Friday, 1 October 2010

"The Rears of the Charging Chasseurs"

Hello everyone

I have named this entry as a nod to one of favourite paintings in Derek McGuire's exhibition Ella Novo Loco.

I remember seeing this painting in Derek's studio for the first time and the effect it had on me. It's difficult to describe, other than it being a bit like a slap in the face. There was an immediate feeling of total respect and an almost fear of just how good this painting is.

There is still time to come in and view this exhibition of 24 paintings. Some are dark and challenging, even unsettling. Others are humorous and intimate, touching on subjects that should concern us all. Each brilliant piece has merits of its own: I am not sure an exhibition gets much better than this.
To me, this exhibition has been a real eye opener and I have learned a lot from artist Derek McGuire, seen below (left) during the hanging of his exhibition:

Working with Derek, listening to his ideas and being in the very privileged position of seeing the works progress, has been an extraordinary experience. At times I have been fizzing with enthusiasm about the work and sometimes I have felt down and inadequate as an artist when observing his skill.
I also find it hard to disguise my disappointment that his exhibition, despite a hefty campaign, has not been reviewed. Indeed, I think it's a travesty and my real fear is that in this increasingly 'celeb' obsessed culture, real talent might be overlooked. I'm convinced that had just one art critic worth their salt stepped over the threshold, they would not have been disappointed and I'm pretty damn sure they wouldn't have seen anything like it before. Something new, meaningful and original to write about.....surely only a good thing?

On the plus side, this exhibition has been one of our best attended and most successful to date, with large numbers of people coming to view the work. Buying clients, art lovers, other artists and throngs of Derek's students have all been in to see the work, and all have an opinion. There is no doubt that Ella Novo Loco has polarised opinion - it is challenging work that inevitably has that effect - but then surely there is a need for controversy and debate in contemporary art?
It is a pleasure to be challenged and even threatened by the workings of a great talent occassionally, and I have witnessed both joy and serious argument about Derek's paintings this month, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Speak soon

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