Friday 19 August 2011

Q & A with Marcus Freeman

Mr Freeman's exhibition Landscape opens on Wednesday 28th of Sept at The Sartorial Gallery (26 Argyle Square, WC1H 8AP)

The Rebel: Tell me about your new solo show – are you feeling good about it?

Marcus Freeman: "It's about half a dozen works and they are a more intimate size than my previous works. Also, this time they are predominantly landscapes. Adrian Searle commented that Edward Hopper - whom I much admire - "did not do nature well". And whilst I make no comparison, I fear the same might be true about me, so I wanted to see. Despite all the work yet to do, yes I do feel good about it at the moment."

The Rebel: Do you have to be in a certain mood to make work? Do you have to be alone, stone cold sober in a quiet tidy room with no distractions?

"The urge to draw comes in waves, a few productive days or possibly weeks in months of more or less nothing. However the painting is quite methodical, although much more messy than you'd image. Its a surprisingly chaotic business making what most people would think of as 'neat' work, and I am not a tidy person. And once you've got a show, you have to work no matter what your mood."

The Rebel: What were the art books and exhibitions that inspired the young Marcus into being an artist?

"I think I most admired a monograph on Mondrian, he had such a clear progression throughout his career and that has always lurked somewhere in the back of my mind as the natural artistic narrative. I don't think I went to exhibitions when I was truly young, we went to Athena, and I think that has left an impression on me too, for better or worse."

The Rebel: What do you want out of this show – are you looking for love, back slaps, fame, money etc

"All of the above and in that order. I may have to be patient though."

The Rebel:Do any politicians think the way you do? Are there any people who go on Question Time or Newsnight and say things that make you think they are kindred spirits?

"Less and less often. But currently Will Self seems the only human invited onto such shows. Though Hugh Grant is an amusing diversion."

The Rebel: Did you get a good education?

"Yes, though without much flourish. They didn't do Fine Art at my school, as they said there was no future in it. We had Art and Design and were tracing lettering and so on from the start. I always wondered what impact that had on my later direction. I have straddled those two worlds ever since, in turns jealous and dismissive of both. But I've never been a good 'joiner in', so maybe I'm to blame."

The Rebel: What’s your favourite item of clothing?

"Whatever is clean. To my girlfriend's eternal disappointment its my only criteria. How ironic my current gallery is."

The Rebel: When do you feel calm and secure?

"Touring historic sites, castles, antiques markets, garden centres, book shops etc, wearing a cagool in drizzle. It reminds me of all my childhood holidays - all the things you swore you'd never do when you grew up. I read that the wife of an outgoing French Ambassador to London dismissed English holidays as 'stripping wallpaper in the rain". Sounds idyllic to me."

The Rebel: Do you like Elvis Presley’s later Las Vegas years or do you think he stopped being good quite early on?

"I would definitely go for the early days or even weeks, but thereafter we part ways."

The Rebel: What will you be doing once you’ve answered these questions?

"Emailing them to you, otherwise there would be no point, surely?"
For more info on the show visit:

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