Articles Tagged with: Benjamin murphy

Art Aesthetics Review of Diary Of An Introvert

Art Aesthetics magazine have recently reviewed our solo show with Australian painter Jordy Kerwick. Read what they had to say below…

Kerwick’s still lifes are the perfect foil to the quixotic ideals of the artist. He only started painting in 2015, but has risen in truly meteoric fashion having already exhibited as far and wide as New York and San Francisco in the United States, and Paris, Cologne and Hamburg in Europe despite working from Melbourne, Australia. We finally caught up with Kerwick’s first solo UK show, Diary of an Introvert, in South London. I was accompanied, charitably, by Aistè, who generously made time for me having just released a new single, ‘My Only Friend’.

Our destination was Delphian Gallery: the itinerant art space founded by Nick Thompson and Benjamin Murphy. Their brisk existence requires that one show’s success entails the next show’s very premises. (They needn’t worry, Kerwick has done exceptionally well with only a couple of paintings remaining for sale.) So we went to Delphian Gallery’s temporary venue at the AMP Gallery’s space in uber-cool Peckham.

Art Aesthetics

Kerwick’s paintings seem to prevaricate on the ‘artist’ as a figment of our imaginations. (They’re usually stereotyped as philosophy-thinking, chain-smoking, wine-drinking, beret-wearing Frenchies—according to my school’s careers advisor at least.) Of course, they’re not. You’ll struggle to find persons more professional and committed than artists, but bad reputations die hard. Kerwick isn’t scared of utilising these tropes, but makes for some fine self-exposition amid his own painterly equivocation. For by engaging in these tropes, the artist reflexively reveals himself.

Kerwick’s Diary of an Introvert encompasses some thirteen paintings of which twelve are still lifes. You espy geraniums and flytraps, which are usually set atop stacks of books bearing the names of other, bolder artists, thinkers, or musicians. Their spines carry Susan Sontag and Marcel Proust alongside Nick Cave and Patti Smith. (Unfortunately, these musicians aren’t quite to Aistè’s taste.) As for the artists, the works of James Ensor, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Bob Thompson are a world away from Kerwick. Ensor (1860-1949) was a forerunner of Expressionism. His Tribulations of St Anthony (1887) is wildly colourful and surreal for an artist working in the 19th Century. The Fauves (a.k.a., the Wild Beasts) followed on from the Expressionists. They also influenced Bob Thompson’s vivid, but starkly flat compositions. It’s strange, then, to find these artists’ names scrawled against the dull-pastels and ochres of Kerwick, who, when interviewed by Maria Stoljar, blandly said, ‘I really like the muted earthy tones.’ But then quietly proposed that this is ‘probably not a good thing.’ Aistè thinks the same: ‘I just want more colours.’

So other than the plants and the books, what else? You sometimes look at white spots on the canvas and what appear to be unfinished cigarettes; ‘pills and cocaine,’ suggests Aistè, though she’s not really sure if Kerwick is really that kind of guy. You can see what we’re referring to in Diary of an Introvert 7 (2018). You’ve got cigarettes sitting beside the ambiguous white spots and lines on the table. Ian Curtis supports Bob Thompson who supports Basquiat upon whom rests some pink germaniums. We’ve no difficulty imagining Curtis, Thompson and Basquiat taking full advantage of the table’s wares, but not Kerwick. For they’re proper ‘tortured artists’ whose creativity was breath-taking, but quickly burnt out. You sense that Kerwick is ‘looking in’ on these artists, but too self-consciously aware that he’s not them. ‘I don’t smoke,’ he told Stoljar, ‘but you don’t want something to be too pretty and cigarettes aren’t pretty. I still look at people smoking and think it’s cool. I’m not endorsing it for one second.’

We’re accustomed to thinking of painters as cool: rebellious, penniless, alcoholic, perhaps sensitive, but always creative. It’s supposed to come at some cost: they die too soon, are melancholic if not downright mad. (Of course, the truth is rather more boring. But we’re dealing with the popular ‘image’ of the artist.)  Kerwick plays up to this by daubing ‘la paix et la tranquillité et le pressentiment’ on the side of Diary of an Introvert 4 (2018). 

Kerwick’s interview with Stoljar is enlightening. He puts much of his work down to the fear of growing old: ‘not that I was ever cool, but I just feel less cool that I was before.’ We want out artists to be misunderstood and ahead of their time like Ensor; or, tragically cut short like Basquiat; or as expressive and bold as Thompson. Yet Kerwick is none of these things. (He’s happily married with children in Melbourne, Australia.) He’s previously said that ‘home doesn’t possess wonderment for me, not like LA or Paris.’

Nowhere is Kerwick’s self-deprecating character more visibly at work than in Diary of an Introvert 2 (2018) where the works of Voltaire and Trotsky and Gertrude Stein are crowned by ‘Miniature Schnauzers’ (very cool) and supported by the simple admission, ‘I can’t paint’. Aistè reckons he means, ‘I can’t paint…like Basquiat, like Thompson, or like Ensor.’ And yet, sometimes he does. You’ll often come across a Basquiat-like mark, cypher or glyph.

Art Aesthetics

I finally think I’ve got an analogy for Kerwick: He’s more Sancho Panza than Don Quixote. In Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece (1605 & 1615) the eponymous character simply reads too many books about chivalrous heroes. So many, in fact, that he loses his mind. He takes these stories so literally that he endeavours to become a grand knight-errant in search of adventure. He’s followed by his ‘squire’ Sancho Panza who serves as the level-headed foil to the wild idealism of Don Quixote.

Kerwick’s paintings proffer Ensor, Thompson and Basquiat as so many Don Quixotes. (How many artists aspire to Basquiat?) But for Kerwick, as for Sancho, these are fictions, so many books, upon which he places his flowers and, with a forthright naïvety, simply paints. ‘It’s kind of sad,’ says Aistè. ‘I think he’d like to be just like those Expressionists and Fauves.’ I disagree, there is such derring-do in these paintings, just obliquely, perfectly referenced. For that, it’s 4/5 stars from me and 3/5 from Aistè (although she admits that maybe that’s just because she doesn’t like Nick Cave and Patti Smith).

Thanks ART AESTHETICS!

See the Art Aesthetics website HERE

And learn more about Jordy HERE, and buy his prints HERE


Transition – How to prosper in the art world

Join us on the 12th December for the panel discussion Transition – how to prosper in the art world. The panel will be chaired by Benjamin Murphy and Nick JS Thompson from Delphian Gallery together with guest speakers Rosalind Davis and Stuart Waplington.

Rosalind Davis is an artist exhibiting globally, as well as being the permanent curator at Collyer Bristow gallery. She is the co-author of the book “What they didn’t teach you at art school”.

Stuart Waplington is the founder of theprintspace, London’s premier fine art printing company. Creativehub, an online software platform, is the go to place for artists to archive images, print, enter competitions, share files and source artworks for sale in online galleries.

The talk will cover topics such as marketing and exhibiting your work, sales and pricing and transitioning from univerity to starting your art career.

***The talk is free to attend but numbers are limited. Please RSVP using the ticket link, which can be found in the Facebook event HERE.***

 

This talk will be hosted at our upcoming show Diary Of An Introvert with the amazing Jordy Kerwick


We asked 45 artists how they found their inspiration, here are their answers…

Paul Weiner (@POWeiner) – I watch what’s happening around me in life. Inspiration is largely tied to intuition for me, and a lot of painterly intuition is formed by what we see in our environment. I want my work to be an artifact of its time.

Charley Peters (@CharleyPeters) – I find it hard to say. I don’t think I can locate inspiration in the real world, I just have a strong desire to make things. Where those things originate from I don’t really know…a mixture of intuitive doing and logical thought, and also maybe referents I’ve absorbed without even realising.

Remi Rough (@RemiRough) – Once a week I make sure I have a ME day and go to see a show or something visual. I also read a lot of art books.

Jonny Green (@JonnyGreenArt) – Inspiration is for amateurs.

Richard Stone (@Artist_Stone) – It’s very cut and paste, mood, often words, lyrics or lines in books but a block of clay or a new canvas are the best windows to other worlds, they traverse.

Kevin Perkins (@Kevin_Perkins_) – I look at a a lot of images and artworks: contemporary, stuff from history, old illustrations/design. And I make a real effort to pay attention to what is going on around me.

Sally Bourke (@Justondark) – I’m inspired by people.

Lee Johnson (@LeeJohnson.eu) – Everywhere

Jenny Brosinski (@Jenny_Brosisnski) – Looking @davidkordanskygallery while I hang out on my studio sofa.

Andy Dixon (@Andy.Dxn) – I can’t turn the part of my brain off that mines for inspiration, to be honest. Be it the colour of someone’s shoes, the curved line of a tunnel, a pattern on a rug, or a leaf of a plant, I can’t help but be constantly indexing sensory information into “good” or “bad” piles – both are equally inspiring.

Klone Yourself (@KloneYourself) – The inspiration is out there, sometimes you get stuck but nobody ever said that you need to be doing this one thing. Switch it up and see that it’s endless.

Daisy Parris (@DaisyParris) – By quietly observing what is happening around me

Jake Chapman (@JakeChapmaniac) – It finds me

Benjamin Murphy (@BenjaminMurphy_) – From literature mainly, and by going to as many exhibitions as I can, even ones I know I’ll hate.

Tom Anholt (@TomAnholt) – Not sure I believe in inspiration but travel definitely refreshes me and fills me with new images.

Spencer Shakespeare (@SpencerShakespeare) – By relaxing.

Rowan Newton (@Rowan_Newton) – My inspiration comes from people, the relationships we have with each other, the relationships we want to have, the people we want to be. The many emotions we go through daily, and how we process that, look at it and deal with it.

Hayden Kays (@HaydenKays) – Everything already exists, it’s just a case of moving it about a little. Move it your own way, and call yourself an artist.

Matthew Allen (@Matthew__Allen) – I ascribe to Richard Serra’s statement that “work comes from work”, meaning that the impulse to continue and explore emerges from what has come before. My practice is an evolving feedback loop of material potentials and process based responses.

Rae Hicks (@Rae_Hicks_On_Gangs) – Coffee and a decent length train journey

Jonni Cheatwood (@Jonni_Cheatwood) – I have my dream job and I’ll have it as long as I can stay out of my own head – That’s inspiring enough to me.

Andrew Salgado (@Andrew.Salgado.Art) – travel. music. read novels.

Soumya Netrabile (@Netrabile) – I just keep myself open to everything I see, encounter, and discover. Sometimes the most mundane things in life are filled with revelations.

Luke Hannam (@LukeHannamPaintings) – Drawing anything and everything as often as possible.

Hedley Roberts (@HedleyRoberts) – I used to have to look for inspiration. Now I’m older I’m more open and it comes to me from everywhere. We live in a world that’s overwhelmed with visual imagery. It’s like trying to get a drink of water from Niagara Falls. But anything can be a start point.

Nick JS Thompson (@nickjsthompson) – Exhibitions, music and history documentaries.

Neva Hosking (@NevaHosking) – I am constantly collecting things that speak to me so I have an archive to peep at when I need ideas .

Justin Long (@_JustinLong) – #fuckbuttons

Erin Lawlor (@TheErinLawlor) – By working – I follow the paint.

Tony Riff (@TonyRiff) – Sometimes ideas just grow from a random thought that’s probably been sitting on the corner of my brain for months. Could be from a song, people I meet, anything really.

Justin Lee Williams (@ArtJLW) – I find it mostly in being on my own building cabins in the woods or talking with odd and strange people , hardly ever do I find it in art it’s self, that part is more just a channel for the craft

Wingshan Smith (@wingshansmith) – The people around me and the stories they come with.

Fiona Grady (@Fiona_Grady) – Everywhere, my work is site responsive so I’m always looking around me. The urban landscape is particularly important – I’ll often stop in the street to take a photo of an architectural detail that captures my attention or shadows cast through a set of railings.

Jordy Kerwick (@JordyKerwick) – Reading and looking. History provides amazing inspo

Obit (@LazyObit) – I read some philosophy, check out the old masters and all sorts. Inspiration is everywhere though my favourite work comes from my own experiences. Honesty always translates.

Anthony Cudahy (@AnthonyCudahy) – Endlessly scrolling, going through physical and digital archives. Looking, looking, looking.

Johnny Thornton (@_JohnnyThornton) – I have surrounded myself with a wonderful community of friends and artists here in this amazing city (NYC). I am inspired everyday.

Magnus Gjoen (@MagnusGjoen) – I travel a lot and find inspiration in nooks and crannies in old churches and museums.

Jesse Draxler (@JesseDraxler) – By not looking for it.

Richie Culver (@RichieCulver) – The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Martin Lukac (@Martin.Lukac) – I dunno inspiration finds me.

Mevlana Lipp (@Mevlana_Lipp) – In art, nature, books and science.

Danny Romeril (@D_Romeril) – Every day life, art books, talking to people, things that happen, anything and everything. nothing is safe. not even tables.

Florence Hutchings (@FlorenceBH) I draw from everyday objects, interiors and scenarios which influence my paintings. But looking at other artists also massively inspires me, going to shows and talking to people around me.

Catherine Haggarty (@Catherine_Haggarty) – I pay close attention to the world around me! I never wait for inspiration. I simply begin working and drawing!

 

For more of these, check out the same artists answering:

What is the one thing about the art world that they wish would disappear forever

and

What is the one bit of advice they would give to young artists at the start of their careers


Jordy Kerwick Interview

We are very excited to be hosting the debut UK solo show of Australian painter Jordy Kerwick.
Diary Of An Introvert opens in London on December 6th. Find the full details for the show and rsvp for the private view HERE.

Saint Sartre

A post shared by Jordy (@jordykerwick) on

Your career has really taken off, to what do you attribute your success?
Good question Benny boy… I don’t know if it has taken off so to speak, but I could probably say that it’s off and running, which I’m extremely grateful for. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some outstanding people around me that have been kind enough to lend me some great advice and provide me with guidance along the way. I also have a bit of an obsessive personality, so painting everyday is an absolute must, amongst reading about some of the greats (and looking up close when given the opportunity to – trying to dissect how they did what they did). Not to mention the galleries that have taken a chance with me (I owe a lot to Anna Zorina Gallery for this. Anna gave me the confidence to have a serious crack at a career in painting). So I think its a combination of application, guidance, and opportunity that have gotten me to where I am, albeit at the very beginning.
What is your working ritual like?
Coffee and music play integral parts of my working ritual (and the occasional audiobook). Almost every day I don’t know where to start, so I procrastinate and move canvas around, put music on and eventually run out of excuses/things to and get into it. I do a lot of staring and considering and it feels like I spend far more time considering my next move than I do making my next move. This gives me the shits to be honest, but I guess its just who I am. I also wish I smoked, but I don’t and honestly can’t stand it, but have this romantic image of me sitting in the studio, puffing away on a dart. That is more so a ritual that i’ll never have 🙁

#coffeeforeight @ @pt.2gallery A few durry’s and flowers, no problems.

A post shared by Jordy (@jordykerwick) on

What is it like having an artist for a wife, and do you ever collaborate or bounce ideas off each other?
Its bloody good. That being said, Ive never had a wife that isn’t an artist, having been married once, so I guess its all I know. But in all seriousness, she is a far more talented artist (and person in general) than me, and whilst we both are extremely passionate about art, we have other things to talk about too. So as much as you think we’d discuss art, discussion re: works isn’t as prevalent as you might think it would be. We offer support and the occasional opinion about a problem one of us might be having, but thats about it. I would absolutely love to do a two person show with Rach. I actually think the contrast in styles in larger scale would play off each other quite well.
If you could change one thing about the artworld what would it be?
Thats a tough one. I still feel very privileged to be considered a part of the art world, but like anything in life, there is always room for improvement. I think discussions about female participation and opportunities is certainly being had now, which is the way it should be. I think more than half of my favourite painters are female, so seeing more of an equilibrium in shows would be outstanding for the art world.
Do you think social media is a force for good in the art world?
Coming from someone who owes a great deal to social media for assisting me to get where I am, I dont want to bite the hand that has fed me, so yes I do think it is a force for good. Of course you get the occasional fuckwit that likes to give you “feedback”, but that comes with the territory when putting your work out there. The only downer is constantly being reminded how many amazing artists there are out there and how incredible the standard of art is today.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment? 
Well Mr. Benjamin Murphy goes without saying, but I am blown away by artists like:
There are heaps more, so sorry if Ive offended anyone not included. But the above people jump out at me as people that continually produce brilliant work.

If you would like the catalogue of available works please email info@delphiangallery.com

 

Interview by Benjamin Murphy


Arrested Motion Interview

We were  recently interviewed by art historian Hector Campbell for Arrested Motionwho recently sat down with our co-founder Benjamin Murphy, to discuss the history of the gallery, our own unique approach to curation, our inaugural Open Call exhibition, and the upcoming exhibition with Florence Hutchings, Seating Arrangement.

Hector Campbell (HC): Delphian Gallery has existed in one manifestation or another since 2013’s ‘Group Collective are Kunsts’ exhibition, could you explain how the gallery first came about? And how it has subsequently evolved into its current model?

Benjamin Murphy (BM): My co-director (photographer Nick JS Thompson) and I have been working together for a number of years after we met when he wrote an article about me in a magazine he used to manage. I went on to write for the magazine, and we both started co-curating one another’s shows. We both developed a deep love of, and interest in, the art of curation, and so decided to curate our first show in my old studio. It has been a real labour of love for us, which has built gradually into what Delphian is now – a peripatetic style gallery that takes the championing of exciting, emerging art as its key aim.

HC: Delphian, meaning ‘Obscurely Prophetic,’ derives from the Greek mythological oracle at Delphi. What was the rationale behind choosing ‘Delphian’, and how does it’s meaning underpin the gallery’s vision?

BM: Well firstly, we wanted something that was Googleable, as well as something less vapid than just both of our surnames. We decided upon Delphian because it is vague enough to not be too constrictive in what we can show, as well as being something with its own character. “Obscurely Prophetic” is, in a concise two-word phrase, one which we believe all the best art accomplishes. We believe that the most successful and thought-provoking work is informative, but in a non-didactic way.

arrested motion interview

Delphian Team – Directors Benjamin Murphy & Nick JS Thompson, and Curator Wingshan Smith

HC: As an artist-run gallery, what advantages or insights does this offer you, as opposed to more traditional gallerist or art dealers?

BM: I think we understand the position of the artist more than a lot of gallerists or curators do, as we are both artists in our own right. This gives us a unique insight into both sides of the coin in terms of how a show is put together and run, from the artwork production point, up until the curation of a show and the sale of an artwork.

As well as this, we try to curate cohesive shows that could be read as a single artwork in their own right. The way we curate is quite experimental, as we believe there is nothing less interesting (or damaging to the artworks themselves), as a show in which all of the artworks are hung at eye-level around the gallery. These types of shows often encourage people to stand in the middle of the room and just rotate themselves 360 degrees, they leave feeling like they have seen all of the artworks – when of course they often haven’t. We want to curate shows that are essentially immersive artworks in themselves, that are ethereal and only exist in the moment, until the heterogeneous works are divided up again and are either sold or sent back to the artists. We believe that curation is an art form in itself, and it is this philosophy which guides how we curate.

HC: Previous exhibitions have included photographers Aaron McElroy and Carson Lancaster, and more recently contemporary painters such as Bertrand Fournier and Kevin Perkins. Does this range of artists and mediums reflect your personal interests? And how do you select which artists to exhibit?

BM: We try to show a diverse range of works that are entirely unique, whilst highlighting possible underlying connections or similarities, as well as playing with ways in which differing styles contrast. We spend a lot of time going to shows, as well as countless hours on social media, scrolling through things like Instagram looking for new talent. We also run a separate Instagram account called @Daily_Contemporary_Art, which is great for discovering new artists. Every week a new artist has control of the account and shares their favourite living artists, and we find that it is often the student artists that share the most exciting work.

arrested motion kevin perkins

Kevin Perkins

HC: You also had your most recent solo exhibition, Lavish Entropy, at the gallery earlier this year. How did this experience compare to your previous shows, acting as not only the artist but also the gallerist/curator?

BM: It was great, I often take a quite hands-on approach to the curation of my own shows anyway (often aided by Nick), so in that sense, this was no different. I’d recommend every artist do this at least once in your career, as when you have full creative control over something you can be as wild and as experimental as you like without anyone trying to curtail your vision. Don’t get me wrong – the curatorial teams at galleries are often incredibly helpful and teach me things about my own work that I wouldn’t have realised otherwise, but it can be incredibly freeing having absolutely no constraints sometimes. This kind of thing is great, and you are able to take bigger risks than usual, and this teaches you what does and doesn’t work in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to see without this freedom.

HC: This year the gallery ran your inaugural Open Call submission exhibition, why did you want to undertake this competition? And what did you learn from this first iteration?

BM: It was so great, and through it we discovered so much great art we wouldn’t have done if it weren’t for the open call. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to submit, so as to get the most submissions possible. We didn’t charge for entry, and our good friends at theprintspace printed and mounted it all for us, so there was no cost to the artists. This also meant that, as the artists only had to send us a jpeg, artists from all over the world could submit and not have to worry about shipping or insuring their work. We received over 8000 submissions in total and were awestruck by the diversity of it. There are many artists who we would have loved to have included but couldn’t because of size and space constraints. As well as Florence Hutchings, another of our favourite artists Bertrand Fournier entered, whom we hope to present a solo show with next year.

HC: For your latest exhibition, Florence Hutchings, who won the aforementioned Open Call competition, presents her debut solo show, Seating Arrangements. How important is it for you to champion young artists such as Florence?

BM: Florence is great, she has done so incredibly well at such a young age and yet still doesn’t really seem phased by it all. She is very down-to-earth, which is nice to see from someone who is already reaching levels of success that most artists can only dream of.

We aim to discover and support young, emerging artists because we feel this is where the most exciting and unique work is coming from. We are in a position to be able to help out the careers of these young artists like people did for us when we first started showing, so it is incredibly rewarding in that respect.

We get to nurture this often raw and unbridled talent early on in an artist’s career, and look forward to the time when artists like Florence outgrow us and sign with Gagosian – for it will happen, especially in her case.

 

To read this over on Arrested Motion, click THIS LINK


Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy at West London Art Factory

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy at West London Art Factory. Supported by Jewel Goodby Contemporary and Cre8 Tapes.

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy

West London Art Factory invites you to spend an evening with accredited artist Benjamin Murphy, learning to create your own artwork using electrical tape alone. This unique medium is one that makes Benjamin’s work instantly recognisable, as well as its monochromatic themes and figurative subjects. The masterclass offers you an opportunity to watch Benjamin’s process of creating his work and learn these techniques first hand, working with Ben to create your own unique piece. The class will begin with a welcome, followed by a demonstration by Benjamin then an opportunity for you to create your own work, guided by Benjamin, using a number of colours and tapes available, on an A3 perspex sheet. The result will be an original piece of art for you to take home.

No prior experience is needed, all levels are welcome and all material is provided. Drinks and refreshments will be available.

Please note, this class has limited spaces so be sure to secure your place!!

 

BOOK NOW


We asked 43 artists what is the one thing about the art world they wish would disappear forever, here are their answers…

We recently asked 43 of our favourite artists, what is the one thing about the art world that they would disappear forever. Below are their answers.

art world advice

Paul Weiner (@POWeiner) – American art school admissions and recruiting offices that convince unwitting 17 year olds to waste tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars while promising services and career advice they aren’t capable of rendering.

Charley Peters (@CharleyPeters) – Private Views where the wine is served out of plastic cups.

Remi Rough (@RemiRough) – The way galleries are completely unapproachable… if you want a job in hospitality you send your CV off in the art world sending work to a gallery is completely taboo!?

Jonny Green (@JonnyGreenArt) – The class system.

Richard Stone (@Artist_Stone) – I think the art world makes itself up as it goes along, there’s art worlds within worlds too and this can be incredibly frustrating for anyone. However, there’s always a few heroes, people like Michael Petry who go out of their way to shake things up, like curating emerging artists with very established, or challenging gender or sexuality disparity within art institutions for example.

Kevin Perkins (@Kevin_Perkins_) – Damien Hirst (can I say that?).

Sally Bourke (@Justondark) – Art prizes.

Klone Yourself (@KloneYourself) – I’m afraid it’s like Jenga, you take out one piece and everything might fall apart. But as an experiment I’d love to take out the ego from the art world and see what will happen.

Lee Johnson (@LeeJohnson.eu) – Reliance on – and (ab)use of – gallery interns ought to be overhauled. And exhibition ticket prices. I used to work in museums and know how expensive loans and insurance can be for blockbuster shows, but so many people can’t afford over £20 for a ticket.

Jenny Brosinski (@Jenny_Brosisnski) – Depressions.

Andy Dixon (@Andy.Dxn) – Honestly, I’ve learned to respect all aspects of the art world, even the elements that some may describe as dark or ugly. It’s like a fragile eco-system, you can’t just remove the dangerous tigers from the jungle and not expect the whole thing to fall apart.

Daisy Parris (@DaisyParris) – Exploitation of young artists.

Benjamin Murphy (@BenjaminMurphy_) – Contemporary Pop Art, or more specifically, 90% of Contemporary Pop Art. People need to stop with the painting of celebrities, and stop trying to be Andy Warhol.

Jake Chapman (@JakeChapmaniac) – Paint.

Tom Anholt (@TomAnholt) – Obsession of finding trends.

Spencer Shakespeare (@SpencerShakespeare) -Superficial privileged idiots. (I might be one of them I know).

Rowan Newton (@Rowan_Newton) – Galleries playing it safe.

Hayden Kays (@HaydenKays) – The thinking that it is of more importance than the real world.

Matthew Allen (@Matthew__Allen) – ATTITUDE!

Rae Hicks (@Rae_Hicks_On_Gangs) – Exploitation/people working for free and the static, non-flow of money.

Jonni Cheatwood (@Jonni_Cheatwood) – I have a love/hate relationship with the social media aspect of the art world. I’m grateful for the artist appreciation accounts that have posted my work because I have had some badass opportunities come my way as a result; but I have a hard time with it as well. Social media gives everyone a voice, which is incredible when it’s used for good, but it can be a dangerous place.

Andrew Salgado (@Andrew.Salgado.Art) – the horrible self-important attitudes that accompany a lot of people in the industry. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to be total ego-trips and profoundly unlikable.

Soumya Netrabile (@Netrabile) – I don’t know enough about it to have a strong opinion on the matter, but I have heard lots of people complain about the exclusivity—how hard it is to get your work seen by galleries.

Luke Hannam (@LukeHannamPaintings) – I hate the following words: works, practice, and contemporary.

Hedley Roberts (@HedleyRoberts) – Wannabe artists, curators, gallerists and dealers. These are really tough jobs to do well, they’re not lifestyle options.

Nick JS Thompson (@nickjsthompson) – Exhibition descriptions that are so “art speak” that it makes them exclusionary.

Neva Hosking (@NevaHosking) – Networking!

Justin Long (@_JustinLong) – @jeffkoons.

Erin Lawlor (@TheErinLawlor) – Pot plants in installations.

Tony Riff (@TonyRiff) – Egos… to be fair I haven’t really experienced much of that personally, but I’ve heard plenty of horror stories.

Justin Lee Williams (@ArtJLW) – I love and hate it all, so I’m not sure on this one…

Wingshan Smith (@wingshansmith) – Zero-hour contracts and grey carpets at art fairs.

Fiona Grady (@Fiona_Grady) – Unpaid ‘opportunities,’ occasionally I’m approached by companies offering me a commission where there’s no fee or money for materials. You’d never ask a decorator to paint your house for free and tell them it’s a good opportunity for exposure – there needs to be a better culture in the arts for paying artists fairly.

Jordy Kerwick (@JordyKerwick) – Snobs.

Obit (@LazyObit) – Bloggers. They’re pointless, they’re powerless and they’re parasites.

Johnny Thornton (@_JohnnyThornton) – The pretension and elitism that exists in parts of the NYC art scene.

Magnus Gjoen (@MagnusGjoen) – Artists obsessed with what everyone else is doing and not concentrating on their own craft.

Jesse Draxler (@JesseDraxler) – Everything besides the art.

Richie Culver (@RichieCulver) – Some of my early works.

Martin Lukac (@Martin.Lukac) – I don’t have any problems like that. Everything is balanced and time will prove what is good and what’s not.

Mevlana Lipp (@Mevlana_Lipp) – Sexism.

Danny Romeril (@D_Romeril) –  The price of studios and paint.

Florence Hutchings (@FlorenceBH) – Art school snobbiness.

Catherine Haggarty (@Catherine_Haggarty) – Sometimes – instagram. But mostly white men who control shows and advertising and sales. Diversity is needed! Thankfully seeing more women run spaces and artists taking back control!

 

For more of these, see what the same artists would give as advice to young artists at the start of their careers HERE

 

 

What would YOU advise an artist at the beginning of their career? Let us know in the comments below.


Conversation between artists Benjamin Murphy and Billy Childish.

 

Billy Childish is an artist who is as prolific in painting as he is in poetry, prose, and music, all of which coalesce to form a coherent body of work that would take most people four lifetimes to create.

His work transcends the gossip about his character, be it his involvement with a prominent YBA or his short-lived membership of a certain art movement.

His work is created from a conceptually free mindset, and his work shuns the pretentiousness enacted by the more self-conscious. He believes that art should be autonomous and that the viewer must read each work as they see it.

On top of all of this, Billy Childish is one of the most genuine and well-mannered men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Below is the transcript of a conversation I had with him last year before his solo exhibition The House At Grass Valley at Carl Freedman Gallery.

 

BM – What relevance does the House at Grass Valley have, to both yourself and this body of work?

BC – Most of my paintings come from an immediate response to images, this was in response to a photograph of their house in Grass Valley California. My friend Johnny’s father built the house and I have visited there with my wife who is from California. My work is carried out very quickly, the response is very automatic. There’s little mental process, just this quick reaction – it’s how most of my work is undertaken. It’s not important that there is a real house Grass Valley. People might want to know the story but a painting is in another world that lives beyond the location. The ‘real’ almost becomes immaterial.

BM – Why did you choose to include the works of Russian Literature: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Gogol etc.?

BC – These people had a visceral engagement with life, and decent human integrity. I like people with moral depth and intelligence. All of these things are not bound in time; I believe a painting collapses time. That sounds grandiose in a way…

BM – You mean its universal?

BC – Yes, the paintings are difficult to place, you could place them anywhere in the last hundred years, but I would also counter that they are very modern. They acknowledge their history if you like, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. I declare my loves and celebrate my influences, which is something that artists used to do.

BM – I think the reason most artists these days are more reluctant to share their inspirations is because they are trying to claim that they have entirely original ideas.

BC – Yes, they want to pretend that they have invented everything themselves. We’re in this situation where art is tied to fashion. Art is almost trailing behind fashion, rather than leading from the front, so people are hugely worried about how to find themselves and how to be original rather than authentic. It’s very adolescent.

BM – A lot of artists don’t become relevant until long after they’ve died and society has had a chance to catch up.

BC – Absolutely, you can be so far ahead of the curve that you appear to be behind it – I’m one of those guys. It can be a problem if you’re career minded, but lucky for me I’m not. I paint the paintings that I want to paint when I want to paint them, I don’t do anything for an audience. There’s nothing more dated than the contemporary.

BM – Would you say you were an obsessive, is it a compulsion?

BC – I think that we’re all obsessive and compulsive. Whether it’s: somebody who’s obsessive about working in a bank; or tidying their house; or someone who’s obsessively creative.

BM – A lot of your inspirations (Van Gogh, Dostoyevsky, Munch) make works about isolation. I see that same isolation in a lot of your work, be it painting, prose, poetry etc. Is that a concern or an inspiration for you?

BC – I suppose I have been trying to work out who I am and what that might mean, it takes lot of introspection. I was not given a lot of good information as a young man, and I come from quite a fractured background. I was finding maturity and a path through all of that. I now know the value of being here and the value of integrity, truth, and honesty. It’s taken a long while, and its not through my cleverness or my abilities, its through luck and grace.

BM – You had a tough upbringing in certain ways; do you believe that artists who have suffered some kind of hardship are naturally better artists?

BC – I think a lot of expression, and trying to understand the world can come from dysfunction. If somebody is burdened with suffering it can be a very valuable tool for them.

I’m sure art encourages mad men, and I’m sure it helps some mad men.

BM – So would you say that these works are more autonomous than your early works?

BC – I’m in them, but I don’t use the same piece of brain as I used to. The hand that drew in the caves is the hand that draws now, there’s no gap. It’s primal, because its unconscious and it’s beyond time. Beauty is highly underrated, and so is craft and aesthetic. I often say to people I don’t make art I make pictures; I leave art to the artists.

BM – That’s the opposite of what a lot of contemporary artists would say.

BC – That’s because I’m being sarcastic and in fact they’re not artists. If something needs to be in a gallery to be recognized as art, it very possibly isn’t.

BM – With conceptual art, do you not believe that the crafting of an idea is enough rather than the crafting of a material?

BC – Anything can be enough; I don’t have any problem with conceptual art. I’m happy for Tate Modern to be full of conceptual art, for it to be a Sunday outing for families, and for it to be like an amusement park.

But I would also say that a lot of conceptual art has devalued its own language through overuse. The same can be said of abstract art. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t have relevance or value but if you have a diet of only chocolate it makes you sick.

Society and art are all so diabolically mundane because it is very easy to big up rubbish and very easy to dismiss the real. Very few people can tell the difference. But the real will always survive and will eventually raise itself to the surface in good time.

When I talk about this stuff people think what a dark view, but I have a total optimism in this.

BM – Do you think that the art world nowadays is too celebrity-focused?

BC – Society is obsessed with celebrity, and there’s no reason why art would be excluded from that. It’s that adolescent trend, the decadence of the world we live in. The art world personifies that decadence. It’s all greed; greed is borne of a lack of confidence, and a lack of spiritual belief. It’s not because these people are bad but that they lack self-confidence. We feel that we’re in competition with each other, and that’s because we’re a spiritually bankrupt decadent society. But truth and goodness will always survive.

BM – A lot of your work is quite melancholy, would you agree?

BC – Melancholy is underrated; there is a very melancholic feel to the world. A lot of people misunderstand melancholy; in a way it can be an introspective and calm place. It’s not going to obliterate you, it just tones everything down – its not misery. We’re such a mixed bag of emotions, and we have to understand that we live beyond them. There are a lot of quite dark things in my poetry because one of my favorite things is a black humor. Often people are surprised that I’m quite lighthearted.

BM – Do you think that for you your work is a way of excising some past demons?

BC – I think it does happen, it’s all tied into this existential feeling of being lost and alone without god.

It doesn’t matter where the problem is it’s just how much you identify with it. And being able to not identify with those aspects of ourselves, just recognize them. The ones who find it difficult are the ones who get stuck in identifying themselves as a particular aspect or qualification; they become defined by events that have happened to them, or their abilities.

The things we are always looking for is freedom, either by controlling others or by greed and money and power. But we’re seeking what we already have, and causing mischief for others in the process by looking in the wrong places. It stems from a lack of confidence in ourselves and a lack of self-awareness. One of the main jobs in life is loving yourself; you don’t have to become some kind of saint, you just have to have the guts to get to know yourself, and realize that your problems and defects are perfectly ok.

(Originally published in This Is Tomorrow Magazine)