Well this blog originally began as a course requirement for University, however it morphed into something else. It became another place for me to share my thoughts on art and my own art practice at length. Although I have not yet posted anything of academic substance I feel that I have been able to make my voice be heard, however soft it may be at this time.
I recently achieved the 20 followers milestone on my blog, kinda feels like unlocking an achievement in a video game to be quite honest. 20 followers is definitely a solid milestone, considering that at the beginning I did not intend to use this blog anymore than I felt that I needed to, and here we are, just over a year later and I am still posting content as regularly as I can. I know that I have been quite absent, I have given up on the artist of the week feature, it felt as though it was a bit of a waste, I was merely copying and pasting biographical text from the source site (with proper references and acknowledgements) as well as images. It didn’t feel as though I was contributing anything besides a digital regurgitation of an artists brief bio and some examples of their work. I want to create pieces of writing in my own words about the artists that interest me rather than just cutting and pasting some info on them. I am aiming on creating more critical pieces of writing, however, as many writers; art writers in particular, will know it isn’t an easy job to just pop out any old bit of critical writing. Much like my paintings and other work it takes time to construct, edit and refine. So bare with me.
I am also wanting to produce reviews on shows that I have seen, although history will prove that art critics aren’t always the most popular people when they write negatively about an artist or their work. Well whatever I may write will be my opinion, it doesn’t need to be taken as “God’s word”, and I encourage feedback and correspondence from my subscribers (constructive and thought through).
As for my practice, I have had a rather fruitful year. Producing somewhere in the range of 50-60 works in total (should really do a count). I have been involved in a solid number of group shows and I finally had my own solo show as well as being involved in a group show in a Sydney gallery. I accomplished more than I thought I would in a year. I have grown my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram and I am actively trying to further my blog/website; raising the bar on how well my social media outlets perform and how well they’re going at helping me get my work out their and grow the audience for it. As I will be seeking paid employment in the new year, I imagine my production of paintings and works on paper may slow down somewhat. Though it may slow down, this does not mean that it will cease completely, now way!!! I am aiming to be involved in more group shows this coming year; 2014. And I also am aiming to have another solo show; I will be trying to make it a regular event every year; of course some years I may not be able to produce a substantial amount of work, but group shows will always be a staple in my exhibiting schedule.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported me for the last seven years. Who would have thought that I would have become what I am today; even if that isn’t much. I am doing what I love, people are responding to it positively and constructively for the most part. For those who only know how to respond negatively, I am reminded of some people’s inadequacies and I keep my head up and my feet moving past your ignorance.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I’m not going to make this my manifesto (I’ll leave that for another day). I just felt the need to address something. Now I know that not everyone knows something about art, more specifically painting; in my case. People who aren’t “in the know” always tend to look for something in my work, something representational that is. They always tend to point out a face, or some kind of figurative form that may have accidentally appeared through the paint. Now that’s fair enough, you might see something that looks like a face or a hand, but it was not my intention to put that in there. Using my current “Port Kembla” series as an example I would like to explain my work a little bit so as to generate a level of understanding.
View from the suburb, 2012, oil on canvas, 33 x 33 cm (framed).
The work above is from a series of works that I have based on the suburb in which I have grown up and lived in. The works are predominately abstract, though they have some representational features; features that may look like something in the real world or are based on something from the real world. Even the titles suggest representation. However, I have intentionally abstracted the works to give an impression of the suburb in which I have lived for all of my life thus far.
Why? Was a favourite question from one of my painting teachers at art school, I am now pretending that I am facing her once again and answering her questions. Why did I choose to paint Port Kembla? Well because thus far, the majority of art; whose subject matter is imagery from Port Kembla, has tended to feature the Steelworks or the beach as their major subjects. I however, am using the suburb itself as the subject matter, the roads, the houses, the rooftops, colours, shapes and forms that I come across everyday. They’re the fuel to my creative fire. Now you may ask why do you paint the way you do? I paint in this particular way because it is a style/technique of painting I adopted some years ago and haven’t really looked back since. I have developed and crafted my approach to painting for seven years now, using predominantly oil paint and palette knife when working on canvas. As for some of my other works; works on paper and in acrylic, I do use brushes and drawing materials, but I use them in such a way as to reference my use of the palette knife. For me the palette knife allows me to apply large swabs of paint to the canvas, work and rework it, remove what I don’t need or to create a particular effect. The act of dragging and moving the paint across the canvas gives me a particular feeling, it’s almost indescribable, but it offers me something that brushes can’t in some circumstances. Going back to the works on paper, I work on them to discover new possibilities, and sometimes these potential outcomes transfer into my painting and sometimes vice versa.
Moving on briefly to who inspires me as a painter, now the list should I make it a full compilation of every artist and why they influence me would be way too long for this post.
Ben Quilty, Nicholas Harding, Jun Chen, Frank Auerbach, Peter Booth, Paul Ryan. All for their application and handling of paint, they don’t necessarily paint the same subject matter, however they share similarities in their approach to painting. Though the likes of Ben Quilty, Auerbach, Ryan and Harding do depict their surroundings, the places that they live. However, with the exception of Auerbach, they depict their surroundings in a representational manner, which I admire greatly. My hat is off to these gentlemen.
So in conclusion I hope that this little incoherent rant makes some kind of sense to anyone who is bothered to read it. I do hope to write something a little more formal and academic sometime soon, however I think that this will suffice for now. I hope you enjoyed and read and enjoy my work and please remember to show your support by liking my artists page on Facebook, as well as following me on Twitter and Instagram (linked below), as well as subscribing to this blog.
David Hockney (British, b.1937) is a painter, photographer, and set designer, first associated with the Pop Art movement, and later renowned for his intimate portraits and naturalistic scenes of both the everyday and the artificial of California life. Hockney was born in Bradford, England, and studied at the Bradford School of Art, exhibiting an extraordinary aptitude for draftsmanship. He later attended the London Royal College of Art, where he met fellow student R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007), who strongly influenced him and inspired Hockney to infuse the personally expressive into his works.
Hockney’s first works included common and commercial images, such as boxes of tea, which caused his early inclusion with the Pop Art movement. Hockney also favored a mix of literature and scandalous subject matter in his early work, including pieces on homosexuality inspired by Walt Whitman poems created in the Art Brut style of Jean Dubuffet. His mature work often draws on photographs, particularly after visiting California regularly in the 1960s, where he created naturalistic paintings with a flat, serene appearance, including his famous Swimming Pools series. He works in many mediums, including set design and photography. Hockney has held major retrospectives at the Royal College of Art in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in California.
Celia Observing (not in Scottish Arts Coucil or Tokyo), 1976, etching (ed. of 60), 90.2 x 74.9 cm.
Table Flowable, 1991, colour lithograph (ed.44/500), 111.8 x 144.8 cm.
Text and images: http://www.artnet.com/artists/david-hockney/
A.R. Penck (German, b.1939) is a painter and sculptor active in East Berlin during the partition of the city after WWII. Penck’s work is unique for its primitivist stick-figures and signs, and his paintings employ a schematic idiom to convey universal ideas that are not tied down to a particular ideology of national agenda. Born Ralf Winker, Penck started painting at the age of 10 and continued his artistic career even after repeatedly denied acceptance into the art academies in East Berlin and Dresden.
Facing constant repercussions from East Berlin officials, in the early 1970s he started to work under the pseudonym of A.R. Penck, after studying the works of the former geologist, Albrecht Penck. Although he was not allowed to display his work in West Berlin, Penck was able to smuggle his work across the wall for exhibitions, and worked closely with the West German artist Jörg Immendorff (German, 1945–2007), whose work also addressed social and political concerns of the time. Penck used discarded objects as the inspiration behind many of his sculptures in the 1960s, and additionally incorporated wood and bronze into his work in the 1980s. Penck was also a jazz musician, theorist, and innovative writer, constantly returning to the social themes addressed in his artistic works. Penck acquired an exit visa from East Germany in 1980, and since then has worked in Dublin, London, Düsseldorf, and Cologne.
Systembild—Last, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 180 cm.
Standart, 2011, acrylic on paper, 80 x 60 cm.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/a.r.-penck/
Volume 3 in the six-part Strokes of Genius series featured on PBS in 1984. Introduction by Dustin Hoffman from the studio of Willem de Kooning.
I claim no copyright or permission. I am just sharing an educational clip I found on YouTube.
Emil Nolde (German, August 7, 1867–April 13, 1956) was a painter and printmaker. He was born close to the German-Danish border, near the village of Nolde, under the birth name of Emil Hansen. His parents were Frisian and Danish peasants. Nolde was known for his bold choice of colors and dynamic brushwork. He is considered to be one of the first Expressionists. As a young adult, he worked in furniture factories, and did woodcarving and craftsman work. In 1889, the artist entered the School of Applied Arts in Karlsruhe, and became a drawing teacher in Switzerland. In his childhood years, he had a passion for drawing and painting, but he did not pursue a career as an artist until he was 31. In 1898, Nolde was turned down by the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. His rejection motivated him to hone his skills as an artist; he took painting and drawing classes for the next three years. During this time, Nolde often visited Paris, and he became familiar with the Impressionist Art culture that existed at that time. In 1902, he married actress Ada Vilstrup and relocated to Berlin. Shortly after moving, Nolde met art collector Gustav Schiefler (German, 1857–1935) and artist Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884–1976). Later in life, both of these men were instrumental in advocating Nolde’s work.
In the early 1920s, Nolde became a supporter and member of the Danish section of the Nazi Party. Unfortunately for Nolde, Hitler did not agree with his style of art and eventually condemned his work. Because of his condemnation by the Nazi Party, 1,052 pieces of Nolde’s work were removed from museums and art galleries. After the removal of his work, the Nazi Party forbade him to paint in both public and private spaces. In spite of this, Nolde created hundreds of watercolor paintings in what he called the Unpainted Pictures series. Some of his other famous paintings include Portrait of a Young Woman and a Child (1926), Prophet (1921), and Young Couple (1913).
The artist’s work has been exhibited in many art galleries and museums, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY. Nolde died on April 13, 1956.
Italiener, 1906, woodcut, 28.3 cm x 22.8 cm.
Schiefer Turm in Soest, 1906, etching, 19.3 x 14. cm .
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/emil-nolde/
A machine that can replicate almost any work of art using a sophisticated series of software and advanced mechanics. What does this mean for us artists? Not much I think, art forgers have been around for decades, as impressive as this machine is, it seems to be more of a demonstration of the advanced software and hardware than its ability to replicate works of art. Still impressive though.
Candida Höfer (German, b.1944) is a photographer known for her large-format images of architectural interiors, which address the psychological environment of social and cultural institutions by acknowledging how public spaces are designed to accommodate and inform the public. After completing studies at the Cologne Werkschule, she enrolled in the Düsseldorf School of Art, where she was taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, 1931–2007; b.1934), heavily influenced by the formal qualities of the austere documentary photography they endorsed.
Along with fellow German artists Thomas Struth (b.1954), Andreas Gursky (b.1955), and Thomas Ruff (b.1958), Höfer’s work became internationally recognized in the 1980s, and her subject matter expanded to include a myriad of places rooted in cultural formation and preservation, including museums, libraries, universities, theaters, civic centers, and historic sites. She has held numerous solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, and her work has been included in several group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2003, Höfer represented Germany in the Venice Biennale with fellow compatriot, Martin Kippenberger (German, 1953–1997). She lives and works in Cologne, Germany
Trinity college, Dublin I, 2004, C-print, 180 x 215 cm.
Teatro Scientifico Bibiena Mantova I, 2010, LightJet print,180 x 225 cm.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/candida-h%C3%B6fer/