HERE

For more by Benjamin Murphy, go HERE

 

Exhibition graciously supported by Paja&Bureau and Creat.


The Delphian Podcast – FIRST EPISODE

The Delphian Podcast is NOW LIVE!

the delphian podcast

For this first episode, we sit down with Kate Mothes, a curator and arts organiser currently based in the American Midwest. Kate runs Young Space, a curatorial project and online platform which emphasises new and exciting work by early-career and emerging artists. We talk about how it is to work outside of a major arts hub, online exhibitions, and how social media is changing the landscape for the arts.

 

The first episode can be listened on our website HERE, or on Spotify or the Podcast app.


Fractured Integrity – Rowan Newton

Rowan Newton’s highly anticipated and long-overdue debut UK Solo Exhibition ‘Fractured Integrity’ opened at Jealous East for an exclusive 10 day launch, featuring 6 large-scale paintings and a series of miniature studies, marking a new direction in the artists work and a renewed, unique reflection on figurative painting.

Figures are poised in almost cinematic realities, instigating a sense of familiarity, yet these worlds are disrupted with sharp glitches and gestural sweeps of colour; a disrupted reality which isn’t quite as familiar as it first seemed. Motion swirls around the carefully constructed figures as they move through the canvas, expressed through the artists loose, confident and textural application of the medium and liberal use of vibrant colours which surrounds and interacts with them.

‘Fractured Integrity’ explores an emotive narrative, told through the female form with a series of frozen moments exploring the psychological darkness which accompanies our human need to connect; insecurity, power, isolation and vulnerability. Identity is subverted by the concealment or obscuring of the face, drawing our focus directly to the body. The gaze of the voyeur, however, is irrelevant. These characters recoil and turn away from our stares, an ambivalent nonchalance to our presence is created. Though beautiful and elegant, they make no attempt to seduce us with their naked forms. As we move past the beauty of colour, we are left with subtle suggestions of darkness, pain and anxiety, moments which create for the viewer a context to reflect on their own unique experiences.

 

Why did it take you so long to do a solo show?

I always knew that I wanted to produce a show that was more then a series of portraits. When I first started out I was painting figures. But after a couple of years I fell into this loop of constantly painting portraits. So I waited till something pulled me out of that. And then it hit me, nothing was gonna pull me out of that but myself. Like I was waiting for some devine intervention. But really I just needed to pull myself away from it, and start producing the work I really wanted to. That took time, and it took even more time to be really happy with what I was producing when I went in this new direction.

fractured integrity

Seeking Hidden Sins – Oil on canvas

Why did you decide that you needed this new direction?

I was tired of the box I had been put in by the galleries and the audience. “Oh you’re a portrait painter, we want the portraits” and I’m thinking, I’m a painter, full stop, not a ‘portrait’ painter. I wanted to remind myself I was capable of paintings more then a portrait. I wasn’t happy about the box I had fallen into and wanted to break free. Time has also helped with that. As it’s been a while now, people do seem to have forgotten about the portraits, or certainly aren’t so expectant that everything they see of me would be a portrait. Which is nice and refreshing.

Do all of the works feel like they are a part of one series for you, or is each work an autonomous piece?

It was important for me that this felt like a body of work when viewed together. There is a narrative to it all. It tells a story in a sequence. Which is explained to some degree in the zine I’ve made for the show. But at the same time I was very much aware that I wanted each painting to also stand up on there own individually. I really didn’t want the viewer to feel like they were looking at the same painting over and over again but maybe the colours had changed slightly.

In terms of the narrative, did you decide what this was going to be beforehand and then create works to illustrate it, or did the narrative develop from the paintings in retrospect?

At the start I was just painting. I took time to just paint anything but portraits. When in that zone, I think what happens is, what’s on your mind ends up coming through. How conscious you are of that at first I’m not sure. You step back from the painting look at it and think, wow ok where did that come from, and then days or even weeks later you realise that small thought at the back of your head really influenced the way you put paint down on the canvas that day. After a while of just painting it then naturally became apparent what was most important to me to communicate with this body of work. From there it became a conscious effort I’d say, so almost half way through. But lots of paintings were done at the beginning, communicating various things, paintings that will never be seen, that have now been painted over.

fractured integrity

Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt – Oil on Canvas

Where did the title Fractured Integrity come from, and what connection does it have to the paintings?

The title relates to the fact that u own your integrity. That’s yours and yours only, no one can take it from u. You’ll always have it. But people can question it, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes not, it’s just the other persons insecurities been forced upon you. Sometimes you will do things that are questionable, which can put your integrity under scrutiny. Other times it will be at its best. We are humans, our integrity will be up and down over our life time. Causing our emotions to be the same, which is what the paintings communicate. Emotions stirred due to your own actions and others. The fractured part is a reference to that fact that it can never be solidly good at all times, but up and down.

So how does the title inform the works themselves, and does this body of work feel complete and finished with the show, or will it continue?

The paintings represent different emotions, feelings we’ve all felt, moments we have all lived. The women’s face is hidden or partly covered, because it’s not about them in particular, but the feeling the painting evokes. Hopefully they start a dialogue with the audience about those feelings and emotions. In turn causing the audience to talk about those situations they have been through.

At this point the body of work feels complete for me. The paintings in my own head took a narrative arch. The story was told. I now look forward to the next story. In my head there is always a story to communicate with the art. A movie told in a number of stills as it were.

fractured integrity

Lost – Oil on Canvas

 

For more from Rowan, see his website HERE.

For more interviews

Making Bad Decisions – Richie Culver

Travel As A Source Of Inspiration – The Jaunt


Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise – Will Ballantyne-Reid

Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise is a debut solo exhibition of work by Will Ballantyne-Reid curated by Helen Neven.

ocean wrestler cowboy bruise

First of all, this is not an unbiased review. The artist has been a dear friend for some time and I write about this deeply personal exhibition from this perspective. Will once told me a few years ago that if he were to change his name, it would be to ‘Ocean’. He wanted to embody the soft flux of the waves and the infinite sublime of fluidity.

This ‘shoebox’ exhibition reveals a personal archival process as a collection of imagery and objects tied to anecdotes and experiences. It demonstrates the formation of queer knowledge, the preservation of memory, and the wrestling of identity itself. Most prominent is the imagery of extreme masculine idealised bodies, which are stretched, strained, and sometimes stained with watercolour. These visceral images come together with historical artistic references to tragedy. Egon Schiele’s erotically-charged grotesque male nudes of contorting, androgynous limbs make an appearance, as well as, a Renaissance painting of St. Sebastian’s beautiful body penetrated by arrows at the moment of death.

ocean wrestler cowboy bruise

Alongside contemplative photos of sunsets, we see images of cuts, bruises, and wet tongues. The exhibition does not shy away from a sensual aggression that tells us adventurous tales of love-bruised queer trauma. Pills are fastened to the wall. Healing crystals are laid out next to torn pages from a magazine. Lighters become relics.

Indeed, ritualistic objects are laid out in the exhibition like shrines that unite within a single temple. The artist’s flirtation with the occult comes as no surprise considering associations to the manifestation of queer self-hood through magic. Here you might find refuge or escape, but most strikingly—a commitment to care and intention.

In the midst of current protests in Birmingham around the implementation of LGBT+ inclusive education programs in British primary schools, Will Ballantyne-Reid opens an exhibition that looks at his own self-education. What is ultimately presented is a tender celebration of queer identity in all its complicated and individualised forms—boundless as the sea.

ocean wrestler cowboy bruise

Ocean Wrestler Cowboy Bruise can be seen at Harlesden Job Centre (aka Harlesden High Street studios) 10/11 Stephen Mews, London, W1T 1AQ by appointment until 23rd May.
Please email hyph4e@gmail.com

 

Text by Wingshan Smith

 

For more

Making Bad Decisions – Richie Culver

The Psychology of Value – Andy Dixon


Andy Dixon – The Psychology of Value

andy dixon

You appear the embodiment of your work, does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

I think my concern for aesthetics simply bleeds into every facet of my life. I’m interested in beauty and surrounding myself in it, be it in the studio, in my apartment, or in my wardrobe. I guess, in a way, it’s neither art imitating life or vice versa so much as all things imitating my love for visual stimuli.

How much has being a designer affected the aesthetics of your paintings?

A lot. I see my life as a designer to be a kind of visual training. It’s much easier to play around with colour, composition, and form in photoshop then on a canvas, so, at least in regards to the aesthetic aspect of my work, I had a lot of practice.

andy dixon

Andy’s collaboration with Versace

 

Is there any crossover between your music and your painting, and how do they cross-pollinate?

I think one could argue that I’ve been on a specific trajectory for my whole artistic career thus far, in music, design, and painting. All three have used some form of sampling, for instance: in music as samples, in design as found and scanned images from things like text books, and in painting as reinterpretations of various tropes from the cannon of art history. In a way, I see my true medium being culture to which I use various ways to play with it.

How important is it for artists to have other avenues of creation?

I don’t think it’s important at all to diversify if it’s not something that one wants to do. I’ve done nothing but paint almost every day for the past seven or eight years now and, honestly, it feels amazing. I feel focussed and sturdy from it.

Out of music and painting, which medium do you feel is the closest expression of your creativity?

Painting, definitely. I haven’t made music in years and honestly don’t miss it.

Your paintings share a lot of similarities with the themes and imagery of the old masters, but recontextualised. Is this an intentional device and if so what are you saying when you use such themes?

Yeah, that’s definitely intentional. There are a few things at play when I’m recontextualizing art history tropes. Firstly, I’m playing with the psychology of value. Since my versions of these paintings don’t contain any of the properties that the art market would say give the piece its value, such as antiquity, provenance, or even technical mastery, I’m asking the question of what gives my version its value. I’m not trying to shit on art’s price tag, I’m simply trying to point to the magic of art in a kind of Duchampian way, except using money as the measuring stick. Secondly, I’m exploring the way that the subject of the original painting, say a flemish still life, works in tandem with the subject of my painting, which is a painting of a flemish still life. In a way they’re the same thing – a depiction of luxury.

How do you reconcile the lavish and the glamorous on your work with your punk sensibilities?

I think my history in punk led me to the lavish themes in my work. I grew up in a culture where “selling out” was the ultimate sin so the bands who were successful had to enjoy their success in a kind of shameful secrecy and I see the same thing happening in the art world. Thus, the punk kid in me sees addressing making money as the final taboo.

The show Alchemy at Beers Contemporary was predominantly paintings of rooms in which other paintings of yours sit. Is this a very meta-comment on the artist being affected philosophically by the people who collect their work?

I see it more of an exploration of that same taboo mentioned above. To me, it’s a play on the classic theme of an artist depicting his or her own work in new works, traditionally done through studio paintings like Matisse’s Red Studio, which focusses on the creative side of painting, while mine are done through paintings of my patron’s homes which shifts the focus from the creative to the commercial.

Do you think that the commercialism of art should have this much power?

It’s not a matter of thinking commercialism should or shouldn’t have that much power, it’s about reconciling with the fact that it does have that much power whether one likes it or not.

andy dixon

How did your collaboration with Versace come about, and what has it been like working with the fashion brand?
Versace contacted me totally out of the blue. Believe it or not I was in the midst of making the giant Versace sculpture when they reached out and they hadn’t heard about it yet so the timing felt very serendipitous. Working with them has been great – they definitely use a different language than I do (I mean designer-ese not Italian) which takes some getting used to but their team is full of extremely creative people who have been a pleasure to work with.
For more interviews
For more about Andy, see his website

The Jaunt – Travel as a Source of Inspiration

The Jaunt is a really exciting project in which an artist embarks on a trip to a place they have never visited, and collects ideas and inspiration for a print. These prints are sold, and this funds the trip, and so buyers of the prints know that they have supported the artist on this journey of discovery. We interviewed The Jaunt’s founder Jeroen Smeets about why he decided to launch this groundbreaking project, and what they have planned for the future.

 

Why did you decide to start The Jaunt?

I used to work as an editior-in-chief of a Dutch magazine, around this time I used to be interviewing a lot of different artists. One of the things that always came up was traveling as the main source of inspiration. Everybody wanted to travel. Then a good friend of mine, the artist Hedof, really wanted to travel to Helsinki, just to go there and experience it, and I started to figure out a way to make this happen. How can I send artists on trips to make them find inspiration from their new surroundings, and at the same time take it to a level where we can share all of that with a bigger audience? It still took about a year before we actually organized the first trip. But eventually in April 2013 we sent Hedof to Helsinki, and we’ve been running ever since. By now we send out 10 artists a year and have organized over 50 trips in the last 6 years. 

The Jaunt

Cody Hudson at the Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica, November 2018.

What makes The Jaunt different from other print releases?

As far as I know there is no other art project out there at the moment, that works the same way we do. There are several great projects out there where artists are invited to come and work with a certain printer and a certain print studio. But in our project the travel is an essential part of the experience. It is an art residence which is always on the road. And I think that for the artists it is also a different project, because for which other project can they travel to a place and have absolutely no agenda or briefing. While they are traveling, there is nothing that they need to work on, so they can fully immerse themselves in their new surroundings  

the jaunt

Screenprint studio of our printer, Joris Diks in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

How does the trip that the artists undertake affect their work?

This is obviously different for each artist. Which also keeps our project so exciting and interesting. Some of the artists work directly on location and translate their inspiration directly. Others work on their print once they come back to their studio. There have been artists who have found a new medium to work with, just because they found new materials during their trip. Other artists have been inspired by their immediate surroundings or a certain experience that they endured during their trip. In the end each print is an honest and direct reaction from the artists. 

the jaunt

Silkscreen print by Atelier Bingo, trip #046 to Folegandros, Greece.

How do you decide where to send each artist?

Our most important rule is that we send an artist to a destination where they have never been to before. It could be on the other side of the world or more closer to home. At times I ask the artist if they have some bucket-list destinations, and at other times I suggest a destination to an artist, because I see an interesting connection between the destination and the artist. 

the jaunt

Jordy van den Nieuwendijk on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, USA, April 2014

What you think is gained by this method of creation?

Any time you take an artist out of their comfort zone they become more aware of their surroundings and their experiences. That is exactly what we hope to achieve by sending artists on our trips. They might find something beautiful in nature that directs their work into a certain direction, or they might find a new tool or medium in a local art supply shop that they will start trying out. It only takes one little spark to ignite creativity.

the jaunt

Jordy van den Nieuwendijk on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, USA, April 2014

What are your plans for The Jaunt in the future?

It’s going to be a busy year for us. A little over a month ago, we have relaunched our website, we are working on a second book, which will hopefully come out by the end of 2019. Then we have a few more trips coming up that I’m really excited about and will send our project into some new directions. Good stuff!

For more from The Jaunt – see their website HERE
For more interviews, read Rowan Newton’s interview with Robin Footitt HERE


Bertrand Fournier Interview

bertrand fournier interview

Some of the works in Bertrand’s studio

 

We are very excited to be hosting Bertrand Fournier’s debut UK solo show this month, and decided to ask him a few questions about his work during the run up to what is an amazingly accomplished show for such an early-career artist.

 Why and when did you start painting?

 It was in November 2016, I started painting with my daughter. My mother had given me an old frame with no canvas, so I have buy a canvas for my daughter and one for me, just for try.

  How did you teach yourself?

 I immediately began to paint with oil because my wife had in her childhood belongings some old oil paint tubes, she explained me that it was necessary to mix a medium with the oil,  after there is not much more to know, I had to try all the mediums and all the possible techniques, trade canvases, raw canvas, glued canvases, stretched or glued on wooden panel, it is by trying we learn.

  The title of your exhibition “Some Pieces of Mind” seems to refer to your work as a nurse in a psychiatric ward.  What parts of your daily life affect your art?

I am inspired by what surrounds me, my daily life and also my job as a nurse in psychiatry emergency has strongly influenced me.  Certainly it is a very hard work where we see a lot of human and social misery but the fact of being permanently confronted with this madness, necessarily opens the spirit.  Where the common man is limited to decency, the people who work in this environment know that the human mind knows no limit.  That’s what I try to apply in my work, to refuse to lock my mind.

  Have you found a community online?

 Yes, we are quite numerous to have started at the same time to post our paintings on Instagram, I think it’s a bit like school, we are part of the same class, we will grow together I hope, I  think they will recognize but if you want some names I will give you @christine_liebich @umutyasat @wmlachance @d_a_n_i_e_l_j_e_n_s_e_n @jordykerwick @philip_geraldo @jean_baptiste_besançon @jenny_brosnski @mateusz.sarzynski @benjaminmurphy_ @clement.mancini @mariehazard @jessietaylorart @yvonnerobert_ @gabriele_herzog @richieculver @sorensejr @jonathanryanstorm

  Do you have an art community near you?

 No

  Where do you find inspiration?

 All I hear and all I see.

  What are the living living painters you admire?

 Gunther Forg.

  What advice on social networks would you give to emerging artists?

No special advices, just be yourself ! But personally i think the Social networks can become like a prison, it was very good for me because without Instagram no one could have discovered my work.  I’m trying now to take some distances from this little by little.

  What would you like to know about the art world when you started?

 I have no artistic training, I started in the process to decorate my house not in the process of becoming an artist so I can not say what at the beginning I really wanted to know about this world.  Now I have discovered enough, the other side of this world is not very glorious, I’m happy to surround myself with good people with real good intentions because there is a lot of fuck as well in artists than in galleries in this world. It’s not the Care Bears’ world.

 

We are very happy to be releasing lino PRINTS alongside the show, which can be viewed by clicking this link.

 

For more by Bertrand, click this link.


Open Call Install Photos

Thank you so much to the 520 people who came to the private view of our Open Call 2019 exhibition, and to the hundreds more who have viewed it during its two-week run.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some photos of the install, and of the private view.

Prints of most of the works in the show are available for a limited time, to view these please click THIS LINK

open call install

open call install

open call install

open call install

As always, we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to theprintspace for supporting the show, as well as another huge thanks to Crate Brewery and Jarr Kombucha for providing the drinks for the opening.

Photos of all the individual works can be seen by clicking this link

Our next show is Bertrand Fournier’s DEBUT UK SOLO SHOW, more information for which can be found [HERE]


Open Call Winners

We are very pleased to announce the five Open Call winners from our 2019 show. Each of the five judges was allowed one Judges Pick, the list of these is below.

Prints of all of these, as well as the rest of the show, are available on our website. Click HERE for more.

 

Rhiannon Salisbury

Benjamin Murphy‘s Judges Pick, as well as being the Overall Winner

open call winners

Rhiannon Salisbury – UHH

Vojtech Kovarik

Nick JS Thompson‘s Judges Pick

open call winners

Vojtech Kovarik – Self Portrait With A Snake

Valerie Savchits

Wingshan Smith’s Judges Pick

Open Call Winners

Valerie Savchits – Dissolved Into Nothingness

Nettle Grellier

Hector Campbell‘s Judges Pick

open call winners

Nettle Grellier – Daybed

Jukka Virkkunen

Florence Hutching‘s Judges Pick

open call winners

Jukka Virkkunen – Flowers III