Monday, 26 September 2016

Greg Farndon and the Language of Our Times

Greg Farndon: Even the Good Get Shadowbanned, 2016 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

All artists are a reflection of the era in which they live. They are tempered, flavoured, moulded by the time of their living, they are a product of their times, and yet there is something more. An artist is a living entity, one that stands slightly askew from the norm, a creature that lives within a shift of perspective, of consciousness, someone that can see more than others, but also someone who can see less, both are supremely invaluable elements of what it means to be an artist.

An artist can see more because they can often see, recognise, and understand the mechanism of life, the framework that lies beneath the daily distractions of life, but they can also see less, not less as in understand less, but less as in interference. The ephemera of distraction is there, palpable, but it is also a mechanism, understand it as that and you can see through and around it.

Greg Farndon: A Tougher Act to Follow, 2015 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on reclaimed board)

Greg Farndon: First Recorded Use, 2016  (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

That is a special gift and it is one that comes with the territory of being an artist, particularly of an artist living in this most peculiar and special of centuries. 

The artist Greg Farndon is both observer and participator, both abstractive and integrator. He is able to pick out the layers of visual life that we now have identified ourselves with, our social media, our music, our literature, our film, all part of the contemporary language of our lives, the references that have become almost instinctual, part of the biology of our lives, and yet they are still surprisingly new. They are with us now, but also are part of the building blocks of future generations of language and understanding.

Greg Farndon: Makin' Beats, Kickin' Tyres, 2015  (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

Greg Farndon: In & Amongst It All, 2015 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on reclaimed board)

This fascinates and intrigues Greg, and rightly so. We live in extraordinary times, in ground-breaking transformative times. Everything is fluctuating around us as we move inexorably through these technologically led times. We are creatures steeped in suspicion and magic, in tragedy and wonder. We have traditions and understanding in the way things were, but nothing in the way things are to be, and that is the excitement for an artist like Greg.

To be in on the organic movement of life, to observe and to interpret and interject new forms of narrative, symbolism, reading, recording, language itself in fact, where the constancy of fundamental transformation becomes the everyday, these fill the compositions of the artist.

Greg Farndon: Mark Me Down, Hang Me Up, 2016  (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

Greg Farndon: Primary Cover, 2016 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

You cannot help but be mesmerised by the work of Greg Farndon, I defy you to be indifferent to the impact of his narrative. These pieces by Greg are at once measures of what is primal and futuristic, what is magical and everyday, but most importantly of all, they are the language and essence of where we are now, at this point in the twenty first century, the century of utter transformation, the one that will change our species from the bottom up. 

These are the initial movements, the most important in our transformation, our next evolutional jump, which is why Gregs work is so important. His pieces are visual observations of the shifts in perspective, of his own, his culture, his species. They are a precious gift, as is the artist Greg Farndon and we are lucky that he is as intuitive and insightful as he is.

Greg Farndon: See Me Through It All, 2015 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on board)

Greg Farndon: The Sense of Blockers Remorse, 2015 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on board)

More of Gregs work can be found at his comprehensive website: www.gregfarndon.com

Please be aware that all of the imagery illustrating this article was supplied by the artist, and are therefore copyrighted. Thanks.

Greg Farndon: SUS, 2016 (acrylic, spray paint, oil pastel, graphite, chinagraph pencil on hardboard)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Inspirational 12 - Human Dimension


It's September 12 and it's time to release Inspirational 12. I am so excited by this issue, so much has happened since Inspirational 11, so many new horizons have opened up for the project, and so many warm and genuine connections have been made across the planet, how cool is that!

Inspirational 12 has the theme of the human dimension, but the theme is genuinely broad, so the work of artists includes the experiences of the species as well as unique personal experiences, it includes the intensity of the physical as well as the non-physical, it includes the real and the abstract, and that is exactly what is needed for this broad theme. To be honest, the human dimension theme could fill the next 12 issues of inspirational, it is that close to our experience, it IS our experience!

Anyway, the project has gathered together 24 of the best contemporary artists from across the planet. There are artists from North and South America, from Europe and Asia, from Africa. It is truly wonderful how planet-wide this issue has become. In order of appearance the artists are:

Adam Collier Noel, Alex Garant, Austin Boe, BJ Broekhuizen, Collin McAdoo, David Delruelle, Denholm Berry, George Kanis, Giulio Musardo, Giuseppe Velardo, Joshua Jenkins, Juana Gomez, Karen Rips, Paula Chung, Macsime Simon, Mark Horst, Meghan Willis, Milena ZeVu, Raija Jokinen, Rebeka Elizegi, Rene Capone, Robert Flynt, Stiofan O'Ceallaigh, Yoon Jiseon.


artwork of the 24 artists featured in Inspirational 12

Please do what you can to help publicise and promote the Inspirational project, and this issue in particular. It's important that collective projects like this get as wide an audience as they can. It is in all our interests to help promote and project the art community that we love and that we call home.

One last thing. I need to say something about nudity and Inspirational 12. Yes there are naked men and women represented, and I have been a little facetious on social media concerning it. To me it is an integral part of the visual arts, and an obvious part of the theme of the human dimension. But if you do have a problem, then just avoid, but don't complain, let others enjoy. Thanks! john XXX

The artists featured in Inspirational 12

Monday, 5 September 2016

Mike Egan 'I Saw You At My Funeral'

Mike Egan: I Saw You At My Funeral, 2016

I love doing these. There is nothing more celebratory than an artist and an exhibition. So it gives me great pleasure to dedicate this post to an exhibition of the works of the contemporary artist Mike Egan.

Matthew Rachman Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, “I Saw You At My Funeral,” featuring new works by artist Mike Egan. The gallery will host an opening reception Saturday, September 10 from 6 - 9 pm, at which the artist will be in attendance.

Mike Egan: Preparing For Your Funeral, 2016

Mike Egan: The Ghost Of You, 2016

As a child drawing cartoons and skateboard graphics, Mike Egan expressed an ever-present interest in skeletons and devils. Later in life, his fascination with mortality led to a career working in funeral homes, where he was constantly surrounded by death and mourning. This immersion into the most intimate and painful moments of life had a lasting influence on Egan’s acrylic paintings on panel. He started painting not only the stories of those who have passed, but the stories of those left behind after one's passing; the mourners, the lovers, the hurt and the relieved. His works are visual anecdotes; capturing sepulchral moments in time, presented to the viewer with whimsy and wit.

The new paintings Egan created for “I Saw You at My Funeral” are a look at his continued obsession with the idea of life and death. In light of recent world events and the way they are portrayed by the media, the subject matter is more important to him now than ever before. “There are so many tragic shootings and acts of violence in the world and it is constantly spoon fed to us through the media. These paintings act as a reminder to me that there are so many people to say ‘goodbye’ to, and that we must not forget them.”

The exhibition will run September 10 - November 4, 2016.

Mike Egan: This Was a Sad Day For Us, 2016

Mike Egan: We Are The Dark Souls That Never Made It, 2016

About Mike Egan: Hailing from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Egan recalls a fascination with both art and with death, from a young age. A few years after receiving his B.F.A. from Edinboro University, his peculiar interests led Mike to attend the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and to become an embalmer and funeral director. All the while continuing to paint, Mike developed a unique style that incorporated his surroundings, as well as his other influences: folk art, Day of the Dead, horror films, religion, Halloween and German Expressionism. Since 2006, Mike has shown his work in galleries throughout America, Germany and the UK. For more info please visit: www.mikeeganart.com

Mike Egan: We Defeated Everyone, 2016

Mike Egan: We Kept Growing, 2016

About Matthew Rachman Gallery: Matthew Rachman Gallery features a carefully curated collection of Mid-Century Modern furniture and contemporary art. Exhibitions are held regularly and their collection of rare vintage finds and curiosities changes constantly. The gallery is also available for event rental for philanthropic and private functions. For more information please visit www.matthewrachman.com

Gallery Hours: Tu - Su 12pm - 5pm 

Price range of works in “I Saw You At My Funeral”: $250.00 - $2,200.00

Mike Egan: We Said Goodbye To Our Friend, 2016

All photos courtesy of the artist

Monday, 22 August 2016

Introducing David Hurley

David Hurley: Sketch #6, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #2, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

We live in a cultural world of rich diversity. We live in a world where for the first time in our history it appears as if everything is at our fingertips. We are rich in knowledge and information. We can and are our own collators, we can become what we choose to become just by pulling together the strands of existence that suit us and that meld for us, 

A reflection of the rich diversity, and of the collating of that richness, is of course mirrored in that of the contemporary art world. Artists have begun to draw in dimensions of work that are truly broad and complex. A number of contemporary artists can now truly begin to term themselves as multimedian, multidimensional, and multidisiplinarian, These are aspects of the artworld that a few years ago might well have appeared to be little more than a gimmick. 

David Hurley: Sketch #1, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #3, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

But we live in different times, we live in a century where the artist now comes first, and the discipline second. This is art for a new century, one where the artist brings together disciplines, connects them temporarily for an art piece, and then allows them to dissipate. It is the artist that is the collector and the connector, not the discipline. An artist can decide to use paint for a piece of artwork, but that does not define them as a painter, they can use photography for another piece, but that does not define them as a photographer, what it does do is define them as an artist.

It might appear as if I am just playing with words, playing with definitions, but it is a really important point to get across. We have to understand and recognise that a whole range of young contemporary artists are changing the position of the artist, creating the ideal of the artist outside of the definitions of discipline. And this leads me to David Hurley.

David Hurley: Sketch #5, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #4, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley is one of those new contemporary artists, those who define themselves by not defining themselves. David works within a whole host of disciplines, from painting to collage, from animation to sculpture, from video to installation, to performance. All have equal measure and all are used or not used by the artist depending on the perspective and vision that they are working through at that moment in time. 

To David, disciplines, materials, mediums, are fit for purpose. They are part of his exploration as an artist, and they are part of the enjoyment he gains from experimentation, from mixing and matching, from using the diverse, the untried, the untested. Compositions are complex relationships between materials and disciplines, and all of David's work shows a dynamism that comes from freedom, the freedom to express himself as he wishes.

Of course, while the diversity of experimentation and the relaxed use of medium plays an important role in David's creative life, he is also aware that there are constancy of themes that run throughout his work. For example, he is aware that we as individuals achieve our identity of the moment through the coming together of points of being. We are a conglomeration of past and present moments, of nodes of meaning and mismeaning, of sporadic, even cascading elements of self, some of which are imposed from outside, and some well up from within. All go to make up who we are, at least for the present moment.

David Hurley: Noe, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

David Hurley: Summer Eyes, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

David Hurley: Swallows, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

This sporadic cascading can be seen throughout David's work, and it makes for a wonderful cacophony of meaning. Small pieces of dialogue, boxed in scenes, solitary written names and subjects, all move around his compositions as readily as they do inside our heads. In fact, these compositions are just as much ours as they are David's. We are the connected and the unconnected, we are the juxtapositions and the tangents, the odd word, and the huddled scene. The artist often points out who we are by pointing out who they are, and for that we always have to be grateful.

It is has been a real privilege to introduce David to you, and I hope that you look into him and his work further. He can be found at: davidhurleydavidhurley.com. And you can connect with him on social media at: twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube.

Please be aware that all of the imagery used for this article was supplied by the artist. If you wish to reuse it, please ask David first. Thanks!

David Hurley: E.E.C. 1: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

David Hurley: E.E.C. 2: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

David Hurley: E.E.C. 3: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

Monday, 8 August 2016

Andrew G Fisher - The Passage of Time

Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 1
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in ink No 1

The movement of time, taking us from one point, and then the next, seems fateful. It is a process that is both unchangeable and inevitable, one that dominates so many aspects of our lives, but one that is also so often dismissed or disregarded. It is always with us and it is always moving events and processes, so that nothing can ever really remain static or frozen.

However, photography does in a sense, freeze time. It is a tool that has been supremely popular since the day of its invention, and it continues to be used today by both amateur and professional. Artists have always seen the potential of the camera to convey ideas and concepts, to compose and narrate individuals and landscapes, to freeze moments in time, 
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 1
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 4

The artist Andrew G Fisher has found the camera to be the perfect tool in which to document frozen moments in time. Andrew has always been fascinated and intrigued by the passage of time, and has used the camera to capture instants in time, points that have ceased to exist as those instants.

Instants are just that. They are there for a flash, no more, no less. The moment speeds by and the panoply of senses and the framework of the landscape that was brought together for that moment, has gone, never to be repeated in the same order or in the same sense again.

In capturing the fleetingness of moments, of solidifying flashes of the instant, Andrew, through his photography, has given an insight, not into how time can be stopped, or even how time can be registered, but in how time reflects the journey. Whether it is the journey of a place, or a person, or an event, Andrew explores the relationship that all have with time itself.
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 7
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in Ink No 7

Time can be both tangible and abstract. It can have a physical effect and it can be thoroughly conceptual, but whatever form it takes, or appears to take, it has a fundamental relationship with all things. Nothing lasts, everything is in a constant flux, everything is moving, going through processes, being born, living, dying. The rhythms and ripples of life cycles are an aspect of time, its passage and its inevitable route.

If you piece together sequences of photos, you produce points of instant that document the ascents and troughs of the passage of time. Photographic sequences can show the slow deterioration of a building or community, but can also show the subsequent regeneration of that same building or community. That that regeneration inevitably leads to subsequent neglect and deterioration, shows that the cycle is never ending. It gives us a fascinating glimpse of the passage of time. One that we rarely see or consciously notice within our self involved lives.
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 6
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 13

The imagery for this article highlights two of Andrew's most important projects, ones that took a number of years to produce. Both Beside the Sea and Forgotten Corners deal with the relationship that forms, collapses, and reforms between people and places, and the constancy, or perhaps relentlessness of time.

Nothing is forever, we all live for a few moments, and then we die. The same is true of our towns and cities, our landscapes, our planet. In the end, as Andrew says, all that remains is time.

More of Andrews work can be found at his main website - andrewgfisher.org
He can also be found and followed on instagram - @andrew.g.fisher

All work illustrating this article was kindly supplied by the artist. Please contact Andrew before sharing. Thanks!
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 8
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in Ink No 8

Monday, 25 July 2016

Tom Abbiss Smith - Bold, Confident, Positive

Tom Abbiss Smith: Shade

It is always wonderful to experience an artist launching themselves upon the world, always great to see artists that have the confidence, the positivity, the understanding that is so needed in our contemporary era, and so lacking by so many. In many ways, it is what the arts are for, they feed us the fuel in which to carry on.

Work that is bold, strident, confident, has a way of reflecting back on the viewer, and can give us at least elements of those themes, and for that we should be thankful and grateful. It's not always easy maintaining that level of confidence and positivity.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Blueberry Seed

Tom Abbiss Smith: Conceal

Recent graduate from Norwich University of the Arts, Tom Abbiss Smith has that confidence, positivity, and understanding. His intuitive style of image making frequently manipulates mark making and texture in conjunction with colour and composition within his work.

Tom's attention to form and shape, through a cut and paste technique, allows his creations to take a naturally dynamic abstract style. Digital software is often used to aid his process, which occasionally allows him to translate digital work into limited edition or original screen prints.

Tom Abbiss Smith: A Ceramic Pot

Tom Abbiss Smith: Enthusiasm


His most current and interesting project so far, has been commissioned by Atelier Pichita, and explores animation as part of a 4 chaptered promotional video for Fashion Model, Pichitra.

Tom's work definitely stands out from others of his generation. It is surprising to see such form in one so young, but perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Tom' compositions sit so well with him, his creativity seems boundless and certainly open-ended as far as natural development is concerned.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Happenings

Tom Abbiss Smith: Midnight Shower

There is an obvious and all-pervading confidence and boldness in line, colour, shape. Tom has the talent to do much with little, by that I mean that his compositions have taken out the extraneous, the fussy, the redundant, leaving just the bold vibrancy that has become his landmark style.

Obviously this artist's work will change over his career, and obviously he will grow and mature, but to his work at this stage, to recognise the maturity already in place, is an extraordinary achievement for an artist that has only now graduated!

Tom Abbiss Smith: Nighttime wonder

Tom Abbiss Smith: Pelagic Clay

We can expect to see more and more work from this talented and confident young artist, ans for that we should be truly grateful.

More of Tom's work can be found at his website: www.tomabbisssmithart.com

He can also be found at various social media sites including:

If you wish to email him regarding commissions of sales he can be contacted here: tomabbisssmithart@gmail.com

Please be aware that all imagery was kindly supplied by the artist, and therefore is the copyright of Tom. Thanks.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Pulp