Articles Tagged with: contemporary art

‘Commixture’ at The Koppel Project – Hector Campbell’s Top Five

Commixture at The Koppel Project

Curated by Sally Gorham.

 

The Koppel Project in Central London plays host to Commixture, curated by Sally Gorham, a group exhibition that presents a snapshot of the current London emerging art scene through the lens of materiality and a diversity of mediums and methods. Each of the exhibited artists display continued exploration and experimentation within their practice, particularly in the context of their experience of media, material and physical making. The variety on show in Commixture highlights the innumerous ways in which artists approach creating, and how these approaches alter and change in relation to their navigation of the contemporary art world. The careful curation of Sally Gorham guides the audience through the exhibition, creating dialogues between not only the individual artworks but also the many disparate mediums and movements they encompass.

 

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, which runs until July 13th, here is a rundown of my top five artists with work on display in ‘Commixture’, (in no particular order).

 

ByHector Campbell

 

Nathaniel Faulkner

commixture

Nathaniel Faulkner, Maze Painting, MDF, spray paint, flock, 2019

 

Nathaniel graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL (London), having previously completed his Foundation in Art and Design at Bath College.

Nataniel’s work regularly references popular culture, cinematic history and invented architecture, and in Maza Painting he turns his attention to Stanley Kubricks 1980 masterpiece The Shining by reinterpreting The Overlook Hotel’s arhitectural maze model as a sculptural relief. Painstakingly crafted from MDF, the work could easily be interpreted as a work of pure geometric abstraction for those uninitiated with Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King classic, the addition of green flock however another nod to the creative process used in architectural and landscape model building.

Nathaniel’s work has featured in group exhibitions at Subsidiary Projects, London (‘Extended Call pt.3’, curated by Billy Frazer, 2018) Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery, London (‘Megalopolis’, 2017) and with Kristian Day (‘arc.’ at Herrick Gallery, London, 2018). Recent duo exhibitions included 2019’s ‘Italian For Beginners’ with Joe Richardson at Apthorp Gallery, London, and ‘showerthoughts’ with Gillies Adamson Semple at San Mei Gallery, London.

Website/Instagram

 

Elliot Jack Stew

commixture

Elliot Jack Stew, Hand Job I, Oil on canvas, 2019

 

Elliot recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL (London).

Elliot’s work explores the boundaries that exist between the public and the private, evidenced in this new ‘Hand Job’ series of works by the use of forced point of view, placing the audience in the position of the protagonist. Intimacy is again implied not only by the works tongue-in-cheek title but also the hand suggestive placing atop the assumed bed sheets. The depiction of hands as well as the works autobiographical context invokes the art historical tradition of ‘The Artist Hand’ and the ways in which artists try to hide, or in Elliot’s case embrace, their mark making.

Elliot had his debut UK solo exhibition earlier this year at Cass Art, London (‘Poster Boy’), and has featured in 2018’s East Wing Biennial (‘SURGE’) at The Courtauld, London. Elliot is also the co-founder of the ‘Collective Cuba Project’ residency programme in Havana, Cuba.

 Website/Instagram

 

Helen Waldburger

commixture

Helen Waldburger, Slippery Fingers, Watercolour, oil and oil pastel on cotton, 2019

 

Helen recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL (London), having previously completed her Diploma in Art and Design at Camberwell College of Arts.

Helen’s work combines memories, thoughts, dreams and feelings to create scenes that are neither fact nor fiction but incorporate aspects of both to create a rich visual narrative. This layered approach to narrative composition is mirrored in the artist’s use of cotton canvases, which through their translucence expose the wooden support beneath, allowing for the expansion and extension of the works’ surface.

Helen’s work has featured in group exhibitions at Leyden Gallery, London (‘Platform For Emerging Arts 21’, Feb/March 2019), Stour Space, London (‘Sketchy London’, Aug 2018) and the Rag Factory, London (‘Sacred Blue’, 2016 & ‘Mother Russia’, 2015)

Website/Instagram

 

 

Cybi Williams

commixture

Cybi Williams, Gyn, Oil on canvas, 2019

 

Cybi recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL (London).

 

Cybi’s practice exists at the intersection of digital and analogue, and questions their relationship while exploring ways to marry the two creatively. His new series of work started life as daily digital sketches, an ongoing creative routine that provides him with ample visual material from which he edits and selects images that will become larger works. ‘Gyn’ exists both as Cybi’s original digital rendering of the work, as well as this physical oil on canvas piece that retains all the hallmarks of its nascent digital beginnings, a trompe l’oeil for the technological age.

Cybi had his debut UK solo exhibition at BLANK 100, London (‘Cybi Williams’, Aug/Sept 2018), followed by ‘Mundane!’ at Roper Gallery, Bath in January of this year. He was also the winner of the 2018 Clyde & Co Art Award.

Website/Instagram

 

Rupert Whale

commixture

Rupert Whale, Remnant, Acrylic on canvas, 2019

 

Rupert recently graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL (London), having previously completed his BA (Hons) at Middlesex University, London, and his Diploma in Art and Design at Exeter College of Art.

Taken from Rupert’s latest series ‘The Incomplete’, 2019’s ‘Remnant’ displays the artist’s mastery of, and experimentation with, many painterly techniques as he approaches abstraction as device to investigate mark making and question the limits of the picture plane. The pastoral colours recall traditional landscape painting whilst the diverse range of expressive lines and brushstrokes evoke digital composition and avant-garde art movements such as graffiti, punk and abstract expressionism.

Rupert’s recent solo exhibitions include ‘Critical Mass’ at Cloisters Temple, London (2018) and ‘Rupert Whale’ at The Stonespace Gallery, London (2018). Rupert’s work is featured in collections including the University of the Arts London Collection and the Tim Sayer Collection (bequeathed to The Hepworth Museum, Wakefield).

Website/Instagram

 

 

For more of Hector Campbell’s Top Fives

Drawing Biennial at The Drawing Room

Subversive Stitch at TJ Boulting


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.


Selling Art Online – the new free book from creativehub.

Our friends over at creativehub have just announced the release of their free book, Selling Art Online 2019!

selling art online

This is an evolution of their 2018 edition, which sold over 15K copies with a 96% approval rating. We have given out copies of this book at a few of our panel discussions since it was released, and creativehub founder Stuart Waplington joined us for one discussion in 2018 to discuss the very subject featured in the book.

Selling Art Online 2019 is packed full of new and updated chapters along with fresh case studies from the ‘new wave’ of artists making their names, and serious sales revenue, online. This will be a great resource for artists hoping to sell their work online, and it is super easy to get hold of your own free copy.

Occasional Delphian collaborator Kate Mothes (founder of groundbreaking curatorial platform Young Space) shares her wisdom on all things Instagram, and how artists can use this as a marketing tool to create traffic online.

With multiple other case studies and 8 chapters, Selling Art Online 2019 gives you everything you need to get set up in just one day.

ORDER YOUR FREE COPY HERE

To order your free copy online head to store.creativehub.io or collect your free copy in person at their
London print studio; theprintspace, 74 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DL.


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


Richie Culver – Making Bad Decisions – A Conversation with Benjamin Murphy

Benjamin Murphy – Firstly, why are you an artist?

Richie Culver – Because I was not prepared to do something I did not like for a living, or have someone tell me what to do. I have had some jobs I hated. Working in super markets, caravan sites, building sites, caravan factories, retail. That is that main reason I am an artist today. Fear of having to go back to doing something I hate. I could answer something poetic and meaningful. But this is the truth of it.

Richie Culver

Untitled, Acrylic & polycell on canvas, 200x160cm, 2019

BM – How did you go from working in a caravan site to exhibiting paintings?

RC – Luck, taking chances, moving around a lot, making mistakes, gaining loads of life stories that I could one day paint about. I took loads of photos many years ago. This gave me confidence creatively, I also learned about composition and colour pallets through photography, I always wanted to paint the way I took photos.

 

BM – Have you any plans for ever showing these photos?

RC – Ahh man. They are super dark.

They feel kind desperate now looking at them. I often come across them on my laptop when I’m going through images. I have really mixed emotions about them and that part of my life. Being a Dad now also make me want to hide them away. I would never want my Son to see those photos. I believe they are good photos, but I’m just not a photographer, it was just a vehicle to get me where I am today. My Schooling perhaps. Seeing Richard Billinghams work really affected me when I was younger and made me realise I could have a voice one day in the arts perhaps ? I related greatly to his Rays a laugh body of work in 1996.

 

BM – That’s an interesting connection, as he took that series with the intention of using them as references to make paintings from originally.

RC – Yes. I was gonna mention that.

 

BM – I saw him give a lecture once and whilst he was speaking I did this really bad drawing of him. After it was done I got him to sign it, he was very nonplussed by it.

Have these photographs informed your paintings in some way?

RC – Not really. It’s really difficult to link them to the way I work now. I hope that in 20 or 30 years time they may fit somewhere within the time line. They kind of do fit with my sculptural works. There is a certain denseness to the sculptures that echo the imagery of the Photos. I could see them together in a body of work. It’s really odd talking about them even, there’s a real vulnerability to me when they get brought up.

Richie Culver

Becky from the block, Cement & Synthetic hair, Dimensions variable, 2019

BM – Do you think that is because they more closely represent something that the paintings do not? I think it’s interesting that there is this great series that might never get seen, like some Henry Darger/ Vivian Meyer mashup.

RC – I think it’s just an age thing, meaning it takes me back to being in my early 20s. Or perhaps being honest about the way I schooled myself. It feels really Feral. My painting have that same language also. The textures and gestures are fast and sometimes messy.

Nothing ever sits right with me to be honest. I think that’s what I’m striving for. One day for everything to just fall in line or make sense. There’s a saying in football that at the end of the season, the good decisions and bad decisions you got should even out.

 

BM – So do you think bad decisions are necessary in art/ life?

I have tried my best to navigate my life Correctly and avoid mistakes. Naturally, I failed and made loads. I make less now.

Making bad decisions with a painting usually is a good thing. It can take a painting in a whole new direction from one mistake. Me and bad decisions in the studio are now great friends. I see mistakes as great moves and an opportunity to take the work in a new direction. If I make a mistake I always leave it. Even spelling mistakes.

In life on the other hand, a bad decision can make a difference in a negative way. Depending on how bad it is.

Richie Culver

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas , 50x50cm, 2019

BM – Yeah I’ve also made a lot of mistakes I think it’s necessary. An easy life rarely makes an interesting artist.

So what is the intention with your works, are you attempting to exorcise your demons, or to change the world?

RC – Neither. I’m still trying to realise my intentions.

Someone recently described my work as a little world or town where everyone is desperate and trying to rip each other off. I liked that analysis, when I working in the studio that is how it feels.

I paint autobiographically, fantasy moments pop in from time to time. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and all that.

Like if Jeremy Kyle were to make a movie.

My work would be the script.

richie culver

Yoof, Cement, plastic & Acrylic , Dimensions variable, 2019

BM – Amazing. So do you paint for yourself, or do you paint for yourself or for the audience?

Definitely for myself.

I’m not sure how being an English artist is perceived in the world at large anymore. The country is in a bad way. I often think this affects us also as Artists with regards to curators and gallery’s in other Countries, Naturally. So I just stay in my lane and paint for myself.

 

BM – When I look at your work it makes me think of a dystopian 90s holiday at Butlins, authored by Chuck Palahniuk. Are your works intentionally a bit dystopian, or is that a reflection of your general outlook on life?

RC – I would not say I live in fear anymore, being a Dad I have had to learn leadership qualities, fast. We all have our fears, fear is a natural instinct for a human. It keeps us safe, as in know when or when not to react to a situation.

My Mother was a very protective Woman, really over baring. I was brought up thinking that the world is not a safe place, my Street is not a safe place. It has taken me years  to break the shackles of how I was raised. My mum was super loving but had no confidence in anything she did. I think that may have rubbed off on Me. Saying all this, Perhaps it is in my work then. It’s not intentional though.

 

For more interviews:

Lucas Price in conversation about his deeply personal video Body Body

Florence Hutchings in conversation about her solo show Seating Arrangement with us in 2018

 

For more by Richie Culver, see his website HERE


Bertrand Fournier Prints

bertrand fournier prints

Bertrand Fournier – UPO BW-P1

Bertrand fournier prints

Bertrand Fournier – UPO BW-P2

We are extremely excited to present these stunning Bertrand Fournier prints. He has created 2 very-limited edition linoprints for us as part of his debut UK exhibition “Some Pieces Of Mind”. The prints show his trademark symbolism and bold graphic style rendered beautifully in monochrome.

 

 

 

 

Print Specifications

  • Limited edition print run of 10 pieces.
  • Signed and numbered by the artist.
  • Embossed with the Delphian seal of approval to ensure authenticity.
  • Supplied with certificate of authenticity to provide limited edition provenance.
  • Size 60 x 55 cm including a small white border for easy framing.
  • Presented on premium Norfolk 210gsm cartridge paper.
  • Hand drawn and cut by the artist.
  • Hand printed with archival ink in the UK.
  • As each print is hand printed, every one is slightly different and unique.
  • Global shipping available.

 

UPO BW-P2 now only has TWO prints remaining!

CLICK HERE TO BUY 

For more about Bertrand, click HERE

bertrand fournier prints
bertrand fournier prints


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