Archives for category: Art

Part One, 2016– Part One, 2016 –

Part Two, 2016– Part Two, 2016 –

Part Three, 2016– Part Three –

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Paintings for the homes of our new Brexit rulers, 2016Paintings for the homes of our new Brexit rulers, 2016

Acrylic on canvas

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out.

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And David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at at time. Check out Zzzounds!

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Untitled 04, 2016

Untitled 01, 2016Untitled 02, 2016Untitled 03, 2016

Late Night Shopping, 2014

 

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Third and final installment of my conversation with David Cook…

London Eyeball

Jasper Johns Target with Four Faces 1955 Jasper Johns: Target with Four Faces 1955

On 5th September 2015, Richard Guest and I visited the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. We continued to talk about the show via email for a number of weeks. This is the final part of that electronic conversation – you can read part two here.

Richard: It’s a fine line. But I think Cornell is so involved with the process he discovered that the work comes across as warm, genuine and generous. He’s working hard at making poetic images. The evidence is in the work. Everything is considered.  To me, Toward the Blue Peninsula: for Emily Dickinson, c. 1953 looks like an embryonic Louise Bourgouis work. I wonder how much of an influence Cornell was on her. There are other works that remind me of other artists. Planet Set, Tête Etoilée, Giuditta Pasta (dédicace) 1950 is strongly reminiscent of Jasper…

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The Set-up

Untitled, 2015

Untitled, 2015
Dan Parnell
Acrylic on Canvas Board

 

Untitled, 2015

Untitled, 2015
Dan Parnell
Acrylic on Canvas Board

 

L-R: Fake Blues, 2014; Blinding Light of Heaven, 2014; The Heart Knows Better, 2014

L-R: Fake Blues, 2014; Blinding Light of Heaven, 2014; The Heart Knows Better, 2014
Richard Guest
Digital Photography

 

In mid-July 2015, Dan Parnell and I exchanged the above works and challenged each other to change them, to turn them into something new. There were no rules as to how we would do this.

The process

Here’s a list of associations I made on first seeing Dan’s paintings: monochromatic, artist’s marks, suggestions of figure and landscape, monumentalism, rigidity, permanence, stone, carbon, earth tremors, St. Ives (Hepworth, Nicholson, Lanyon) and daylight on the coast. I think they also got slightly confused in my mind with a recent family trip to Rye and Hastings…the sum total of which meant something maritime was in the offing.

After photographing Dan’s paintings in the back garden, I worked on them in my usual way in Photoshop. So the physical paintings never changed (they are rather beautiful things and I’m glad they’re still around).

My current working method is to overload the picture plain with outside elements found and photographed in the street, (here: discarded carrier bags, spilt milk, cellophane wrapping, foil, paper takeaway bags, graffiti, scraped paintwork on the side of a van, cardboard packaging and a paper plate) and then gradually rearrange, delete and transform them until a new image forms.

To stop myself worrying about ruining Dan’s compositions, I added a layer of spilt milk to each of them, and ruined them. After that I felt much freer to add and subtract elements until the music started to play. I stopped once I felt I’d achieved a nice tension between the original image and the manipulations I’d made in response.

Here are a few shots of the intermediate stages of When The Boat Comes In I:

WTBCI 1a

WTBCI 1b

WTBCI 1c

WTBCI 1d

and II:

WTBCII 1a

WTBCII 1b

The final images are named after a popular BBC television series from the late 1970s. You can hear a glorious version of the theme song sung by Alex Glasgow here.

Reactions to Dan’s painting:

Bearing in mind we didn’t know what the other was doing there are a lot of parallels between Dan’s work and my own. The most obvious one is the maritime theme. Then there is the shared palette and the echoed shapes (the dinghy is very similar to the shape of the central bag in WTBCI I)…all very hive mind and a bit odd. Because I’m so familiar with the three images I gave Dan it was an odd sensation knowing that they lurked just below the surface – their meanings subsumed in his overall pattern.

I love the upbeat, anarchic image Dan has come up with – it’s a fascinating composition full of hot depths. And there has obviously been a violent struggle with the material – the imagery and colour remind me of Apocalypse Now. His paint marks and chemical attacks have smashed through the photographic images, lending them texture – simultaneously slowing them down and speeding them up. I liked the trace of his hand – lines I could never make, gestures I wouldn’t think of performing.

The use of (what I assume is), found imagery is interesting – it’s something I wouldn’t do at the moment. I used to do it a lot and this reminded me of the way it can open up an image to new associations. A nice bit of grit.

Final images

Launch time, 2015

Launch time, 2015
Parnell/ Guest
Acrylic and bleach on photographic prints

 

When The Boat Comes In (I), 2015

When The Boat Comes In (I), 2015
Guest/ Parnell
Acrylic on Canvas Board, Photography, Digital Manipulation

When The Boat Comes In (II), 2015

When The Boat Comes In (II), 2015
Guest/ Parnell
Acrylic on Canvas Board, Photography, Digital Manipulation

FIN

This is a project by Barry Comer and Richard Guest.

Barry and I have never met in the physical world. He is based in Louisville, Kentucky and I live on the edge of London. I have long admired his drawings. So I jumped at the chance when Barry suggested we work together.

At the top of this post you can see Barry by Barry and Richard by Richard. Having agreed to work on each other’s images in a game of consequences/ exquisite corpse kind of way, we swapped self-portraits.

The idea was to pass the images back and forth a set number of times, each adding to (or subtracting from) both portraits, and responding to the other’s changes. In my case, I had a hidden agenda and sought:

(a) to bring out my idea of who Barry is (based on his blog and my knowledge of him from emails etc), in the picture and make him central to it.

(b) to make myself disappear.

Here are the in-between stages in sequence:

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And here are the final images:

Barry Comer, 2015

Barry Comer, 2015

Richard Guest, 2015

Richard Guest, 2015

Still Life, 2014– Still Life, 2014 –

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If you are interested in self-portraits, I recommend you visit Strata of the Self. It’s beautiful.

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Mario Lautier Vella, 2014– Mario Lautier Vella, 2014 –

Mario Lautier Vella is a cross-disciplinary artist based in London. Last Friday he commissioned me to take some photographs of him. Mario had a good idea of what he wanted to achieve. From time to time we stopped to discuss what we’d got, but he pretty much directed the shoot. It was a novel experience for me, and one I really enjoyed. We took about thirty shots and this is my favourite.

Mario will be performing ‘In Love’ at the latest art:language:location event in Cambridge in the Autumn. To get a taste of his work in the meantime, I strongly urge you to visit Mario’s website, where strange things are happening involving the Duchess of Cambridge.

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SONY DSC

Richard and I have just completed another collaboration. To see the results, please visit Richard’s quite superb blog, CK Ponderings.

Here’s a sneak preview of one of my images to whet your appetite…