In my previous blog post, I mentioned Michael Craig-Martin’s interest as a child in the shape and form of American cars. From a very young age, Michael Craig-Martin had the ability to identify every make and model of an American car. I found this profound because as a child I also had this ability, but with British cars in the 80s and 90s. This foundational understanding and appreciation of form is clearly something that many artists unconsciously encounter from a young age. This week l stumbled on a black and white BBC documentary about Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) and my appreciation of form was enhanced. In the documentary, Henry Moore discusses what… Read More »My thoughts on Henry Moore’s appreciation of form
It is hard to understand the incongruities between a successful artist and the work of mere mortals like the rest of us. I want to put into words how can a simple drawing of an object can be turned into a world-class sculptural form. Michael Craig-Martin, the once significant tutor of the YBAs at Goldsmith between 1974-1998, is now showing his latest sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street in London. Is it the snap at the moment of impact when seeing his work, where he is best in the game? Is it the skill of his placement that no one else comes close to? Or is it the… Read More »Michael Craig-Martin; Sculpture review
I love what I do. I want to go to my studio every day and have a perfect day. On my perfect day I want to express something of significance. Once I am in my studio, my mind starts to make connections. By fostering a studio practice with risk-taking and openness, I open an infinite space. Every painting l create opens a new conversation about, What if? I like to stay open to the possibility of generating tension in my work. I don’t want to overthink what I am doing. Words have never been a strong point of mine, so l stick with making art to express myself. Words about sincere motives and… Read More »What do I love about being an artist?
At some point, most creative people realise that something needs to change. The book ‘The Art of War’ by Steven Pressfield, can help explain what old behaviours and mindsets are holding you back. Essentially it is a self-help book for amateur artists and writers battling with inner self-doubt and fear. There is a diamond of an idea about learning to overcome resistance and ‘turning pro’ as the book asks, “Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is.” When I tried to read ‘The Art of War’ for the first time, several years ago, I… Read More »War of Art book review
What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush: Studio Notes It is well known that during Philip Guston’s career and throughout his life’s work, he toyed with two opposing forms of art. There was the figurative cartoon style of his earlier work in the 1930s and abstract expressionism in the 1950s. Philip Guston’s career highlights what he believed to be the central concern in the career of an artist. No matter what anyone else says or does, Guston believed that “A painters first duty is to be free.” Free to make their own choice, that is said, “unless you’re the kind of an artist that gnaws on one bone all… Read More »What I learnt from Philip Guston
A love story between a painter and the subject Elizabeth Peyton review – Sadie Coles London until 15 June 2019 Elizabeth Peyton returns to London with exhibition paintings and prints at Sadie Coles Gallery. The first thing I am drawn to as I view this new body of work is her passion for painting and the people she depicts. Over the years the configurations of her paintings have become more and more involved. The subject matter is still the same but Peyton’s use of light, colour and poignancy has compounded. She brings out more physical aspects in her lush romantic paintings. It is perhaps surprising that a few abbreviated spontaneous… Read More »Elizabeth Peyton review
Often when I turn on the shower and step in, I turn on a shower of thoughts. I’m not sure why it happens in the shower, but I think it is a favourable place to be flooded with thoughts and ideas. My mind also, unfortunately, wanders when I am painting. Over time, I have realised I have become a professional daydreamer. This is the wrong time and the wrong place to be imagining the future. I feel the need to gain some self-mastery of my busy creative mind. I used to think dreaming about the future was my reward for taking on an almost impossible creative challenge. At times, I… Read More »Dreaming about success
Leonardo Da Vinci left 7200 pages of notebooks after his death, filled with anatomical and scientific drawings, detailed designs for new machines and weapons, military strategies, maps, sketches, and observations, as well as 15 paintings. He was interested in art, engineering, biology, medicine and geology amongst many other subjects. Walter Isaacson’s book is an interpretation and analysis of those notebooks and paintings. If you have ever wondered about the life and mind of a voracious creative genius, then this is undoubtedly a satisfying read. The six hundreds pages of the book, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ by Walter Isaacson it is an immensely impressive undertaking. Author Walter Isaacson was born in 1952; he is an American… Read More »Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson book review
It’s no wonder many people see failure as the most painful moment in their lives, school wrongly teaches us we need to do everything we can to avoid failure. However, Adrian Ghenie makes it a central power source. Having to face humiliation and shame by returning to home to Cluj, Romania, after trying to start a new life in Vienna drove his artistic ambitions. Returning to live back at his parents home at age 27 in 2005 he had no future to look forward to. However, Ghenie used his difficult set-back as fuel rather than limitation. The fuel of failure is a common element in the story of success for many… Read More »Adrian Ghenie: The fuel of failure
The first thing I noticed about Chantal Joffe’s paintings at Victoria Miro, in London, is that they challenge the concept of beauty. Joffe paints the female figure, often in unstinting and frank disclosure. There is a directness that is fascinating, every blemish and every wort is on show. From the gradual decay of the sitters through to the triumph of their existence, Joffe painting’s depicts and embodies her muses. By portraying the intensity of the moment, she gives the viewer passage to understand how they feel. The gritty truth of life is there for all to see as it comes slapped down in a painterly splurge. It is in Joffe’s nature to dig… Read More »Chantal Joffe asks; What is it like to be somebody else?