Articles Tagged with: delphian gallery

A Long Way From Home – RSVP for the private view now!

We are very excited to be launching our next show, A Long Way From Home with Kevin Perkins and Igor Moritz next week!

 

A Long Way From Home - Kevin Perkins and Igor Moritz

Igor Moritz

 

Kevin Perkins and Igor Moritz are two incredibly exciting early-career artists whose work shares a vibrancy that is expressed through their shared passions for form, line, and colour.

Two unique artists are paired because of their individual, but shared experimentations with figuration. Each artist brings their distinct perspective to their subjects, which both distorts and exaggerates certain formal qualities to enhance the whole.

The title ‘A Long Way From Home’ refers to the adventure and experimentation present in the practice of both artists, who have approached the show collaboratively despite living on separate continents and never having met in person.

The curatorial style of Delphian Gallery will make its mark on the show also, which will result in a exhibition of works by two intriguing artists, that forms together almost as if it is by one creator, while still maintaining the distinct integrity and individuality of each.

A Long Way From Home - Kevin Perkins and Igor Moritz

Kevin Perkins

For more details and to RSVP for free tickets visit the link below.

HERE

To request the catalogue of available works please email
info@delphiangallery.com

Exhibition kindly supported by theprintspace.

 

To see photos of the Open Call, in which Igor was exhibited, please go HERE

To see photos of Obscurely Prophetic, in which Kevin was exhibited, please go HERE


Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0

Marina Abramovic – Rhythm 0

Words and illustration by Benjamin Murphy – Originally published in AfterNyne Magazine

Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0

Sketch by Benjamin Murphy

In 1974, twenty three year old Serbian-born artist Marina Abramovic created the most poignant and shocking performance artwork to date. Rhythm 0 was a captivating social experiment, and one that has still not been surpassed 43 years later.

 

Gallery visitors were met with a standing but immobile Abramovic, beside her a table containing a plethora of seventy-two seemingly unconnected objects. Some were clearly intended to give pleasure: a rose, grapes, perfume, and a feather were included. Some others were more sinister: a whip, nails, a razorblade, scissors, a pistol, and a single bullet.

The audience was then asked to explore the objects and use them upon her body in any way they wish, whilst for the next six hours all responsibility for their actions was assumed by Marina.

 

 

Placed upon the table was the following text.

Instructions.

There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired.

Performance.

I am the object.

During this period I take full responsibility.

 

Duration: 6 hours (8 pm – 2 am)

 

At first, the crowd was sheepish and their actions innocuous, giving her the rose to hold and generally not doing much. After a while, mob-mentality took control and the crowd got more vicious. With tears streaming down her cheeks Abramovic stood immobile and stoic whilst her clothes were cut off (in a similar way to Yoko Ono’s Cut Piecefrom ten years before) and her neck was sliced with a razorblade. The man who cut her then leant forwards and placed his lips to the fresh wound and drank her blood. It left a scar that she still has to this day. She was touched in intimate places, and according to art critic Thomas McEvilley “…she would not have resisted rape or murder”.

In the post-apocalyptic dystopia we see so often in books and films, once state authority is removed society becomes feral and vicious.

 

One visitor put the bullet in the pistol and placed it in her hand pointing at her own neck, no doubt willing her to pull the trigger. At this point even the gallery staff thought the work had gone too far, and “went crazy”, grabbing the gun and throwing it out of the window. All the time Abramovic never moved.

She was picked up and carried to a table, placed upon it, and had a kitchen knife thrust between her legs into the wood of the table, in a symbolic gesture that symbolizes both rape and murder.

Abramovic’s ability to transcend physical and psychological pain through sheer mental strength is astounding, but it is not the main focal point of this work.

Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0

What makes this work so frightening is that it took a simple absolution of guilt for this randomly collected cross section of society to resort to viciousness and disregard for human life. It calls to mind the Milgram experiment, in which volunteers were informed that they were required to electrocute another volunteer. The volunteers were unaware that the experimenter and the person being electrocuted were in cahoots, and any response to electrocution was staged. The confederate would be asked questions, and any incorrect answer was met with an electric shock – increasing in power for every subsequent shock.

 

In this experiment, the volunteer was absolved any responsibility, and therefore continued to obey the instructor, despite the obvious danger. Many of the participants showed visible signs of distress throughout, and were clearly complying begrudgingly.

It was an experiment to see if obedience to authority would overrule the volunteer’s conscience, and their natural fears for another’s safety. It questions whether the volunteers could be considered accomplices to the act, and was inspired by the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, just three months before.

 

In Rhythm 0 however, not only did the viewers enact ‘real horror’, but they did so with relish. The audience was not acting under orders from an authority figure as they were in the Milgram Experiment, but were given the authority to act autonomously. In the Milgram experiment, most of the volunteers protested the instructions and showed many signs of extreme distress, but in Rhythm 0 they seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

 

One would expect that the participants would display reticence to act freely due to the Hawthorne Effect (the modification or dilution of ones natural behavior due to the knowledge that one is being observed), but this is actually not the case, as the participants showed an eagerness to experiment in ever increasing gradations of severity.

It is also possible that the absolution of responsibility allowed the spectators to play out some of their darkest fantasies. The symbolic hematophagy is suggestive of the participant assuming power or control over Abramovic, and asserting their dominance.

 

They saw Marina as an object, and they played with her sadistically like a cat with a mouse. They were also required to use their own creativity when deciding in which way the objects were used, and it is surprising how quickly they abandoned the safe objects in favor of the truly dangerous ones. The dehumanization that occurs is in part due to Abramovic’s immobility, in part due to her silence, and in part due to the acts of objectification enacted upon her by other members of the crowd. It is in part because the spectators saw their contemporaries enacting hostilities that they felt able to also.

She took some of the ideas originally explored just 13 years prior, and took them to their most extreme point.

 

Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0

Marina Abramovic – Rhythm 0

 

Performance art is similar in many ways to theatre, but as Abramovic has shown there are some subtle but definite differences. Horror within the theatre is inauthentic, but at least in some cases, within performance art it is real.

 

In 1891 Oscar Wilde explored this topic in his essay The Critic As Artist.

“…Art does not hurt us. The tears that we shed at a play are a type of the exquisite sterile emotion that it is the function of art to awaken. We weep, but we are not wounded. We grieve, but our grief is not bitter.”

 

Almost a hundred years later, Abramovic proved this to be incorrect.

 

For more critique by Benjamin Murphy

Chris Burden – Dormant Chaos

Santiago Sierra – The Strangeness of Reality

Conversation with Billy Childish


NEXT SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT – A Long Way From Home – Kevin Perkins & Igor Moritz

We are incredibly excited to announce that our next show A Long Way From Home opens on the 17th of January!

Kevin Perkins and Igor Moritz are two incredibly exciting early-career artists whose work shares a vibrancy that is expressed through their shared passions for form, line, and colour.

A Long Way From Home - Kevin Perkins

Kevin Perkins’ work from our inaugural group show ‘Obscurely Prophetic’

Two unique artists are paired because of their individual, but shared experimentations with figuration. Each artist brings their distinct perspective to their subjects, which both distorts and exaggerates certain formal qualities to enhance the whole.

The title ‘A Long Way From Home’ refers to the adventure and experimentation present in the practice of both artists, who have approached the show collaboratively despite living on separate continents and never having met in person.

A Long Way From Home - Igor Moritz

Igor Moritz’s work from our first Open Call

The curatorial style of Delphian Gallery will make its mark on the show also, which will result in a exhibition of works by two intriguing artists, that forms together almost as if it is by one creator, while still maintaining the distinct integrity and individuality of each.

To request the catalogue of available works please email

Info@delphiangallery.com

 

To RSVP for the private view, please click this LINK

 

To see photos of the Open Call, in which Igor was exhibited, please go HERE

To see photos of Obscurely Prophetic, in which Kevin was exhibited, please go HERE

 

 

To see


Jordy Kerwick’s FIRST EVER limited edition print release

We are very excited to be releasing Jordy Kerwick’s FIRST EVER limited edition prints.

We have two available, printed from two of the most popular paintings in his debut UK solo show Diary Of An Introvert with us in December 2018. Both are hand-signed and stamped editions of 15.

Jordy Kerwick Limited Edition

Jordy Kerwick Limited Edition

Print Specifications

  • Limited edition print run edition of 15.
  • Signed and numbered by the artist.
  • Stamped with an embossed Delphian Gallery seal to prove authenticity.
  • Supplied with certificate of authenticity to provide limited edition provenance.
  • Size – 50 x 70 cm including a small white border for easy framing.
  • Archival Giclée print with an archival lifespan of up to 200 years.
  • Presented on Hahnemühle Photo Rag premium fine art paper.
  • A slightly off white, matt finish paper with guaranteed archival properties. The paper gives muted blacks with even colour reproduction, and excellent detail. It has a minimal texture and a chalky smooth cotton feel which creates smooth colour gradients.
  • Printed in the UK.
  • Global shipping available.

Jordy Kerwick Limited Edition

Jordy Kerwick Limited Edition

To purchase, please click THIS LINK


Lucas Price – Body Body

Lucas Price is currently exhibiting as part of the inaugural Bangkok Art Bienalle until Feb 2019, with the video work Body Body. 
We decided to catch up with him and discuss the emotive, and brutally honest work.
Lucas Price - Body Body

Lucas Price – Body Body

Can you please explain a little about what the video is about, and how you came to make it?
The video is a long series of screen tests of people who at the time of recording were immigrants in Thailand. I was recovering from a stay at a temple, where I had gone to detox from heroin. I felt that my body was under attack, from itself in a way, had been colonised by this thing. So I was thinking about that and the various ways people’s bodies are prone to pressure. I began by recording my drug dealer, then moved outward and began to record his friends, their peers, tourists, diplomats etc. I wanted to make something about my relationship to Bangkok, and it ended up being about being an outsider. So, it’s about that and moving through the world and how the body is coming and going in amongst all of this.
Body Body is obviously an incredibly personal project for you, how have you reconciled making the private public, and how did you decide what to include and what to omit?
I really feel that its a universal set of principles I’m trying to sort out. Like we all have to abide inside of our bodies. And we’re all trying to keep the show on the road. There are personal references, but I think it’s worth being honest if it means that somehow it allows for more of the same? That’s certainly my experience. Other people’s honesty makes room for my own. I don’t know if this works in the same way but it’s partly the intention.
Who are the people in the video, and how much has been explained to them about the project before filming?
The people in the film were…everyone was street cast. I made a studio in the back of a truck which I drove around Bangkok for a week. We went to slums on the outskirts, the hi so areas, the red light district, chinatown. Suburbs, tourist traps, immigration centres. Everyone was made aware that the film was a simple series of portraits, to be screened in a gallery. It was very ad-hoc but everyone was made aware of the nature of the project and I had consent throughout. The most interesting and eager to participate were the african sex workers, who at the time were under an enormous amount of pressure as the result of a crackdown by the Thai police called operation Black Eagle. They were rounded up every couple of nights and extorted or intimidated, squeezed for cash and then ultimately deported or sent to immigration centres on the way to being deported. I think they were the limit expression of that idea of being placed under extreme amounts of pressure.
There are a lot of mentions of the sea and drowning – both in a sinister, foreboding way, but also in a cleansing and regenerating way. What is the significance of water within this particular piece?
The sea…idk, it’s just a good place to be. A large body. It unified a lot of the experiences I have of travelling and being dislocated. It’s also…I was thinking about this idea of experience and awareness, of waves being parts of a whole thing..the wave is not the ocean, the ocean contains all the waves. Also shout out to The Waves by Virginia Woolf.
Do you see this work as being redemptive in any way, or is it a cathartic experience revealing such personal details?
I think the details aren’t so important as maybe trying to be honest and even earnest? I mean I’m cynical, and I don’t know whether the film is successful in any meaningful way…at least in the way I originally intended, but if I think about what is at stake, for me it’s certainly about being honest…like congruous or something.

It’s not about redemption, as much as making sense post meltdown. And whatever works in those conditions right? I’ve chastised myself for including my own stuff in my work in the past but…it’s like Nan Goldin or Brad Phillips. I like that honesty, it’s healing.

 

 

Check out his Instagram HERE

 

 

(Interview by Benjamin Murphy)

FOR MORE INTERVIEWS, CHECK OUT:

JORDY KERWICK

HAYDEN KAYS

KLAUS BUSCH RISVIG

 


Guest Article – Rowan Newton interviews Robin Footitt

For this Guest Article – artist Rowan Newton interviews Robin Footitt about his work, and his current show at New Art Projects in London. For more about both artists and the gallery, see their website links at the bottom.

Rowan Newton - Robin Footitt

 

RN – One of the first things I noticed as I entered the exhibition is that it seems to be in 3 parts. Tell me about the theme to this show and how each part plays it role within that theme?

 

RF – ‘Open Window’, is the second solo project I’ve had at New Art Projects, and continues a theme which takes modernism into the realm of communication through image abstraction when using technology. The perception of an open window has changed in recent times from a sense of escape and outward potential to a much more singular, internalised, anxious pursuit born out of working on layered computer screens. I liken the stages of my treatment to the exhibition theme as a series of acts, much like in opera – the topic can be a central focus in the work or a subtext to underwrite other more intimate narratives. This is similar to the way in which I work, using different materials and time signatures (“instant” objects versus labour intensive craft) to resolve and set a rhythm in the installation.

 

Perhaps the first act in Open Window is the series of dots connecting together, plotting grid compositions and dividing lines throughout the space. These are patterns made on Lycra, which replicate the magnification of various phone and display screens. These red, green and blue tessellated shapes were initially assembled as paper collages to reclaim the handmade and tangible act of touching a pixel. The 90 degree angular forms they make on the wall are much more mechanical and are reminiscent of linking dots together to unlock your phone or make a chain of matching candies to make them dissolve… Relationship to the screen is echoed throughout the other works – I’ve made drawings about the passing of time and maintaining your place within it, using visual significations such as placing a napkin over a drink to claim your absence (Holding Object) or indeed taking that napkin and repeatedly unfolding and refolding it in different ways as a means to kill time (Napkin Variations).

 

RN – The geometric shapes, can you tell me how these pieces were made? 

 

RF – The two yellow windows, titled ‘Outlook’ and ‘Explorer’ are good examples of what I referred to earlier as instant objects. They are both made from Dibond aluminium sheet material, which I draw on with permanent marker and their shape is predetermined by this relationship. Those drawings were at the same scale as my phone screen (9:5) and these parallelograms were cut to size and produced instantaneously. Whilst the pair have a simple hard edge abstraction I enjoy the multiplicity of their purpose, like having the spectre of a ray of light cast on the wall through a window.

Rowan Newton - Robin Footitt

RN – When you say Outlook and Explorer, I instantly think of the email host and search engine, are they the source of these names? And why?

 

RF – Again ‘Explorer’ and ‘Outlook’ respond to the window theme but you’re quite right that they are in reference to android software. There was something attractive about those names as if you were being a pioneer looking out on the vastness of all this information. In regards to the pieces one is reflective and the other is a more matt surface so I titled them respectively.

 

RN – Now having a little time to live with the show as an exhibit, how do you feel about it?

 

RF – The work I keep returning to is ‘You Left Me’ a photographic altar piece-style triptych that hangs off the corner in the second room. The three images come from an undeveloped camera film, which I found sat inside my aunt’s camera after her passing. It was half-used and had been there for some years previously forgotten. When I processed the negatives each print had a bleached, dreamlike quality, which came partly from the fixed perspective lens, but also the deterioration of the film. It seemed apt to keep this analogue production so I scanned the prints without retouching and housed them in a bespoke hinged frame. The lack of focus toys with the arrangement to maintain a constantly shifting focal point, which I admire. It makes me nostalgic for less immediate forms of photography I suppose, where the first exposure isn’t instantly lit up by a screen and consumed just as quickly.

Rowan Newton - Robin Footitt

RN – You have worked with New Art Projects for just over 2 years, tell me about that journey? 

 

RF – It has grown pretty organically since ‘Modern Grammar’ which opened in September 2016. Fred Mann, Director of New Art Projects has put the trust in me to develop over that period with a solo project booth at VOLTA New York in 2017 and that invitation extended to me curating group show ‘The Toast’ alongside Open Window this November.

 

RN – If you could make one thing disappear from the Art world what would it be?

 

RF – Application fees

 

RN – Do you have a piece of your own art hanging in your home, of so, why that piece? If not, why? 

 

RF – I do yes. Many works hanging in my home are from years of swapping with other artists that I have either curated, collaborated with or studied alongside, and the odd bit of collecting from independent online stores.

 

RN – What’s next for you?

 

RF – Nothing I can reveal just yet but all being well I should be travelling much more in 2019…

 

 

Open Window can be viewed at New Art Projects, London until 21st December 2018

Website: www.robinfootitt.com and www.newartprojects.com

Instagram: @robinfootittart and @newartprojects

Facebook: New Art Projects London

 

Guest Article by Rowan Newton

Instagram: @Rowan_Newton

Website: RowanNewton.co.uk

Facebook: Rowan Newton

 

FOR MORE GUEST ARTICLES CHECK OUT:

Nicholas Burns – Inside the Bug Jar


Tracey Emin – A Fortnight Of Tears

Tracey Emin – A Fortnight Of Tears

Chronicling the most recent developments in Tracey Emin’s practice, ‘A Fortnight of Tears’ opens at White Cube Bermondsey in February 2019.

This major exhibition spans the entire gallery and brings together new painting, photography, large-scale sculpture, film and neon text, all stemming from the artist’s deeply personal memories and emotions ranging from loss, grief, longing and spiritual love.

Three monumental, bronze sculptural figures, the largest Emin has produced to date, are shown alongside her lyrical and expressive paintings. Developed through a process of drawing, the paintings are then intensely reworked and added to, layer upon layer.

Tracey Emin - A Fortnight Of Tears

Tracey Emin – A Fortnight Of Tears

White Cube also debuts a new photographic series by Emin titled ‘Insomnia’. Selected from thousands of self-portraits taken by the artist on her iPhone over the last couple of years, these images spontaneously capture prolonged periods of restlessness and inner turmoil.

Filmmaking has been an integral part of Emin’s career for over 20 years. To mark this, the artist will show a new film as well as the key early work How It Feels (1996), a candid and moving account of her abortions that changed her whole approach to making art.

 

For more great art exhibitions on right now, see this review of Chris Burden at Gagosian by Benjamin Murphy HERE

For more about Tracey Emin, see the White Cube website HERE


Dormant Chaos – Chris Burden at Gagosian

Dormant Chaos – Chris Burden at Gagosian by Benjamin Murphy

(Originally published in AfterNyne Magazine)

 

Chris Burden - Gagosian

 

In their latest show, Gagosian gallery is isolating two works from Chris Burden’s retrospective at New Museum in New York in 2013, and presenting them together in their Brittania Street gallery. Entitled Measured, the show speaks of symmetry, bringing together two works that exist via the equality of weight between two opposing objects. In Porsche With Meteorite, a genuine nickel-iron meteorite counterbalances a restored Porsche 914.

This work is one which suggests immense, and yet dormant, power. The power of the sports-car is curtailed and it is left sitting idly, as if weightless, whilst the meteorite sits cold upon the opposing end of the fulcrums arm. These two objects have had past lives that were incredibly high-octane, for Burden’s restoration of a vintage car rather than the selection of a showroom floor model is not merely serendipitous. These objects have been imbued with an immense power, which through his transfiguration, have become impotent in their stillness. They seem to have lost their virility, and sit immobile, suspended in time.

 

The meteorite is only twenty percent of the weight of the car, and for this reason the beam that supports both is much longer on the meteorites end. It is a purpose-built structure that towers overhead, telescopic – although the lack of registration-marks on the uniform oxidisation suggests that this functionality is only for show; it has potential, but this potential will never be actualised. The vehicles have been painstakingly restored to their former perfection, whilst the oxidised steel components, display an artificial history that in the vehicles js genuine, but obscured.

 

The viewer is at once struck with the delicacy of the work, and yet feels insecure in the potential for danger. In many ways both works in Measuredare redolent of his 1996 work The Flying Steamroller, in which a twelve-tonne steamroller is attached to a pivoted arm, counterbalanced on the opposite side. In the middle of the arm, there is a rotating fulcrum that allows the steamroller to lift off the ground and float in the air once it has reached a high enough velocity for the counterweight to elevate it. In this work the potential for unmitigated disaster is very real, and it is impossible to not be struck by the delicacy with which this immensely dangerous event is taking place. The steamroller glides serenely through the air like a bird.

Chris Burden - Gagosian

The other work in the show, One-Ton Crane Truck is a refurbished Ford truck counterbalanced with a purpose-built single tonne cube, which contrasts with and exemplifies the exotic nature of the meteorite. In this work, the vehicle is a rudimentary machine used for laborious work, which is diametrically opposed to the extravagent sports-car in the other room. This juxtaposition of the functional and familiar robustness of the crane truck and cube, with the exoticsports car and meteorite, seems to highlight the intrinsic qualities of each by playing them off against one another. The sports car appears all the more luxurious and fast, whilst the truck speaks of rigidity and strength. This piece is slightly less successful than its counterpart however, and as was suggested to me by a friend, a bit ‘cartoony’. The one-tonne weight is a rather arbritrary measurement, as the trucks front wheels are planted firmly on the ground. Were they to be lifted ever-so-slightly off the floor, the work would have been immeasurably powerful, but alas, that is not the case. Having the counterweight a purpose-built cube, as opposed to a magical, extra-terrestrial chunk of metal, diminishes this work somewhat. It does however, suggest that this work means something different to its opposite, in that here the work suggests industry and industrialization, grounded in the real, laborious world. The other has a magical, almost fairytale quality, and is suggestive of some kind of freedom (or its lack thereof). It is not that either work critiques or diminishes the other, rather that they both speak of similar ideas, in opposing ways.

 

Burden’s early work was chaotic and reckless, but never haphazard. There was a raw energy and freedom to his performance works that now, because of his untimely death, will never be seen again. This show has a somber quietness to it, that when viewed after the artist’s premature death, screams of lost potential. The cars potential as a conduit to immense power and freedom is left suspended, and isolated from the very ground that gives it its meaning. In this however, it is imbued it with a newer, more abstract power. The meteorite appears as if lassoed out of the sky, hung upon a metal gallows and displayed in all its impotence, energy lost irretrievably.

 

In Burden’s earlier work, he put himself at great physical danger and exposed himself to actual bodily harm for his works.Towards the end of his career, he made works that placed the viewer in arenas of potential danger, with The Big Wheel and Steamroller, where there always seemed that chaos was ready to break free. In these works presented in Measured, the chaos and energy that could ensue has long passed, and now lays dormant within these objects, perfectly suspended to reflect that an equilibrium has been reached between chaos and calm. The gallery has a stillness that heightens the balance of the two works, both individually with the literal balance between objects, but also the way in which both works discourse with each other.

 

As Mark Rothko once said, “complete equilibrium is death”, and within these works, it is the perfect symmetry of both that each nullifies the power of its opposite. All ordered systems strive towards chaos, and these equal and opposing forces arrest this eagerness for disorder, creating a stunted equilibrium redolent of serenity. It is a stale serenity however, as each work calls to mind a lost potential, which when read in the post-Burden landscape, echoes of loss.

 

 

For more by Benjamin:

Santiago Sierra – The Strangeness of Reality

For more details about the show:

Gagosian Website


Guest Column – Nicholas Burns

Inside the Bug Jar By Nicholas Burns

Nicholas Burns

I
In a jar full of bugs,
I am agitated. On display
My actions and motives are questioned by
Leering eyes.
Waiting for the chance to dissect me and use me.
Abuse me and isolate my weaknesses
I must be deft and dexterous
Flexible and malleable
Able to adapt and function in all environments
My design must be flawless and innovative
Cohesive, yet groundbreaking

Eliminate the excess.
Don’t be the freak.

Tweak it.
Perfect it.
Make it the best.

Because no one remembers those who live in mediocrity.
The worker bees serve an elegant purpose.
Committed to one another as
A unit.
A family
Aiming to produce the best. The sweetest.

Don’t make a mistake because you must remember

Everyone is watching

II
In a room full of mirrors,
I see a thousand mistakes.
Changes I need to make
We need to make

I’ve said too much
I’ve seen too much
Yet not enough
Still looking for myself
In a world of constant change and
Scrutiny,
Controversy,
And Competition
I am under the microscope

I’m reinventing myself
I’ll dye my hair
Blue and orange, green and gray
Then black
I’m every color
Then no color at all

I’m reinventing myself
I’ll dress the best
Maintain a look of confidence
Even though I’m frightened and ashamed
I’ll spritz that dark rum scent
Scent like sex
Yet my airs produce miasmic odors
An attractor and repellent

What do I need to do to see this through?
I want to fix the world but I can’t seem to fix myself

I need a shortcut
A pointer
A guide

If only these mirrors could talk

III
In a puzzle with infinite pieces
I am in need of fresh air
But at least I’m finding grounding
In the lack of control

What started a storm with no foreseeable end
I am now in its eye
I am calm
The storm still persists, still rages
But I have a damn good umbrella

Like the bees, I’m still at work
Still dressed the best
I spritz my chest
To keep the lingering smell
That became my attractor

Yet now I discard this idea of supremacy
Perfection, a silly structure
A hierarchical mirage
I prefer to be the freak
To take my position in left field

I want to build something beautiful
But I sometimes forget the recipe
I am the baker and the chef,
But deft I am not

I’m making a mess, and it’s getting everywhere
And that’s fine with me
Food fights are fun
Spontaneous
Collaborative
Colorful

Perfection is a mirage
And in the desert of opportunities
I’ll save my energy for fruitful excursions
That mirage will always disappear

And that’s fine with me.

 

 

 

Studio Art Alumni:
Inside the Bug Jar
Jan 22 – Feb 22, 2019
Artist Reception: Feb 7, 4-7pm

 

Nicholas Burns – WEBSITE

 

For more guest columns, check out Andrew Salgado’s essay about the work of Benjamin Murphy HERE


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).

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