understanding contemporary art

Stuart Bush Longing for change

I am longing for change

I am longing for change I keep thinking that before World War Two, and the rise of commercialism and mass communication, keeping people’s attention must have been easy. When it came to looking at art back then, everyone’s eyes must have been used to following the lines around a traditional representation painting.  However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, I now wonder how the world is going to look. Will it be the same again? I feel like this is a rare moment in our lives. I am sure I will always look back at and remember it. As the world shrinks and cuts back there is an opportunity in this chaos… Read More »I am longing for change

Jealously of other artist's work, Stuart Bush Studio Notes

Jealous of other artist’s work

Jealous of other artist’s work When I left art school at twenty-two years old, I thought life wasn’t fair. How come I hadn’t learnt anything about running a business and promoting myself as a professional artist?  I foolishly expected the art establishments gatekeeper to turn up to my degree show.  All I wanted to do was to see a way forward to continue doing what I love. I expected to have been given a solution to the myth of being a starving artist. I feel like I was very naive but instead, I was really jealous of other artist’s work.   But for some reason, l always felt that even… Read More »Jealous of other artist’s work

Stuart Bush, Laura Owens

Laura Owens shows what is possible

Inspiring Laura Owens shows what is possible As I walk around my surrounding looking around l notice so many things, like what other artist have done before me.  It reminds me that it is common for a lot of art students when they are starting out, to feel like they are stumbling about in a dark wood. With so many options to make work about, they often have no clear idea which way is forward.   Part of the trouble of being an artist is, after you have some inspiring art, it isn’t that hard to make art that looks good. However, the next problem that often arises is that… Read More »Laura Owens shows what is possible

Stuart Bush Studio notes, Wilhelm Sasnal

The inspirational work of Wilhelm Sasnal

The inspirational work of Wilhelm Sasnal In 2005 at the Saatchi gallery, in the County Hall on London’s Southbank l saw Wilhelm Sasnal’s paintings for the first time in ‘The Triumph of Painting’ exhibition. I remember thinking how they hung in the air, waiting, in the moment, as all good paintings do. Their simplicity and subject matter at first gave little away. The swift beautiful and understated paintings appear to made quickly; prompting me to reflect how a poet laureate finds the right words without a hint of deliberation. Up to this point, I had clearly and naively mistaken time applying paint as a significant factor in a successful artwork.… Read More »The inspirational work of Wilhelm Sasnal

Damien Hirst a thousand years

Life, death and a thousand years

Life, death, art and a thousand years When I stepped forward to observed the flies buzzing around a rotting cow’s head in a rectangle glass vitrine, at the Gagosian Gallery in London in 2006, I clearly remember feeling blown away.  However, when I looked closely at Damien Hirst’s artwork, ‘A Thousand Years’ expecting to see the flies freely feeding off the decomposing flesh and maggots coming out of the eggs in the carcass, it didn’t take long to notice that the flies where suffocatingly trapped in the glass box. They were imprisoned.   Watching those flies has always stood out as a remarkable experience as I quickly realised that it… Read More »Life, death and a thousand years

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, death and art

Everything is abstract

“Everything is abstract, in my language of paint” I love going for walks, and I often take my camera with me. I sometimes feel like a child discovering nature. As I walk, I react to the spaces. I have come to realise that if I look at what I want to express long enough, I can see everything in shapes, forms, lines and edges. These forces leave marks in my mind and l discover aspects that I have never seen or described before. Everything becomes abstract in my language of paint.   I take lots of photographs, they function like preparation sketches or reference material taking me back to that… Read More »Everything is abstract

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol art review

Andy Warhol – Tate Modern exhibition review As I write this review of the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern, in April 2020, the UK like most countries is in lockdown, and all the galleries are closed. The terrible numbers of deaths continue to rise in the Covid-19 outbreak and the world turns its attention to protect the elderly and vulnerable and finding a way forward.   I luckily managed to look round Andy Warhol’s exhibition before it closed and since I have found time to sit at home during a brief pause to contemplate Andy Warhol’s graphic punch and power.   Andy Warhol, an artist born in the… Read More »Andy Warhol art review

Stuart Bush, Francis Bacon

The influential work of Francis Bacon

How the influential work of Francis Bacon inspired me to become a painter As a young adult, I had lots of feelings that confused me and I often didn’t know how to deal with them, words just didn’t seem to fit. My thoughts and experiences felt on the far side of normal. Often I thought l was the only one who felt this unease.  When I saw Francis Bacon’s work in a London gallery, it was a remarkable moment for me. It was the first time I had seen someone challenge the intense feelings I felt. Bacon depicted the complexity and chaos that was going on around me and inside… Read More »The influential work of Francis Bacon

How To See, David Salle, Stuart Bush Studio notes

How To See by David Salle review

‘How To See’ by David Salle book review Have you ever wondered what you are supposed to think when you look at a painting? In the book ‘How To See,’ David Salle is dissatisfied that art critics focus on: content, artist’s intention, the audience, and the market.  Salle believes artist intention and content might help to explain a small aspect of the work.  The content might have helped to get the work started and quite often the intention is an afterthought.  Considering the audience and the market while focusing on the little plagues takes your attention away from where it should be.  When Salle stands in front of a painting,… Read More »How To See by David Salle review

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Great souled way

Making a better painting than I did yesterday

Making a better painting than I did yesterday I stand in front of a blank canvas. All the thinking and preparation is done.   Inspiration from direct experience and reference material is in my head. New ideas are no good to me now, my overthinking mind needs to stop.  I have a conviction; to make a painting.  I want to make a better painting than I did yesterday. However, as I stand there, I realise the act of painting is a mystery.   Without hesitation, all I can do is pick up a brush and focus on the first mark.  After that, I am painting.  I like to add a coloured… Read More »Making a better painting than I did yesterday