Posts filed under 'News'
I saw on the local TV news a few weeks ago that the Birmingham based Jazz legend Andy Hamilton died which I was very sad to hear. I think he was about 94 tears old. I’ll never forget the entrance that he mad when I went to his house for the first sitting with him, gliding down his stair lift with a sharp, pin striped suit and trilby, holding his sax and looking every part the legend that he was. More pictures of Andy to come…
June 17th, 2012
A German TV company approached me and a few of the other artists from Plus One to do a show for them on Photorealism. The show is called Galileo and I understand from the producer that it is a German version of The South Bank Show but a bit more populist, so maybe with a bit of The One Show thrown in too. I recorded it a few weeks ago at the gallery in Chelsea and the background was mocked up to look like an artists studio. I was basically doing a lot of talking and they filmed me painting a little segment of a painting which I was working on. I think my painting of Ray, the floating tattooed man is also a big feature of the show. I think it’s going to be broadcast over the next few weeks.
June 17th, 2012
Sorry it’s been so long since the last post, Anne and myself had a lovely little girl back in late November and I’ve taken a little time out but am back at the easel now. Many of you already know, but her name is Scarlett and she’s 12 weeks old now and is a little beauty. Thanks to everyone who sent cards and gifts and came to visit, much appreciated.
February 13th, 2012
invitation-black-and-white-1.pdf – (click on link)
The Frissiras Museum , Athens. 2/3/11 – 31/7/11
The Frissaris Museum is about to stage an exhibition called “Black and White”. It features work from their collection of drawings, etchings paintings and lithographs. They sent me a catalogue yesterday because they are showing one of my paintings and it looks like a great show. I like the poster with the fantastic Greek typography. Quite a lot of the artists are Greek and I’m not familiar with most so it’s lovely to see what they are up to. There are a few names I recognise, Aurback, Hockney and Rego so we’re all certainly in good company. It’s nice to see galleries doing shows in monochrome, it’s a wonderful area to explore.
Americans Now, The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. Continues until 10th July.
This exhibition features to of my portraits, Cormac McCarthy and Prof. Murray Gell-Mann.
In Focus, Plus One Gallery, London. 16/3/11 – 9/4/11
This show opens in a few weeks and features the figurative work of 3 artists, Philip Harris, Simon Hennessey and myself.
February 27th, 2011
I received the sad news that Kitty Godley had died last Monday morning from her daughter the following day. I think we all open e-mails in a rather automatic way, each one seems to have the same weight and importance but when I resad the message I was really taken back by the sad news. I ‘ve left a few days before I posted anything because I hadn’t seen anything in the press until Fridays’s obituary piece in The Times.
I remember when I was about 16 seeing a poster of a profile portrait of Kitty by Lucian Freud which was in the collection ate the old Walsall museum and art gallery. I immediately loved it and at this age had timmid hopes / aspirations of being an artist. I went into the gallery , the first time I had ever dared set foot into a gallery in fact feeling crushed by the feeling that I shouldn’t actually be here and hoped no one would speak to me and I looked at the painting that I had seen in the poster. As the years went on I went to art college and graduated and worked professionally, almost forgetting about the profile of Kitty having devoured so many images over the years. It was still at the beack of my mind and towards the millenium I started to wonder if Kitty was still alive. I carried on working on my own work and commissions and around 2005 I thought right, if I’m going to catch up with Kitty I’ll haveto do it soon. I liaised with The New Art Gallery ,Walsall and got in touch. I first spoke to her on the telephone, I speak quite quickly, like a machine gun some say, and with a broad accent and Kitty spoke very very quietly and slowly, almost in a kind of distracted way. Kitty was extremely obliging and agreed to allow me to visit. It was a idealistic gentile picture postcard little country village, thatched cottages, duck ponds and village pubs. I immagined the locals to be like the Warmington on Sea home guard or John Gielgud and it certainly felt more like the 1940′s than 2005.
I walked up the overgrown pathway to Kitty’s door. I hadn’t seen any photographs of her since the 1950′s and as soon as I saw Kitty I thought “Wow, waht a fantastic face”. I went in and had a glass of water with her. “I like your wallpapaer” I said. “Morris” said Kitty. It was very much the bohemian cottage I would have expected , Aga, log burner, and paintings, drawings and etchings on the the wall. But not your ordinary pictures. Kitty’s family donated their art collection to Walsall Art Gallery in 1972 and what a collection it was, Van Gough, Picasso, Constable, Freud the list goes on. So, as I walked around Kitty’s house I walked passed a Courbet landscape or a Goya etching. Kitty was a keen painter herself and in one corner was an easel with a painting in progress. Celotaped onto the wall was a newspaper cutting about her former husband, Lucian Freud’s recent exhibition. I was trying to settle down to the sitting but was constantly interrupted by her cleaner who was dusting and hoovering around us, then a carpenter came to work on the front door and later came the meals on wheels for Kitty and her husband Wynne. So, there was a kind of Chaos going on but we managed to settle an chat. We both shared the same favourite Freud portrait which was of John Minton. Kitty talked about when she used to be married to Freud and Francis Bacon used to come over for the weekend and disappear to the next village in pursuite of male company and gambling. Kitty really didn’t care for Bacon she said. Towards the end of the sitting I met her husband Wynne Godley and we had a long chat about America and the two of them living in New York in the 50′s and how glamorous that seemed to me. I could tell that they loved eachother very much and I think their relationship is the thing that I remember most about my visit. Despite the chaotic sitting I left feeling invigorated because Kitty had let me into her world I knew I’d got some great material to work with.
January 17th, 2011
American music lost of of it’s greatest and most eccentric muscians last Friday in Don Van Vliet alias – Captain Beefheart. As important as the Velvet Underground in my opinion with their crazy fusion of blues , jazz and weird. I love Beefheart.
December 22nd, 2010
My portrait of Alan Garner which I actually finished back in March gets its first outing today at the Grosvenor museum ( 27 Grosvenor Street 01244 402455 )in Chester. It’s part of the 50 th year celebrations since Alan’s book The Weirdstone of Brisingamen was published. There are a number of events from 18th September to 28th November 2010
I also made a one hour film to accompany the painting which is a kind of video diary documenting the process of making the painting. It’s the first film I’ve made and as an keen documentor an enjoyable process and hopefully record.
September 17th, 2010
I’ve had a few meetings with the National Portrait Gallery recently and finally we have come to a sitter as part of the first prize when I won the BP Portrait Award in 2006. I’m not sure if I can say who it is yet but so I’d better not. I can reveal that it’s a man though so that narrows it down to around 30 million in the UK.
September 17th, 2010
I think I mentioned that we are having a 4 person group show based on Portraiture which is scheduled for next March at Plus One Gallery. Phil Harris, Simon Hennessey and Craig Wylie are the other 3 artists. Just as a taster here are two of my sitters who I intend working with who I’ll just call Ray and Andy for the moment.
September 17th, 2010