Donald Judd - Julian Dashper, 2014
Acrylic on bamboo
215 × 150 × 5mm
What’s appropriation art?
It’s when you steal but make a point of stealing, because by changing the context you change the connotation.
Graffiti artists use the stuff of everyday life as their canvas – walls, dumpsters, buses. A stylized representation is placed on an everyday object. In visual art, as in other media, artists take unfiltered pieces of their surroundings and use them for their own means.
Some artworks are planned, drawn up and then executed, others are intuitive and their direction is unknown. These drawings are the latter and feel like a natural extension of the doodles I’ve been making.
Looking at them I’m reminded of:
John Reynolds drawings (due to the materials),
the work of George Baselitz,
and the mid-career drawings and paintings of Philip Guston.
Also in my mind is a story my foundation tutor, Mick Maslen, once told us. When he was at art school, doodling and not really sure of what to do, his tutor told him to “Keep churning them out”. Week after week, “Keep churning them out”. And this is how I feel about these works – while I’m far from lost, I know I need to keep on making them, to let them develop and see where they’re going.
The difference in quality between a 50 cent hard crayon and $16 oil stick is quite something. The crayon is hard (Doh!), waxy, and not loaded with pigment whereas the oil stick is buttery, soft, and a little sticky. These qualities lead to quite different drawings. With the oil stick I’m more relaxed, my body feels looser – I don’t have to force the stick across the surface, it slips and slides with an ease. The difference is fascinating, and after trying the crayon it’s such a relief to go back to using the oil stick. It’s not that the oil stick is necessarily better than the crayon, it’s just that right now, for these drawings, the oil stick is just what is needed.
Detail from oil stick drawing.
Featured image: Crayon drawing (left) Oil stick drawing (right) both on A3 Kraftpaper
After last week’s five works over 20 years, here are five works from the last five years…
Less Use, 2013
acrylic on wooden panels (2 pieces)
400 × 1620 × 80mm
Rejected from a couple of competitions this work sold immediately when shown with PaulNache in Gisbourne (not that sales are the only measure as to whether a work is any good or not). For me, this piece somehow embodied much of what I learnt from my residency at SNO in Sydney. A favourite of mine for sure.
Work #52, 2014
acrylic on canvas
200 × 250mm
The final work from my year long 52 weeks, 52 works, 52 colours project.
The colour of Courtenay Place, 2015
Light boxes, Wellington
My first public art project. Several people commented on how the monochromes changed the nature of the light boxes from places where images are displayed to sculptural objects.
acrylic on linen
500 × 500mm
2016 was a comparatively quiet one for me. I started my daily monochrome project to build up some momentum in my practice again. This work, a variation of the monochrome, was one of a pair, the other work however failed due to a blemish.
Flasche paint on cardboard
100 × 120mm
Chosen here as a contrast to the quality finish of Offset. Where some works benefit from precision, patience and quality materials others succeed by being made quickly on whatever materials are lying around. This cut up piece of cardboard falls in the later category and it’s sitting on my wall at home, horizontally, as you read this.