understanding contemporary art

Review of ‘All too human, Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life’ Tate Britain

  ‘All too human, Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life’ at Tate Britain, begins by following British painting after the Second World War. At this time in our history rumours about what had happened during the Holocaust were trickling into the media. During this period many books and essays were written as people tried to come to terms with what had taken place. This experience encouraged intellectuals to look inwards and ask hard questions about the purpose of human existence.    It was complexing to hear about the atrocities and then to consider how humans could behave in such a way. The central theme of this exhibition looked at… Read More »Review of ‘All too human, Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life’ Tate Britain

The inspirational work of Egon Schiele

One of the artists that I found the most inspiring as a student was the inspirational work of Egon Schiele. At aged 16, Egon enrolled in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He died at the young age of 28. In those few years, he made some of the most enduring and intriguing work. I am very interested in understanding what it is in Egon Schiele’s work that encouraged me to follow my interest in art. Egon Schiele was known for drawing mainly portraits and self-portraits. He worked in a striking graphic style that challenged the notion of beauty. Egon had a concise way of working, similar to a poem… Read More »The inspirational work of Egon Schiele

What l see in the work of Jeff Koons

  It is easy to be impressed by the work of Jeff Koons. He has an impressive art career and has gained international success. Koons has developed a secure grip on the art market and he can make whatever he wants.  He often turns the popular; Michael Jackson with his pet monkey or scoops of Play-doh; into an expensive ceramic or stainless steel sculpture.    Plus, Koons is not afraid to make work that could potentially alienate him. It is easy to sneer at his works based on topics like guilt and shame. After all, we are all bound by our own unconscious and conscious signals.  He openly encourages opinions on his… Read More »What l see in the work of Jeff Koons

15 things I learnt from Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech

  In 2012 Neil Gaiman gave a commencement speech for the University of Arts in Pennsylvania.  Neil Gaiman is a writer of novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. He was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. Neil’s most notable works include The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Neverwhere, Coraline and The Graveyard book. He has also been honoured with many international awards.  His speech is packed full of helpful advice for creative people.     I thought I would write this blog post and highlight many of the learning points l found in it.   “Instead of having a career plan, make a list… Read More »15 things I learnt from Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech

An artist’s advice to finding art

An artist’s advice to finding art I have a modern house and l love having modern art on the walls.  My art collection personal to me.   I also enjoy spending time in London visiting museums and galleries.  I appreciate having time to look at a variety of artist’s work and considering their different styles and types of work.    Artists are generally in the know and are usually very helpful.  I also try to go to alternative spaces to meet artists. I learn a lot by talking to artists and uncovering who they admire and who influences who, and what they think about other artists.  If the same name… Read More »An artist’s advice to finding art

Picasso paints want he knows rather what he sees

Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy, Tate Modern (8th March – 9th September)       The subject of this exhibition ‘Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy,’ is the influence of love, fame and tragedy on Picasso’s painting over a one year period.  This year-long output is a rich visual diary which gives away a great deal about the artist; from his professional career to the way he worked and his personal life.  There are more the one hundred pieces of artwork, showing his entanglements with love and fame, his convolutions with colour and form, and his intricacies as the 20th century’s most influential artist.     Using this review, I am seeking… Read More »Picasso paints want he knows rather what he sees

The ideas behind, ‘Empire State of Mind’ painting – Stuart Bush Studio Blog

As humans beings, we have an extraordinary ability to recognise an image and label it.  A silhouette of a person is instantly recognisable. A two-dimension shape of the figure is not human, but we can read it as an image of a person.  In the painting ‘Empire State of Mind’, I am interested in using this extraordinary ability to record and to explore the structure and nature of reality.   My new painting, ‘Empire State of Mind,’ has a lot to do with how my mind is working on and wondering about my instincts regarding perceptual information. I am trying to show and paint what I see. I’m not inventing… Read More »The ideas behind, ‘Empire State of Mind’ painting – Stuart Bush Studio Blog

The influential work of Francis Bacon

When I was starting out as an artist, I was having trouble with feelings about the purpose of our human existence. I related to Karl Marx talking about the problems of consumerism and the alienation of labour. Marx stated that if you are cut off from the fruits of your work, then you are cut off from your creativity, and you lose your sense of self. This introspection on existentialism and the influential work of Francis Bacon lead me to become a painter as a creative outlet for my thoughts.   I realised I was happiest when I was making something.  It needed to be something for me that doesn’t have… Read More »The influential work of Francis Bacon

Hodgkin says goodbye to absent friends – Howard Hodgkin exhibition review at the National Portrait Galley in London

Ever since I was interested in art, I have always seen Howard Hodgkin as one of my artists whose work resonates strongly with me. In this review of Howard Hodgkin’s Absent Friends exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, I want to explore, understand and put into words (if that is possible) what it is about Hodgkin’s paintings that have managed to turn mere paintings into objects of contemplation and hold my curiosity for so many years.  At the same time say goodbye to another great artist; Howard Hodgkin died on 9th March 2017, two weeks before this show opened.   Howard Hodgkin was born in 1932.  He studied at Camberwell School of… Read More »Hodgkin says goodbye to absent friends – Howard Hodgkin exhibition review at the National Portrait Galley in London

How do I begin an artwork? What equipment, materials and techniques do I use?

    Beginning an artwork My work starts with street photography. I wander the streets as a Flaneur.  Charles Baudelaire, the nineteenth-century poet described a Flaneur in his essay ‘The Painter of Modern Life’ as a stroller and loafer of the city streets observing modern life. Likewise, l wander around the city like a man of leisure as l try to take it all in. Following my intuition and hunches, I take pictures of what seems important to me. I look to capture that important element in the frame of my viewfinder, the essence of the importance of life.   The photographs I take allows me to record a rich visual diary.… Read More »How do I begin an artwork? What equipment, materials and techniques do I use?