So it is just around the corner, my first ever solo exhibition. I am excited, nervous, anxious, happy, sad, relieved and all the rest. I hope that everyone is able to make it. I of course understand that there are people who follow my blog who are from other countries and I am sure that you will be with me in spirit, for those who are in the state of NSW and more specifically the Sydney, South Coast and Illawarra areas I encourage you to come along to my exhibition and show your support for an emerging, local, young creative. Thank you.
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/
An artists mind never stops, and at times this can lead to the inevitable period of insomnia that occurs most nights. Tonight I was unable to get to sleep, so I decided to do some reading. I managed to plow through a couple of length articles in a recent issue of Art Forum (which has proved to be quite a good journal). I read two articles in particular that got me thinking. One was on the artist James Turrell, who works with large earth and architectural works working with light as his medium, on vastly different scales. The other article that I read was on a lesser known artist; Les Levine, a contemporary of Andy Warhol, his work is hard to pin down. He seemed to use the guises of minimalist, conceptual artist and post-minimalist as he needed to. His work is multi-disciplinary, involving elaborate multimedia installations of closed circuit television and light and sound to larger outdoor works. I am not here to delve too deeply into each artists biography or their practice for a matter of fact. This bit of writing is more about my own creative thought process. I used to think that artists like these were hacks, “bullshit artists”. But it hasn’t been until recent times that I have begun to take an interest in the conceptual part of their practice, that is to say the thoughts and ideas that they come up with before creating a work. People don’t fully appreciate the amount of planning these artists would go through just to organize one outdoor work, or even something more contained. It is this interest in these artists work that generates thought for my own practice, even though our practices vary quite dramatically, the processes of thought and concept are almost the one and the same. I think that I am just generally amazed that I managed to find artists like these interesting, and furthermore; it leading to my own practice being enriched.
So take note, read widely, don’t just read about painting if you’re a painter, or just about sculpture etc, read more, watch documentaries, interviews etc. Gain knowledge, even if you’re not an artist, just more of an art enthusiast, a collector of art etc. Anyways, I hope that this ramble made some sort of sense to whoever may be reading this, below I have linked some potential avenues of research on the aforementioned artists.
The artist Mike Kelley (American, 1954-2012) was regarded as one of the most influential members of the Contemporary Conceptual Art movement. His multimedia work, ranging from performance and installation to painting and photography, features souvenirs of popular culture, such as stuffed animals or crocheted couch throws, evoking an atmosphere of the uncanny. In his Postmodern world, the high and low are combined in philosophical investigations of contemporary society, joined with a 1950s comic book style creating absurd, sometimes humorous portrayals of the American middle class and its conceptions of the normative. Kelley studied at the University of Michigan and at the California Institute of the Arts, and was influenced by 1960s Conceptual artists. In the early 1970s, he formed his own rock band, and staged performances including photographs, objects, and drawings. In the mid-1980s, Kelley continued using found objects in his installations and focused on psychological issues in his work, treating topics such as abuse and repression as the traumatic remains of a dysfunctional society. Themes of biography and autobiography became increasingly important in his work in the 1990s. Kelley participated in the Documenta 9 and 10 art fairs in Kassel, Germany, and has held solo shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate Liverpool, and at the Louvre in Paris. Kelley has also received attention for his work as an art and music critic, and as a curator of numerous exhibitions.
Pansy Metal/Clovered Hoof, 1989, silkscreen on silk, 133.4 x 95.2 cm.
Yellow Banana 2, 1991, acrylic on paper, 100.3 cm x 81.3 cm.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/mike-kelley/
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.
Peter Beard (American, b.1938) is a photographer and writer known for his collage-work and extensive diaries. While moving around between Long Island, New York City, and Alabama during his childhood, Beard began the habit of keeping diaries that later became source material for many of his collage works. Beard documented his travels and photographs within his diaries from the age of 12, shortly before his first trip to Africa in 1955. In 1957, Beard applied as a pre-med student to Yale before switching to art history, studying under the influential art historian and theoretician, Joseph Albers (1888–1976). After graduating, Beard returned to Kenya where he made his home in East Africa, acquiring “Hog Ranch,” the property adjacent to Karen Blixen’s, near the Ngong Hills.
In the early 1960s he worked at Tsavo National Park where he photographed and documented the demise of elephants and Black Rhinos, and published multiple books on the subject. During this period he began to create photographic collages that explored the interconnectedness of humans and animals. In addition to his own work, Beard has befriended and collaborated with many artists, including Andy Warhol (1928–1987), Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009), Richard Lindner, Terry Southern, Truman Capote, and Francis Bacon (1909–1992). In addition to his collaborations with well-known artists, he photographed prominent politicians, supermodels, rock stars, and New York City celebrities during the 1970s and 1980s. After his art exhibition in 1975 at the Blum Helman Gallery, Beard continued to show his work throughout galleries in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, and cities throughout Africa.
Lion pride, southern Serengeti, for the end of the game/Last word from paradise, 1976-2000, Platinum Print on Arches Paper, 40 x 59.7 cm.
MRI, Self-Portrait for Centre National de la Photographie, 1997, mixed media,186.7 x 118.9 cm.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/peter-beard/