In the Mean Time
Love is the answer...
My latest large scale painting is coming on nicely thank you.
In the meantime, just for you...
I have set myself a 333 day challenge. I will be posting one new small scale painting per day on my facebook page until 31st March - 333 days from now. They will be mixed media on canvas. These paintings will each be 20cm by 20cm at a fixed price of 1000kc. They will be about "Anything I feel like, Gosh!" They will be detailed, messy, silly, serious, cynical and sincere. You will like some and you may hate some. I will love them all. You can contact me in a private message here or on my personal Facebook page. (Facebook link below...)
This series is an ambitious, ongoing, daily addition to a one-piece concept called "Artist as Conduit". Individual purchases or group purchases of these paintings will happen but the concept piece will still be one.
The first 6 of 333 are attached here.
The ‚Artist as…‘ series will be posted on my website later this month.
This fortnight’s blog is a joy because it is kicking off with two artists I have known personally for quite some time and I am going to try to explain why I am interested in them.
Let me begin by saying I feel a strong connection to their paintings.
That's not easy to answer.
Love is a strong word. And love is perhaps the answer to my question. Love is what I want to find in these artists' works and it's love I get.
Clare Price and Jessica Serran have shown to me how brave, unusual, freaky, brilliant, new and really brutally honest artists can be.
Jessica's studio is the studio you want but haven't ever quite managed to visualise yet. She owns her space. She owns her studio space like any artist wishes they could. Jessica proves it is not hard. It may seem tough but it bloody isn't if you embrace the tough times and use them to your advantage.
Clare meanwhile is the essence of everything I learnt, studied, ignored and wished I had considered a little more carefully before I disappeared into my own cascading world of delusion and tardiness.
Clare and Jessica are two friends who being friends have seemed like too obvious influences on my own paintings but have proved to be the very artists who have shown me what it means to BE an artist as oppose to being someone who has a 'passion' to make art.
Once upon a time a friend told me 'love' was his main inspiration in his work. Love is a vague word until you come across artists like Clare or Jessica. You encounter art like theirs and you are left In no doubt that Love IS the answer.
I can only aspire to make my own paintings touch upon the raw openness that their art celebrates.
CLARE PRICE - London
To describe Clare's paintings would be to enter into a discussion on the history and our shared love of contemporary painting. Clare's uncanny ability to fuse all the greatest elements of abstract expressionism into something now and relevant is impressive to say the least. To put a mirror up to technology and nature whilst sharing her strengths and weaknesses as a human being is so admirable I can only hope to get there one day. Her work is so enigmatic it defies any possible simplistic categorisation.
Whether she is working on a large or small canvas the visual language she uses carries with a life affirming resonance.
I have yet to see Clare's paintings in the flesh but I imagine sitting infront of a room full of these pictures to be something like sitting in the Tate Gallery Rothko room. The only difference being the light hint and unconscious promise of a happy ending.
JESSICA SERRAN – Prague
Jessica's journey is your journey is my journey.
The humanity in Jessica's work is palpable; the vibrancy of her dance with possibilities is infectious. Her soul searching is mapped in future time. She surprises herself as often as she surprises the people who see her paintings; each and every one a collection of fragments of her celebration of life and all the icky bits that seen in context reveal themselves as having been profoundly helpful all along.
I see fun, care, honesty, empathy, frustration, beauty and love in Jessica's work. She encapsulates these qualities in her real life as she helps guide and encourage those who meet her.
NTK (National Technical Library)
April 21 - June 17 2017
Not the most exciting collection this month. There's a nice sculpture of children eating from the sliced open corpse of a horse downstairs (Dutch architect and sculptor Joep van Lieshout) and upstairs a derivative video a la Doctor Who meets David Lynch in post Nuclear/Brexit/Trump-land in a curtained off room (German artist Bjorn Melhus), but otherwise...
There is a collection of the NTK's historical collection of books behind glass which once again bring to mind 'Museum' exhibit as oppose to 'Art Gallery'. The books are about fortress architecture, military technology and the history of wars. But so what? They are behind glass and closed!
The Czech/American artist Milan Kohout is represented here with two of his posters; one in which he is wearing a t-shirt with the hand written words 'Do not save me from terrorism'. At once striking and forgettable.
Geopolitical, intercultural and social conflicts and how artists deal with these topics is the theme.
Milan Kohout's provocative t-shirt slogans came closest to mirroring this theme for me and Bjorn Melhus' film was a nice excuse for a sit down.
Kavarna co Hleda Jmeno
20.4 - 7.5 2017
Another Umprum graduate!
I saw this artist's work at the artprague fair earlier this year represented by Vnitroblock. He is an extremely talented painter who immediately irritates me because of his unquestionable skills.
There is an 18+ sign on the wall to the entrance of the gallery. I don't think children would understand the subject matter of the paintings but they may blanch at the sight of boobs.
I do feel a bit like Filip is showing us his closet but not coming out it. I haven't met Filip and he may be, and I hope is, a very sincere pervert (I use this term in a complimentary fashion) but the clean rendering of the images does his dark, sexual, fun brain a bit of an injustice I think. Unlike Jeff Koons (who is referenced visually in one painting in this exhibition) I think Filip is less about the kitsch and more about the subject. Russ Meyer once said he believed he could have made great art if he hadn't been so obsessed with large breasts.
I don't know why but despite the magnificent array of contemporary and classic iconography I found myself distracted by the gloss instead of indulging in the fantasy.
I like Filip 's work and I believe I have a lot in common with him compositionally. This may be my prime reservation. He has forced me to look at my own work in a more critical way than I am used to. This may also be my reason for liking him.
There are boobs and perversions in my recent pictures too; there are cultural references and self portraits but have I even left my closet door ajar? Filip may still be one step ahead.
Kvetiny v Mori Zla (Flowers in the Sea of Evil)
2.5 - 26.5 2017
Jiri Straka studied Sinology at Charles University. He lives between China and the Czech Republic. He works in ink and is better known for his large zen-like semi Chinese traditional ink paintings of flowers and birds. This time he has gone naughty.
This sort of 'porn' art in the Prague art scene over the last 21 years, despite having been a fun thing to do in a post communist state, is getting a little worn and may be one of my singular reservations in Filip Kurky's work (see above) . It is an interesting twist to turn the attention of such a traditional Chinese ink style to porn with a poetic and explanatory exhibition title, but...
I have of course used sexual images in my own work over the last 10 years as I am influenced by my surroundings and pornography seeps into shop and street advertisements everywhere here striking any outsider as an in turns amusing, unsettling and frequently puzzling cultural Czech quirk.
It is for this very reason though that the clandestine gallery element of such shock-art is lost on a Czech audience when they can readily access such images in the shop window of their local opticians.
Oh, and the Internet...
Now it’s time to save up my pocket money and actually pay to see Gerhard Richter. It’s an unfriendly 250kc entry but this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a retrospective of one of our greatest living artists. See you there.
I enjoy showing people the Prague art scene and what it represents and presents to us.
Simple stories. Short messages. Quick news. Small Aha! moments, guidance, encouragement and perhaps a little exhilaration.
So if you have a group of friends who have the same interests, let them know about this blog and follow me on Facebook.