Since there are some days when I can’t get into the studio to paint because of the weather, gallery work or other committments. I decided to do at least two sketches in my journal each day, to keep the mind sharp, to develop new ideas as well as playing around with current ones. Drawing offers something that painting can’t. Drawing/sketching is a lot more forgiving, easpecially when you consider how I paint.
Painter John Currin (American, b.1962) is known for his Figurative works, which draw on sources ranging from Renaissance painting traditions to 1950s advertisements. Currin was born in Boulder, Colorado, and received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA from Yale University. Currin first received critical attention for his sensual paintings of female nudes, noted for his combination of Old Master painting techniques with 1950s commercial sources.
He frequently portrayed his nude figures as examinations of the various female archetypes found in visual culture, with a caricatured sexuality and studied emotions. His later works include portraits and scenes painted with Mannerist aesthetics, featuring subjects with elongated, disproportionate limbs and in styles drawn from fashion magazines, pornography, and other commercial sources. Currin’s work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the Tate Gallery in London, and at the Venice Biennale. He currently lives and works in New York.
Girl In Bed, 1993. Oil on linen, 61.5 x 77 cm.
The Beggar’s Alm, 2002. Etching with aquatint on Somerset paper (edition of 70), 26.7 x 21 cm
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/john-currin/
This is my third group show in almost as many months. After I had finished University last year and graduated, I had said to myself that I would aim for several shows, group and solo and at least one show in a Sydney gallery. Well I managed to accomplish most of those goals, with a solo show on the way later in the year. This current show which I am exhibiting in is a group show, showcasing the work of the newly elected management committee of the Project Contemporary Art space in Wollongong. The gallery was under threat of being closed down for good, so a new group of individuals came together to save the space so that there would be a place for contemporary art to be exhibited and sold in the Illawarra.
I also co-curated the show along side fellow artist Damian Bancks. The curatorial thinking was to show each artists work on their own, rather than mixing the works together, which could have also worked and would have made for an extremely interesting and wonderful show, however, we felt it necessary to show each artist work by giving them a decent amount of wall space each, followed by a smaller wall being occupied by a series of bio’s which informed everyone a little about who they were and of their practice. It is always a triumph when an artist sells there work, it means that their hard work and dedication has quite literally paid off, I’m not afraid to say that the creative arts industry is a hard one to break into and become a success; being able to live solely by selling your work. I have sold works in the past, but this was the first time I had sold work before the show opened and also sold multiple works on the opening night. I cannot begin to describe the joy that this brought me, the feeling of success. Firstly I paint and create art for myself, however the act of exhibiting is a way of putting out the thing you have created to be seen, critiqued and enjoyed by an audience. And you won’t always receive the best feedback, but that’s all apart of the creative process. Selling works gives you the sense that you have achieved something, that you were successful in creating something that caught the attention and admiration of someone, the work resonated with them for whatever reason.
Being still relatively young most would say that I have a very long way to go in the world of art, as an artist and as an exhibitor and even as a person in general. It’s moments like this that seem to make it all seem worthwhile, you know that you have had a hard road to traverse and will undoubtedly continue to experience a plethora of hardships, especially in this day and age where art has to compete more than ever against new age forms of entertainment; some newer than others. However hard the road is, it’s always worth the journey. And even though I like to think that my journey started seven years ago when I first walked in my first life drawing class while I was at TAFE art school, I see this moment as a milestone along the path to greatness and success.
Enjoy the pics from the opening night along with some images of some of the work I am exhibiting an get along to see the show if you’re in the Wollongong area before the 21st of April. And please take the time to visit and like my artists page on Facebook, plenty of content on there (link below)
I have just prepared a series of old work on paper to be re-used as drawings and small studies on paper. The works were originally developed as a conceptual process of writing letters or cards to artists I liked, a one way correspondance, talking to the artists, some of which have long been dead, as though they are close personal friends. The work was interesting, though I felt that it had room to grow in a different way and at a different time. And I thought it best not to waste the materials I have on hand. So I have torn the cards in half to make roughly 96 seperate pieces of paper to work on. And also there is the possibility of increasing the total number of works by again halving some of the paper to create smaller sheets to work on, making them more portable and accessible.
I will be work on top of the existing text, I feel the potential for interesting visual outcomes, the typography lending to the potential aesthetic outcome.
A majority of these will be featured in a solo show I am planning on having later this year. Stay tuned for updates and progress.
Well I finally did it, got myself into a gallery in Sydney. Even though it isn’t an almight commercial space with an influential art dealer who could promise me big sales and great fame and wealth. Exhibiting in Sydney was a goal of mine, and I acheived that just a couple of months after graduating from University. After an interesting experience submitting my work last week I attended the opening night. Some great work by several other artists, in a great space on Enmore Road in one of Sydney’s art precincts, Newtown. The show was great, the live entertainment was awesome too. A chilled out creative environment with like minded people coming together to exhibit and see visual art in all its glory.
Overall it was a great experience, and a great feeling acheiving a goal that I had set for myself. Enjoy the pics and if you can get along to the Newtown Hub Gallery, 22 Enmore Road, Newtown, Sydney, N.S.W.
Just some random thoughts on why it is that I get the urge to draw at paint later on during the day? My general theory is that I am a nocturnal creature and that my creative juices get flowing at a later time rather than motivating me to create. Also it could be that it is a lot quieter at night, which allows me to focus more on the act of creation, whereas during the day there are many distractions. Picasso loved to work into the night especially as soon as he got a hold of some portable lighting that allowed him to work at night.
Here’s a little something I popped out the other night.
The exhibition has now come to a close, however it was one the most amazing experiences of my life thus far. Participating in and helping organise, hang and installing exhibitions within the University art school is a different experience, you have a larger support network and a larger quantity of experienced people to help guide you along the way. Also co-curating and co-organising an exhibition such as this was an entirely new experience, amassing your own funds along with the funds of the other exhibitors to pay for the space and to also pay for the catering and drinks on the opening night as well as other additional costs. The exhibition itself was born out of a collective discussion on how we might produce and exhibition where the work was investigating or questioning something and also how the work of each individual would connect to everyone else’s work. We made aesthetic and conceptual connections between our work, overall each work, whatever it was addressing was quiet, and contemplative, suited to an audience who enjoy engaging with works of art for a longer period of time rather than quickly observing and moving on. Each work asked the viewer to spend more time with it. Also the inclusion of an artists statement broke down the barrier for the viewer by giving them a brief explanation about the work and its intentions and concept. I will leave the description as it is, brief, because as you can imagine I could write an essay several thousand words long on this exhibition and the work within it, so enjoy the pictures from the opening night as well as the images of the artists work.
It has been a while since I have blogged. I have been occupied with a lot of things as of late, however, I felt that I needed to take the time to make a post about the Dobell Prize for Drawing at the Art Gallery of NSW Sydney. The Dobell prize was established in honour of the Australian artist William Dobell. The prize itself focuses on works that are defined as drawings, this definition is always pushed further and further each year, with more and more works incorporating numerous mediums in their creation. The prize money is impressive, the winner receiving $30,000 and have their work acquired by the gallery. Many works use mediums that aren’t usually associated with drawing; watercolour, acrylic and also drawing onto surfaces that are usually used as grounds for painting on, like wood panels. This years prize was full of beautiful work, examples of which are attached to this post. And I must apologise upfront, I completely forgot to document the artists names and the titles of the works. I was just so overwhelmed by the work itself. Though I do strongly encourage everyone to go and see the prize while it is still up, the best part about it, besides the work is the fact that it is for free! That’s right, for free! You get to see an entire show of contemporary drawing without paying an admission fee.
The prize is on until February 13th, so get along to the Art Gallery of NSW Sydney before then and experience some great contemporary drawing.