Articles Tagged with: guest column

‘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


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


Radical Residency III at Unit 1 Gallery by Hector Campbell

My Top Five – ‘Radical Residency III’ at Unit 1 Gallery

 

Unit 1 Gallery and Workshop’s Radical residency returns for a third time following two success instalments last year, this time opening its doors to ten international artists, from the UK, France, Germany, South Korea and Switzerland. The month-long residency programme tackles the ever-pressing issue of studio costs in the capital by not only transforming the gallery into a large studio space but also a chance to exhibit during the resulting three-week-long group show.

By providing a communal space within with to work and develop their individual practices, a dialogue also arises among the residential artists, allowing for an artistic and creative exchange common at art schools but often lost as artists are forced apart by rising studio prices and a dearth of available spaces in general. Whilst this rich conversation no doubt contributes to each artist’s independent output, it also results in an exciting and cohesive group exhibition.

 

Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop founder and director Stacie McCormick states that “there are so many benefits to the artists working together in such an intense way, but the one that I did not anticipate, that seems to be the strongest, is the mutual respect and support”.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, which runs until April 25th, here is a rundown of my top five artists with work on display in ‘Radical Residency III’, (in no particular order).

 

By Hector Campbell

Sooyoung Chung

radical residency iii

Sooyoung Chung, DYNAMIC SINGLE, 2019,  Acrylic on linen. Image Courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop

Sooyoung Chung recently graduated with an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art (London), having previously completed both a BFA and MFA from Ewha Womans University in her native Seoul, South Korea.

Sooyoung continues to document her daily life through her ‘Biographical Object’ series of paintings depicting individual everyday items, a process she began after moving to the UK from South Korea and finding herself having to buy and accrue the household items she’d previously taken for granted when living with her parents. Additions presented in the Unit 1 exhibition include a pencil sharpener, champagne flute, avocado and the instantly recognisable orange TFL ticket. Alongside the 18 small linen canvases, Sooyoung also exhibits one of her larger narrative works, in which she explores ideas of personal choice and taste by creating a portrait purely from the objects one surrounds oneself with.

Sooyoung’s work has featured in group exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Art (Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018, June/Aug 2018) and the Saatchi Gallery (The Auction Collective & Presenza’s ‘Abstract: Reality’, Dec 2018), she has an upcoming residency withElephant Labin June (Open Studios June 27th)

Website/Instagram

 

Hun Kyu Kim

radical residency iii

Hun Kyu Kim, Table no.1, 2019, Traditional pigment on silk. Image Courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop

 

Hun Kyu Kim recently graduated with an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art (London), where he received the 2017 Chadwell Award, having previously completed both a BA in Oriental Painting at the Seoul National University in South Korea.

Having adopted the traditional silk painting technique common in his native South Korea, Hun Kyu subverts the conventional art form by applying it to critique the current political situation of his home country. Anthropomorphised animals inhabit his allegorical paintings that reference anachronistic art history, folkloric fairy tales and polemic political commentary, creating dark, imagined vignettes where the conventionally cute creatures are rendered riotous and violent.

Hun Kyu had his debut UK solo exhibition at The approach in 2018 (‘Eight Universes and The Machine’), and has featured in group exhibitions at The Nunnery (‘Invitation to a Rave’, curated by Mark Titchner, July/Aug 2018) and HIX Art (‘Painting Now’, July/Sept 2018)

Website/Instagram

 

Lucille Uhlrich

radical residency iii

Lucille Uhlrich, it was about the brexit but maybe we can forget about it, 2019, Wood, cardboard, terracotta, superglue, string. Image Courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop

 

Lucille Uhlrich graduated with an MA in Fine Art the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France having previously studied Modern Literature at the Université de Strasbourg. She also writes art criticism and essays for French publications and galleries.

Lucille’s miniature assemblages, crafted out of quotidian materials such as ceramics, cardboard and wood and held together with string and superglue, exist within a transient dreamlike domain where her symbols and structures imply language. The intricate constructions are delicately produced and carefully considered, with Lucille adding and subtracting elements until a satisfactory balance is found between not only the constituent materials but also the envisioned elucidation.

Lucille’s recent solo exhibitions include ‘Starting from Scratch’ at Néon (Lyon) in 2018, ‘Instant d’après gammes’ at Galerie Arnaud Deschin (Paris) in 2017 and ‘Le Grand Malentendu’ at CEEAC (Strasbourg) in 2014.

Website/Instagram

 

Jean-Baptiste Lagadec

radical residency iii

Jean-Baptiste Lagadec, Mother’s day / Ariane VII, 2019, Acrylic and ink on wood. Image Courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop

 

Jean Baptiste Lagadec received his BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (London) in 2016, having previously studied at the Atelier de Sèvres (Paris).

 

Jean Baptiste weighs the importance of process against the resultant artwork within his paintings, seeking to make visually the intangible, technological codes that underpin and assemble digital images, a hangover from the artist’s previous life as a purely digital artist. He, therefore, sees his adoption of abstract painting as his primary artistic medium as a rebellion against the increasing proliferation of and reliance upon technology, and the threat that poses to intrinsically physical activities such as artmaking.

Jean-Baptiste had a solo presentation as part ofThe AIR Programat Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo in 2017, and his work recently featured in the group exhibition ‘We Are The Ones Vol. 1’ at Carlsberg Byens Galleri (Copenhagen, Sept 2017) curated by Jordy Kerwick, Galina Munroe and Simon Ganshorn.

Instagram

 

Henry Tyrrell

radical residency iii

Henry Tyrrell, Dubrovnik, 2019, Acrylic on linen. Image Courtesy Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop

 

Henry Tyrrell recently graduated with an MA in Painting from the Slade School of Fine Art (London), having previously completed his Ba in Fine Art at the Chelsea College of Art (London).

Within his acrylic on linen works Henry plays with colour, tone and form as ambiguous forms emerge within the shadowed canvas in various shades of grey, reminiscent of the frustration at a foggy memory or the annoying attempts to recall a dream. As well as walking a tonal fine line throughout his examination of grey, Henry also approaches the margin between abstraction and representation, as the shapes and symbols are left for the audience to offer an interpretation.

Henry’s work has featured in group exhibitions at the Cello Factory (‘Defining Structure’, Sept/Oct 2018), the OXO Tower Wharf (‘Orbit UK Art Graduate Show’, Aug 2018) and Chalton Gallery (‘The Politics of Too Many Rubbish Dinner Parties’, May/June 2017). His debut solo exhibition ‘Purkinje Flying’ was at GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford in 2014.

Website/Instagram

 

For more by Hector

Drawing Biennial 2019 at Drawing Room

Subversive Stitch at TJ Boulting

 


Insights into Curating with Rosalind Davis.

Insights Into Curating.

“I see exhibitions as a result of dialogues, where the curator functions in the ideal case as a Catalyst.”  Hans Ulrich Obrist

 

There is a great deal of curiosity about the job of a curator, most notably and understandably from artists; how do you curate? What kind of gallery do you work in? And then, there is always the question of how do I find artists for my exhibitions? So, I thought it would be useful to answer these questions and create a resource for people in the long term. Of course, all curators like artists are different but there are some universal truths.

 

I am an artist as well as a curator and have curated 30 exhibitions so far in my career. I was appointed the curator of Collyer Bristow Gallery in 2016;a very unique gallery in a law firm based in Holborn that was set up by partners of the firm25 years ago.  The focus of the gallery is to support artists through a dynamic gallery programme with a dedicated curator and space. Each show has between 15-25 artists and I curate 3 shows a year there, each usually spanning 4 months.

 

We have a focus towards supporting young career artists to help build their careers and profiles and so Exceptional is a graduate competition and award exhibition every 18 months. The winning artist in the exhibition receives a significant award of £2000 and, importantly being aware that competition fees can exclude artists from entering, ours is free to enter. In previous years we only allowed for artists to apply from three London art schools; Goldsmiths, Middlesex and City & Guilds of London Art School whereasthis year we will be expanding our competition to allow graduates who studied at any University in London apply.

It is a very exciting opportunity for artists and way for me to curate an exhibition focussing on these very promising and talented artists. In the other exhibitions throughout the year I support younger career artists through mixed group shows that showcases them alongside more established artists and helps build their profiles, cross fertilise networks and bring their work to new audiences as well as the opportunity to meet the other artists in the show. Collyer Bristow are also very engaged in the exhibitions and deservedly proud of the gallery. We have numerous events across the year for our many collective and different audiences including prominent arts organisations including the Contemporary Art Society, Government Art Collection, The Fine Art Group, The Mall Gallery Patrons and various other collector groups, curators, galleries, writers and artists.

insights into curating

Exceptional

How do you choose artists?

Apart from Exceptional, where the artists are chosen by a guest panel on their merits, the artists are chosen to fit within the particular themes of the show. To select the artist’s, I am always visiting lots of exhibitions (including Degree shows) research and collate lots of artist’s works. I have a very large library of artists and research on file. I also used to run an annual open competition before Exceptional as part of the arts organisation Zeitgeist Arts (which I co-directed) where I got to select and curate a huge range of artists work. I have gone onto work with a number of these artists again in other exhibitions. I have exhibited artists who were my teachers and students, artists recommended to me, artist’s I have exhibited with, artists whose careers I have been following and I am always looking! However, it can take years to place an artist’s work in an exhibition – for their work to fit in the right context. I have exhibited artists from their early 20’s to their mid 70’s, artists that have been to art school and artists are not formally trained – ultimately, it’s about the integrity, the ideas and processes of the work itself.  I am also keen to show unrepresented artists, as I am aware that exhibition opportunities can be limited.   Justin Hibbs (an artist, collaborator and partner) and I have lots of conversation about the exhibitions, coming up with ideas and thinking of artists to fit within the theme, as does Michaela Nettell, (who does all our design work for the exhibitions)  and other artists I know such as Sasha Bowles who I have also curated with in the past. They are all really engaged with the exhibitions and I am receptive to their thoughts.

One thing I don’t do (and I don’t know any curator or gallery who does) is ever choose artists who spam me or cold call – whether online or in person! For tips and ideas in how you might build a relationship with a curator or galleries can be found on a blog post I did for Hotel Elephant.

 

How do you come up with ideas for the Exhibitions?

The fact that the gallery is housed in a working and active law firm is a rich vein of inspiration for me. As an artist I am very sensitive about the context of a built space Collyer Bristow is a space full of narratives where resolutions are continually being worked towards, modified and resolved. My first exhibition at Collyer Bristow Gallery in 2016 was called Complicity. Artifice and Illusion.I curated the different meeting rooms thematically within the show that related to the law; such as extradition, mediation, copyright, divorce and dissolution, which was intended to be both playful and expansive given the galleries context. Often the titles are the starting point in my process, identifying the core themes or ideas of the show and then the works or artists who might fit within that context.

 

In the Futurewas an exhibition in 2018 inspired by David Byrne from a song written in 1985, that laid out propositions and prophesies about the future as he saw it then. The lyrics describe a future through a series of paradoxical statements that now seem strangely prescient in describing the complex reality where contradictory truths co-exist; such as the lyric; In the future there will be so much going on that no one will be able to keep track of it…. which all of us can now relate to.

 

Our current show Rules of Freedom, takes its starting point from history of how both women and men have been working to build a civil society that seeks to make the world freer, fairer and more progressive sincethe People’s Representation Act, enacted 100 years ago. Artworks in this show reference a broad range of subjects such as the civil rights movement, political freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights or freedom of movement, all of which are now under threat at this point in time. It is a show of Rule Breakers and Rule Makers, it’s title coming from an influential album by African American musician Nathan Davis, an avant-gardeJazz pioneerin the 1960’s who laid down through his music his own ‘Rules of Freedom’.

 

Re-Assembleis our next exhibition,that looks at ideas and processes of structure against the particularly precarious and fractured current political backdrop and previews on the 3 April, 6-9pm.

insights into curating

www.Rosalinddavis.co.uk  www.Collyerbristow.com/gallery

Twitter: @rosalinddavis |  Instagram: rosalindnldavis

 

For more about the art world

Paul Weiner –  Social Media and The Art World

Kate Mothes – The Internet As Vehicle


Paul Weiner – Social Media and the Art World

Paul Weiner – Social Media And The Art World

What does the art world look like today for emerging artists online? Hectic. Exciting. Disturbing. Everyday, we learn digital ways to meet new people, digest the news, buy stuff, find a lover, drool over tasty food, and even consume visual art. I set out to interview my own Instagram audience of self-selecting online art consumers in hopes of finding some answers with about ​400 very opinionated respondents for each question. Their answers point to an art world that craves digital experiences and uses them to inform their real lives. ​Museumgoers toting selfie sticks and commercial galleries that play up their artists’ Instagram fame are just the tip of the iceberg with massive, structural art world shifts looming. Let’s talk about it.

paul weiner

Paul Weiner in his studio

The Emerging Art Audience Is Changing

Instagram is turning into a platform for visual art viewers similar to Spotify and iTunes for music lovers. A massive online viewership uses Instagram as a search engine to seek out visual artists who satisfy their tastes, and they really care about those artists. They also recognize the absurdity of staring at art encapsulated in a tiny, low resolution square. ​When I ran my polls, I found that 94% of my audience wants to see real exhibitions by the artists who they follow online, 79% see more art online than in person, and 57% think the art they find online is as important as what they see in person. With this online audience growing rapidly, massive image quality improvements on the horizon, and a digital native generation coming of age, a significant shift is in progress toward accepting the virtual as real.

How does this audience feel about the art world’s historical power centers? Another poll I ran found that 88% of my audience is unsatisfied with the media’s contemporary art coverage and only 9% care about an artist’s degree. Many respondents were discouraged by what they perceived as a top-down system that does not introduce enough new artists. On social media, by contrast, an almost unlimited number of artists are accessible at the tap of a finger. Unlike their ​Artforum ​reading forebears, the virtual public finds new artists through direct interactions without guidance from trusted art world gatekeepers. This audience looks for emerging artists who they can identify with or admire and raises them out of obscurity with little regard for prior media coverage, education, curatorial interest, or commercial success.

 

For the first time, artists stand to build larger audiences by connecting with the personal interests of each public viewer than by convincing the professional art class that they conform to elite preferences and biases. For better or worse, this means the roles are changing for the players that have historically vetted artists before they receive public attention: curators, critics, gallerists, and the donor class. The floodgates are open — sort of. A large audience does not predict an artist’s long term importance, and it has been proven time and time again that the public’s infatuations can be fleeting. The same kinds of art world players who have been in charge through much of the 20th century to the present still control the institutional settings where art is historically canonized. The levers of power at these institutions still rely on separate audiences of their own.

Over the next few decades, it will be exciting to watch and see if social media darling artists are able to harness public support while also convincing institutional circles that their work is imbued with an important message about the times that is worthy of being amplified and canonized. As of yet, social media success is not a fast track to institutional acceptance in the same way as a Yale MFA might be. Maybe a new generation of powerful art world figures who grow up in a digital native world will embrace social media’s impact.

Paul Weiner - Delphian Magazine

Infographic showing the findings from some of the polls undertaken for this study

Reimagining The Museum

The possibility that the museum itself will experience a virtual transformation is also worth watching.

Looking back at the 43% of my audience that is not convinced that art they find online is as important as art they see in real life, there is a lot of room for expansion. My polls also found that 35% of my audience is already convinced that the experience of seeing visual art online is equal to that of listening to music. The 65% who disagree might change their minds when they see the improvements coming soon to digital viewing. New extended reality (XR) headset devices satisfy cravings for greater image quality and physical experience. Take, for instance, the Magic Leap Onethat, according to its creators, can “superimpose 3D computer-generated imagery over real world objects.” In combination with social media, powerful devices like these will allow us to select paintings we find online and interact with them on the walls of the rooms we live in. Maybe our future museums will be superimposed on our own walls, where we can choose from millions of publicly available, virtually rendered artworks and travel through history as we gaze for as long as we want, wherever we want.

paul weiner - Delphian Magazine

Infographic showing the findings from some of the polls undertaken for this study

Social Media is Reshaping Artists

Artists are adjusting to showing their work in digital forums, often subconsciously. These adjustments are taboo to talk about, but they are visual signifiers for the way artists share the broad struggle humans face today to exist in the digital world. The push to put out more and more attractive photos can quickly turn authenticity off in favor of the kind of calculated pop-sexiness that pulls in mass audiences.

Many artists change the shapes of their works to fit in Instagram’s square or edit photos of their work extensively before posting them. Other artists are addicted to the attention they can receive on social media by making very decorative paintings or finding just the right angle for a studio shot loaded with tantalizing visual attractions. These concerns are a way of life that extends far outside the art world. Most of your neighbors have self-constructed identities curated for internet appearances.

At the same time, the incredible wealth of visual information available to artists who spend time on social media everyday would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. Searching through popular art hashtags or following new artists brings us into new aesthetic worlds ripe for great cultural exchanges. At all hours of the day, artists from New York and Los Angeles are not only communicating with their peers in small cities in flyover states but also with artists in London, Sydney, Berlin, Dubai, Lagos, or Hong Kong.

I find myself making artwork that embodies this simultaneously disturbing and electrifying digital experience through my abstract paintings that are self-aware social media objects and often site-specific to Instagram. While these works physically exist in my studio or an exhibition, the largest audience that interacts with them will never see the work in person. The physical object is a carrier for a digital interaction and becomes a relic of digital life. The works exist in the a different context for each viewer and are viewed in lockstep with documentation of everyday life and constructed social personas: food photos, memes, selfies, half naked people in swimsuits, party shots, targeted ads, and the most attractive eye candy influencers can make. As such, these works interact as much with social media’s visual and algorithmic history as they do with the white walled

art history. As XR technologies become more common place, it will be possible to bring the work full-circle and exhibit my physical paintings next to their virtual representations.

One last thing. Art is best served by vibrant disagreements and ideas that provoke intense discomfort. The art world is in an incredible state of digital flux at the same time as hordes of people are using social media are tearing each other down over and over again in ego-driven, self-righteous tirades. As we experience these changes, let’s remember to protect speech and respect disagreement.

paul weiner - delphian magazine

Infographic showing the findings from some of the polls undertaken for this study

For more, see Paul Weiner’s

Website

Instagram

 

For more articles about the internet and the art world, see

Kate Mothes: Who Is It Real For? The Internet As Vehicle


My Top Five – ‘Premiums: Interim Projects 2019’ at the Royal Academy of Arts

Premiums: Interim Projects 2019, spread across the Weston Studio and The McAulay Gallery of the Royal Academy of Arts newly refurbished campus, gives the public the chance to see new work by artists who are halfway through their postgraduate study at the Royal Academy Schools. Founded in 1769, The RA Schools offers the only free three year postgraduate course in the UK, accepting a maximum of 17 artists each year who work across a range of mediums (painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation) in the studios of Burlington House.

“Premiums is a chance to encounter some of the most exciting and innovative work being produced by postgraduate students in the UK.” – Rebecca Salter RA, Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, which runs until March 13th, here is a rundown of my top five artists with work on display in ‘Premiums: Interim Projects 2019’, (in no particular order).

By Hector Campbell

 

Harminder Judge

 

interim projects 2019

Harminder Judge, ‘Untitled (morning smoke)’, ‘Untitled (bone fragments)’ & ‘Untitled (skies over pyres)’, All plaster, polymer, pigment, oil and wax, All 2019.

 

Harminder is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools (2017-2020), having previously completed his BA in Fine Art at Northumbria University.

Creating a diverse artistic output that spans a wide range of formats including performance, installation, sculpture, photography, sound and video, Harminder explores ideas related to religious and occult imagery and iconography, as well as the marriage of Indian and Western cultures he experienced growing up as a British-born Sikh. The works on display in ‘Premiums’ are a continuation of the artists experimentation with layering plaster, polymer, pigment, oil and wax to create sculptural reliefs that evoke digital pixelated imagery as well as the aurora light displays.

Harminder’s recent solo exhibitions include ‘In this strange house…’ at The New Art Gallery, Walsall (2012) and his solo national touring project ‘The Modes of Al-Ikseer’ (2011). His work features in ‘ Art & Religion in the 21st Century’ published by Thames and Hudson (2015).

 

Website/Instagram

 

Joe Pearson

 

interim projects 2019

Joe Pearson, ‘Pissing in the Holy Fountain Before There’s Somewhere Else to Drink’, Oil on canvas, 2019

 

Joe is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools (2017-2020), having previously completed his BA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Having felt “boxed in”as a painter during his time at the Slade, and expanding into producing video animations and digital collage for his BA degree show, Joe has since returned to painting since starting his postgraduate studies at the RA Schools. The works on display in ‘Premiums’ depict the artist’s mythological cartoonish figures, presented contextless against stark primary coloured backgrounds, the viewer is encouraged to imagine the wider narrative that these pointy-nosed characters belong to.

As part of creative duo ‘Joe and Rory’, alongside Rory Cargill, Joe produces short films, sketches as well as a podcast.

 

Website/Instagram

 

Clara Hastrup

 

interim projects 2019

Clara Hastrup, ‘Echinocactus Grusonii: Polyphonia Fibonacci’, Mixed media, 2019

 

Clara is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools (2017-2020), having previously completed her BA in Fine Art (Painting and Printmaking) at The Glasgow School of Art.

Creating immersive multimedia installations encompassing video, audio, sculpture and printed elements, Clara’s work often combines imagery and ideas taken from the natural world that are then contrasted and combined with technology and techniques from the digital world. The sculpture on display in ‘Premiums’ sees a large cactus placed on a rotating platform, it’s spines plucking and pricking against eight carefully arranged microphones to create a polyphony that plays in real time through the gallery speakers.

Clara has exhibited work as part of the RSA: New Contemporaries 2017 at Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, as well as at Trinity House (Edinburgh, 2018), the Leith Theatre (Edinburgh, 2018) and the Dyson Gallery (London, 2018).

 

Website/Instagram

 

Jenkin van Zyl

 

interim projects 2019

Jenkin van Zyl, ‘Loon’, Two way mirror, latex, ladder, lipstick, LED lights, 2019

 

Jenkin is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools (2017-2020), having previously completed his BA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Jenkin’s singular creative vision draws upon a childhood spent enjoying both fancy dress and crossdressing, developing a unique personal style that is evident in his performance and video works. The sculpture on display in ‘Premiums’ doubles as the immersive environment within which Jenkin’s filmed the accompanying video piece ‘Loon’, as the artist refers to his sculptural works as like escapees from the films”.

Jenkin has modelled for a number of fashion and lifestyle magazines, been praised for his creative use of social media to promote queer communities, and directed a music video for the post-punk band HMLTD.

 

 

Website/Instagram

 

Liv Preston

 

interim projects 2019

Liv Preston, ‘Inventory for Alucard’, Arcade machine panels, mixed media, 2019

 

Liv is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools (2017-2020), having previously completed her BA in Sculpture at Wimbledon College of Arts. Liv’s sculptural output examines video game culture, it’s common motifs and themes as well as it’s reassurance of ‘retro’ popularity. For ‘Premiums’ Liv presents a display of 28 arcade machine panels, deconstructed and decontextualized the painted panels become sculptural reliefs within the gallery context, the only clues to their previous existence being the occasional pictorial video game references and of course the works heavily referencial name.

Liv has exhibited widely in group exhibitions such as ‘Docile Bodiesat Vitrine Gallery (London, 2018), ‘Mantel’ at Copperfield Gallery (London, 2018), ‘general studies’ at Norwich Outpost (Norwich, 2016), and had her first solo exhibition, ‘Valuable Wounds’ at the Pas de Temps project space in Nantes, France in 2016.

 

Website/Instagram

 

For more by Hector Campbell see

We Are The People, Who Are You – Edel Assanti

Bloomberg New Contemporaries

Condo 2019


Remi Rough in conversation with Dr. Charley Peters

Remi Rough (b. 1971, London, UK) began making paintings on walls and trains in South London in the 1980s. A respected train writer, Remi has maintained a dynamic presence on the street while developing a prolific profile as a studio painter, recently showing at MOCA (London), Wunderkammen Gallery (Rome), Zimmerling & Jungfleisch (Saarbrucken) and ArtScience Museum (Singapore).

I spoke to the artist about the formal concerns of his work, his relationship with definitions of his practice, and the legacy of abstraction in the ongoing evolution of his paintings.

remi rough portrait

Installation at Quarry Bay Station, Hong Kong for MTRHK and Swire Properties.
Hong Kong 2018.

[Charley Peters] How do you feel at this point in your career about definitions of your work as ‘graffiti art’? Could you say something about the relationship between your work on the street and the paintings you make in the studio, presumably they may have different audiences or you might apply a shift in logic in your approaches to both practices? 
[Remi Rough] I can totally live with the word ‘graffiti’, it’s other terms I’m a lot less comfortable with. I often use the term ‘post graffiti’ as I think it best describes where I am personally with the kind of work that I make now.
I don’t consciously make any shift in logic between my studio work and work in public spaces, to me the same rules apply. If i’m honest the work outside is a lot easier because you can hide behind your mistakes due to the scale you’re working to. The studio work if anything is a more refined version of the works I do publicly.
[CP] Are there any terms that you feel comfortable with in terms of how you would define yourself as an artist? 
[RR] I really think that what I do sits in-between so many brackets it’s actually quite hard to pinpoint what genre (if any), it is. Contemporary is fine for me, as I mentioned before ‘post graffiti’ as an adjective to the work is fine also. I used to use the term painter but even that has less importance to me now. I have ideas way beyond just paint on surface.
remi rough canvas

The Absolute _ 2017
Graphite, acrylic and spray paint on herringbone linen
120 x 120cm

[CP] How would you describe your working process?
[RR] Mathematical… I don’t think people really know just how much mathematics goes into the work I create. Without maths I’d be completely lost. I use geometry to plan the paintings I make and from there I start to build the images up from simple graphite lines to taped, primed sections to final colour forms. It’s a slow process with tape and paint as drying times are essential to every layer.
[CP] You engage actively in processes of collaboration with other artists. In some ways this is at odds with our conventional definitions of a studio artist – could you talk through your approach to collaboration and how it enhances or supplements the work you make as an individual artist?
[RR] As young graffiti writers we collaborated constantly. You have to remember that graffiti is the only art form ever created by and taken forward by children and with that there are less oppressive egos and much more openness to working together. We don’t have the foibles of most adult artists about working together and sharing what we do. Nowadays I like the challenge of working alongside and with other artists. I think about the end results and the process in equal terms. I get a lot from this process. For example one artist I have done a lot of work with over the past few years is NAWER from Poland. As well as being a fantastic artist and amazing designer he’s a good friend and we’ve both learnt loads from each other. Working out how to make our styles of work sit comfortably together in a space and not vie for attention against each other is a big challenge but we seem to have found a great way of working. I am not precious about my work when I’m collaborating, I think big decisions about the people you work with are very important too.
[CP] You use a very particular colour palette, how important is colour to you and how do you make decisions about its presence in your painting?
[RR] A think a lot of the colour decisions happen during the drawing process. I tend to make notes on particular palettes and see what works for what painting. Weirdly the paintings I make are often not wholly pre-meditated. A lot happens as it happens so to speak.
That said I tend to change colours quite a lot during making work too. I seem to have a strong sense of what is needed and when. I think if graffiti has taught me one thing it’s knowing when to stop.
[CP] You make many art historical references in your painting – alluding to movements including Suprematism, Constructivism and Neo-Plasticism. I find this interesting as much work that is derived from a practice on the street fails to look beyond or be defined outside of popular culture as a frame of reference. How do these modernist references provide a context for your own painting? How does your work challenge or develop what art history has shown us?
[RR] Graffiti as an art form is one of the last true abstract movements. We took letters, we distorted them and abstracted them way beyond their original form. There were no boundaries, rules or limitations. I was always looking beyond populist references whether it was Dali or Mondrian or later when I started educating myself about history of art and understanding the limitless options of where I could take my work. As I have never been formally educated in art I have always taken it upon myself to fill my mind with knowledge both academic and visual. Hence the discovery of De Stijl, Constructivism, Vorticism, Bauhas and beyond. The context for me lies in the beginnings of all these movements. I was part of the inception of a similar important and historical movement. My life and the lives of Malevich, Van Doesburg or the suprematists are intertwined. I needed to find a voice within my work, I needed to find a structure and as the letter gradually fell away, the words that I painted become the architecture that surrounds us or the magazines we read or the interiors we live in. It’s all part of our cultural fabric and seemingly more evident now then ever before as we don’t have to fight oppressive governments to be heard or seen and don’t have to hide what we do because it’s deemed inappropriate. It’s still coded language much like graffiti writing but it’s easier to translate now.
remi rough wall painting

Concise
Part of the ‘Art from the streets’ exhibition at the Art Science Museum, Singapore
Singapore 2018.

[CP] At times it feels that you are appropriating modernist aesthetics, such as your works based on Malevich’s Black Square, which appear as a mashup of original referent and your own concerns with making paintings. I’m intrigued by this as a contemporary – or at least familiarly postmodern – form of authorship. Is there any direct relationship between this strategy of visual ‘sampling’ and the work you do with music?  
[RR] It’s all remixing. Malevich didn’t invent the ‘black square’ he simply found a channel for it. Everything we do is a remix to a certain degree. Every word we speak has been uttered trillions of times already. Every image exists in some way shape or form already, it’s how you choose to re-imagine it that makes for interesting art. As much as I love a lot of that early suprematist work I think a lot of it wasn’t quite where it should be in terms of composition or finish. We can look at those origins now and inform new work with similarly imbued aesthetics and tweak the compositions and the finishes and add something that just wasn’t possible in the early 20th Century.
[CP] I was wondering, given your interest in formalism, how important is the presence of the ‘image’ in your work?
[RR] The image is everything and nothing. I guess it isn’t that important to me but once work becomes known as a style or an aesthetic does it not become an image by default? 
My main concern with painting is to push the boundaries of this as far as possible but still retain some kind of stylistic approach. To never make the same painting twice but for the viewer to know exactly what and who they are looking at I guess.
For more work by Remi Rough, visit his website HERE
And for more by Charley Peters, visit her website HERE
Remi Rough and Charley Peters are both exhibiting as part of the three-way collaborative show Interlude at The House Of Saint Barnabus alongside Peter Lamb – on until the end of March.
For more guest articles, check out Rowan Newton interviewing Robin Footitt HERE

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