June 25th, 2007
Archive for June, 2007
I went to the private view of this years BP Portrait Award last Wednesday with my mother at the National Portrait Gallery and then the following Wednesday Anne and me went to the dinner and ceremony for this years award. Those 12 months have soon passed since I won last year and it brought back many great memories, I know it’s an old cliche but very true. I liked the variety in this years show, I think it was possibly getting to be too photorealist in style and though I paint like that myself I’d still rather see different interpretations. It seems to go in cycles, I remember back in the early 90s there was a lot of Lucian Freud influence and almost no tight realism with the exception on Philip Harris and myself. Then there was a big Euan Euglow influence from ex-Slade students towards the mid to late 90′s and then more of a mixed bag with no particular influencial style and the for the last 3 years or so photorealism has been very strong. It’s healthy for the Award to evolve and change I think so that it never becomes predictable (as the Turner Prize has become where the desire to shock, paradoxically, is no longer shocking) so in 5 years time I would hope to see something completely different again.
I think my favourite this year is Anastasia Pollard’s “Organia” with it’s beautiful muted tones and restraint. I remember her work last year , the portrait of the ageing clown which again was beautifully understated and quiet. It’s a style of painting which is very different to my own which is perhaps why I admire it so much. Other favourites include Anthony Williams who I have long admired for his technical ability and the tension that he creates between his sitters as they are together yet separated. Walsall’s own Edward Sutcliffe’s piece was very recognisable to me as his work and very accomplished and Thomas Leveritt’s selection was had a characteristically simultaneous mix of the traditional and contemporary . I thought that Emsley’s portrait was a good choice of winner, it reminded me of the excellent Scottish painter Ken Currie. Rupert Alexanders portrait was beautifully painted and very atmospheric and it was great to see “Glory” the dog in “Johnny and Glory” by Richard Brazier at the private view
June 25th, 2007
I was invited to the Annual Royal Academy Dinner on Tuesday night which was pretty cool. It coincides with the opening of their Summer Exhibition. I’ve never entered any work in this show because I felt it was always a bit of a lottery as to whether your work was selected or dare I say it even seen by some of the judges with 12,000+ entries. It’s a good showcase because they really get the bums on seats but looking around can’t help thinking that there are always some pretty quirky and eccentric selections made where good work is passed over. Anyway, it was a good turn out from the celebrities. Andrew Marr made the after dinner speach, David Hockney was there with his huge Yorkshire landscape montage. I was going to have a chat to David Attenborough about monkeys and chimps dressing up but I thought better of the idea…..why don’t monkeys turn into humans anymore…..? Robert Winston was there with his fine moustache and I saw Paul Smith chatting to the now elderly Pop Artist Allen Jones. I said hello to Charles Saumarez-Smith - former director of The National Portrait Gallery and now Director of The National Gallery. There is a picture of Melvyn Bragg the bearded man to the right in the background is Anthony Eyton RA. I sat next to him at the dinner and he was such a nice man and so chatty, I could have talked to him all day. I would guess that he is in his late 70′s now because he did National Service around the mid to late 40′s. Not only was he a lovely man but he also looked great too… there’s certainly a painting in Mr Eyton. I had a chat to the artist Humphrey Ocean too who is also an all round nice man. I reminded him that he had just beat me to a commision of a rather significant man who has the poshest house that I have ever seen. Anyway, here are a few photo’s of the night.
June 8th, 2007
- On Saturday 30th June 2007 at 11:00am I will be dong a talk about my exhibition based aroud Kitty Godley. I will talk about my experience of meeting her, about all of the paintings, drawings and etchings and my thoughts and intentions behind them and I will be having a general discussion with collections curator Jo Digger where she will be asking me questions and I will also answer any questions from the audience.
- On Saturday 21st July 2007 at 2:00pm I will be doing a slide/powerpoint presentation about my work in general from 1991 to present day featuring some 40 images.
June 4th, 2007
On 22nd May The Guardian announced that my triptych, which won last years BP Portrait Award has been brought by The Art Fund – (the UK’s biggest art charity) for the permanent collection of The New Art Gallery ,Walsall. The gallery are also purchasing a colour painting depicting a profile portrait of Kitty called “Transition” which directly mirrors Freud’s origional from the Garman Ryan collection some 60 years later. I’m so pleased that they have ended up in the Borough’s collection because they are so integrally linked.
Click on the image to read the article.
June 4th, 2007
For those of you who are unfamiliar with The New Art Gallery, Walsall, it is one of the brand new, grand, state of the art -art gallery projects which were built at the turn of the 21st century. It has won many design awards and has lots of beautiful spaces large and small which I believe were designed to give the feel of a house. It’s a huge gallery with the wonderful Garman Ryan collection. Anne and myself had our wedding there back in 2004. I’m so pleased with the lighting in my space. It’s within the Garman Ryan collection which has very low lighting for conservation purposes and my space has very high /bright lighting which contrasts well with the Garman Ryan collection and defines it as a seperate exhibition which is still very closely linked with the collection through Kitty Godley. Here are a few snaps that I took of the exhibition but these only feature a small amount of the work which is actually on show.
June 4th, 2007
After months of work the show finally came around. It was such a great night at the opening, friends, family, artists and collectors and lots of people from the West midlands region and further afield. Thank you all for coming along for the opening and creating an atmosphere…… man alive, it was hot in there though. I was really pleased with the hang, my brother -in law -Mike who works at the gallery, Jeremy and curator Jo Digger and me hung the show on Wednesday and Thursday. There are about 22 pictures in the show all together including paintings, drawings and etchings and a portrait of Kitty by Lucian Freud. This is only the beginning. The show continues at the gallery on Floor 2 of the Garman Ryan collection until Sunday 2nd September 2007 so there’s plenty of time to drop in.
June 4th, 2007