Monday, 28 May 2012

We are not amused!

Off With Her Head

acrylic paint, badge and bakelite switch on canvas

28 x 35 x 6.5cm

Thankyou to those that encouraged me to paint her maj's portrait to mark her 60th anniversary of ...inheriting plenty of prime real estate and nice jewells. How could I not oblige!!

It also gave me the opportunity to recycle a lovely old light switch, which certainly won't conform to Part P of the UK Building Regs, but is the sort of beautifully made object that you won't find anywhere in your local D.I.Y. shed.

Congratulations go to Shaun Featherstone and his republican magazine, The Great Frock 'n' Robe Swindle, which is being distributed nationwide this week. It's nice to see an alternative to the official view being put forward. There is also a ...erm ...featured article by yours truly, based on a blog post below.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Painting for the computer age

One of my very rare trips 'oop north took place this weekend, depositing me in a cheap hotel opposite Leeds railway station. After surviving a family gathering I spent half a day taking in the sights of Leeds city centre. This combined family history with art, because the Leeds Art gallery was located directly below the Library.

The visiting exhibition at the gallery was of paintings by Fiona Rae. She rose to prominence in the '90's with the Young British Artists and creates some very accessible works of art, extremely colourful, incorporating elements from cartoons and popular culture. The paintings were cleverly built up, using a wide variety of techniques, utensils, computer printouts and the occasional line of text. I must say I enjoyed watching the video of Rae explaining her work, her studio set-up and her thoughts. She is clearly thoughtful and engaging, like her works of art.

Whether the paintings show a new art fit for the 21st century, as the exhibition blurb suggested, I'm not so sure. Rae had been increasingly using computers and collaborating with computer based designers. Perhaps this will be a new Pop Art for the noughties but, in my view, paintings are probably destined to remain in a rather anachronistic world of high art, however many pots of magenta paint are dribbled across the canvas.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

On her Majesty's secret disservice

My sideways swipe at the Royal Jubilee is coming on okay. I attached the 1950's bakelite switch to the corner this afternoon, a sort of 'topping-out' ceremony. The size of the painting has been kept quite modest, so the 3D elements don't get lost. I'm inclined to leave the finished painting in a rough-and-ready state - after all, if I'm arguing for less coverage of the event, I don't want to be spending more hours than necessary portraying her Maj...