Sunday 3 December 2017

Harry Pye and his friends at Whitstable's Gallery 64a

Last night Gallery 64a put on a 7 hour exhibition as part of the "Oxford Street Showcase." More than 28 retailers and organisations connected to Whitstable's most popular street did something special for the occasion. St Alphenge's infant school had their own Christmas Fair, Novelist invented a new Oxford Street Cocktail, The Library had Northern Soul DJs and live bands playing - a splendid time was had by all. At Rob Mumby's 64a Gallery 26 Harry Pye artworks were exhibited (many for the first time). Saxophonist Paul Speare debuted two new pieces he'd composed specially, there was free Swedish glogg and delicious cakes and biscuits provided by Maria Ohlson. And Banjo player extraordinaire Richard Lamy jammed with special guest singer Mikey Georgeson.
Image Above: Richard Lamy sings his heart out. Behind Richard you can see Pye's tribute to Francis Bacon and a painting Pye made in collaboration with Rowland Smith called "Let's Get It On".
Above: Mikey jamming with Paul Speare
Above: "Hello, Good Evening and Welcome" (painting of Sir David Frost by Harry Pye and Emma Coleman).
Above: "Tin Tin in Deptford"
Above:"I Think About You" (a painting about the much loved band David Devant & His Spirit Wife)
Above: Some Whitstabalites come to show support to their new local gallery.
Above: The lovely Paul Speare who performed "This Is What I Do" (on sax) and "Mr Harry Pye" (on flute) both of which were brilliant.
Above: "Citizen Cope" was a painting Harry Pye made in collaboration with Sarah Sparkes.
Above: Under Tin Tin there's a painting of David Bowie by Team Beswick & Pye. The painting is called "F*** You, I'm in Tin Machine"
Above: "Waiter, Waiter" is a painting made by Harry Pye with lots of help from Marcus Cope.
Above: I asked a young visitor called Ossie to point to his favourite painting in the show.
Above: A nice man who lives in both Whitstable and Deptford. To the left of him are drawings of Abi Parry and Richard Lamy. To the right of him is "Tyger, Tyger" and a recent collaboration between Harry Pye and Rowland Smith called, "Don't Look, There's Nothing To See Here."
Above: The lovely Mikey Georgeson & Richard Lamy
Above: A local artist comes to say "Cheers!"
Above: Checking the price list ("If you have to ask you can't afford it.")
Above: The Green Lady painting
Above: Two Spanish ladies standing in front of a portrait of the artist Martin Sexton (who is standing in front of a Chris Tosic painting called "I'm Too Sad To Tell You")
Above: You can leave you hat on
Above: "The Power of Suggestion"
Above: A man who likes David Frost but is less keen on Baroness Chakrabarti.
Above: A new track called "Remember Me As A Sunny Day" is unveiled.
Above: Fans of the Harry Pye & Rowland Smith painting "I'm Joan Collins and You're Not"
Above: A work from 1988 called "The Ups & Downs"
Above: "Dial P For Pablo"
Above:Above Paul Speare performs "Mr Harry Pye"

Thursday 23 November 2017

Harry Pye's One Day Solo Show: "This Is What I Do"

From 2pm till 9pm On Saturday the 2nd of December there will be a special event taking place at Gallery 64a in Whitstable.
Come to Whitstable in Kent and feast your eyes on new drawings, paintings and collages by Harry Pye. Plus, as an added treat there will be live music from esteemed saxophonist Paul Speare (who will be debuting 2 exciting new pieces)
some brilliant banjo playing from the semi-legendary Richard Lamy
Harry Pye studied printmaking at Winchester School of Art (from 1992 to 1995), he was the editor and publisher of FRANK magazine from 1995 - 2000, he was the winner of a Daily Mirror portrait painting competition judged by Gilbert & George, he's had solo shows in both London and Sao Paulo. Harry has made paintings with Gordon Beswick which have been turned into posters for The London Underground. Beswick and Pye have also collaborated on films which have been screened at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern, he recently made an album with the composer Francis Macdonald called Bonjour which got a 4 star review in MOJO for being "odd but good". Harry joined forces with the artist, publisher and entrepreneur Jasper Joffe on projects and exhibitions such as Jasper & Harry's 99p Art Shop which was part of The Other Art Fair. The critic Ekow Eshun was asked to review the exhibition "Joffe et Pye" for The BBC's Radio 4 show Saturday Review. His take on the two man show was: "Intense feelings about love, loneliness and fear, anxiety desire and hope and ambition all come into play into these paintings. Very powerful I thought. What could have been fey, arch or game playing was actually very warm." Six paintings by Harry were featured in The Discerning Eye exhibition at The Mall Gallery in London. Pye's work in this show was praised by Naomi Mdudu of City AM. Mdudu wrote: "The exhibition features exciting pieces from artists including Harry Pye, whose poignant block-colour paintings beautifully capture everyday hope and despair." Harry has curated group shows for Elefest and Deptford X and Glassbox in Paris. His paintings have also been sold to raise money for various charities including: Art Against Knives, Break Through (breast cancer charity), Action For Children, Kids & Co, CARA (Charity for academic refugees), Depression Alliance, and Friends of The Earth. Harry currently divides his time between London and Ramsgate
Above image: "I'm Joan Collins And You're Not" by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith (acrylic on canvas, 2016)
Above image: "It's Good Night Vienna" by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith (acrylic on canvas 2017)
Above image: "Dial P for Pablo" by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith (2016)
Above image: "There's Nothing To See Here" by Pye & Smith (2017)
Above imagEe: "Citizen Cope" by Harry Pye and Sarah Sparkes (2015)
Above Image: "Let's Get It On" by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith (2017)
Above image: "Baroness Chakrabarti" by Harry Pye (2016)
Above image: "The Power of Suggestion" by Harry Pye & Rowland Smith (2011) This Is What I Do is part of "The Oxford Street Showcase" which is a celebration of the diversity Oxford Street in Whitstable has to offer.
Please join us and discover a hidden gem that is part of our amazing town.For more info about the space visit:

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Q & A with Stuart Cumberland

Stuart is a painter represented by London's Approach gallery. I've always been a fan...
Did you learn about things like composition/balance and how to apply paint at an early age? Was it instinctive or something you read about in books and were shown how to do by tutors? "I took up art quite late, at about 16 years old. I think I learnt, as a younger child, a bit from my Mum who could draw, and a bit from my Dad, who was into photography. I could always draw better than most at school. It always seemed strange to me that others couldn't see well enough to make a representational drawing. There was no correlation between what they had made on their page and what was in front of them. I guess they didn't care about, or weren't interested in how things look. And they certainly weren't interpreting a perception, something felt with the mind. For me, looking is one of life's greatest pleasures and while I am hesitant to call it, or anything, instinctive I cannot categorically deny it either. I probably learnt the most by looking at Matisse and Picasso. Then Philip Guston, and then Christopher Wool. Kevin Knox, who I met working in the book shop at the Tate 'taught' me more than anyone I know. Interaction with tutors is more like philosophy than looking and learning 'about things like composition/balance and how to apply paint'."
Have a look at the j-peg I've attached above - What can you tell me about this painting of yours from 2010? "I don't know where that painting is - probably in storage in Belgium. It looks unfinished. It is two metres tall and made with oil paint applied by roller through a stencil that is cut out by hand. Those paintings, of which I made many, usually had a multi-layered process and were finished when I covered up a part of it with a monochrome layer using the same colour as the ground. I was interested in Freud's Fort/Da ideas relating to the pleasure we derive from a control and mastery of absence and presence. The 'ground', distinct from the 'figure' and the monochrome top layer, tend to be seen as empty or absent."
How's your work going at the moment? What was the last painting you did that you feel pleased with? "I haven't painted for a while because I am trying to write a short PhD dissertation about post conceptual painting; what it is, if it exists, do I make it? Moran Sheleg wrote a review of my last show at the Approach gallery - Handmade Colour Pictures 2016 - that I very much enjoyed reading. Its in the Journal of Contemporary Painting (Volume 4 Number 1)."
Is this the longest break you've had from painting? Do you miss it? "This is the longest break from painting I’ve had. I have begun to miss it and things about it. The studio, a place to be, the daily activity, a sense of purpose (no matter how futile), camaraderie (futile based), physicality, lows and highs of achievement or utter lack thereof. I do not like feeling like a consumer when I see pictures by other people, which is how I feel if I’m not making; I like to make a contribution and a connection."
What's the best exhibition you've ever seen at The Approach gallery and are they nice people to do business with? "I like Magali Reus shows I’ve seen at the Approach. I get along very well with everyone at the gallery, I wish I could be more of a social being but I find socialising difficult - probably why I became a painter."
Which painters currently making art and having shows are you excited about / what was the last good show you saw? "I like Carroll Dunham (more recent the better), Christopher Williams (all of it), Maria Lassnig and Jasper Johns (work since 1980s). So .. . . best recent exhibition? . . . Jasper Johns at the RA."
Do you ever so slightly prefer Picasso to Matisse? (or is it the other way round?) "I prefer Matisse but they are both so remarkable - words fail."
Is boredom a good thing? Can you come up with a quote about boredom like this one be Debuffet? "Boredom is the fertile compost out of which art is created. It's very healthy to be deprived of all festivities, because then you have to make your own, with your very own hands" "Boredom is good, yet I suspect it happens less now because of mobile phones. I always remember John Cage’s quote: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”
What albums would you take with you on a desert Island? "I’ve forgotten what an album is. I just about remember CDs. The ones I’ve listened to most are early Caruso recordings, Bach Goldberg variations and Rameau music for piano. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On and CAN Soundtracks."
When was the last time you felt jealous? "Jealousy is a problem for me - I feel it too often. I agree that artists should make an enemy of envy. Yet it must serve some function; I think I must use it as a form of motivation, which is its positive side. The flip side of it however is, it eats me up - depressing"
Could you imagine having a girlfriend of best mate who loved you but thought most of your paintings were a bit lame and nothing to write home about? Would it eat away at you? "I’m a bit confused by the question - very hypothetical, I mean would we get on? But I couldn’t care less if someone thinks my paintings are lame. I have to set my own standards, and I mostly don’t meet them, so I’d generally agree with ‘lame’ in any case. I am more of a self-hater than a self-lover so I get on better with people who are mostly unimpressed."
What do you think is Woody Allen's best film? "I like Husbands and Wives, Crimes and Misdemeanours, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Celebrity, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Bullets over Broadway. If I had to choose one it’d be, Manhattan."
"Do you ever regret selling your paintings? Do you ever want them back to have a proper look at now and again? "I know the feeling of regret, not because I want to look at them but more like the regret I have of having said something that I may no longer agree with, which is generally how I feel the next morning about the things I may have said if I’ve been drinking the night before. When you’ve made something that exists concretely out in the world, it’s a statement for better or worse, at least with spoken words there’s very little evidence."
What's the best art shop you know? Which brands or makers of paint do you respect the most? "A. P. Fitzpatrick is my favourite art shop. I like Sax oil paint."
What are your favourite names? If you had a son or daughter which names would be possibilities? "Luke Gottelier and I called one of our group exhibitions Fritz and Betty"
What is your idea of beauty in art? "Titian (production line reclining nude), Cezanne (late landscapes), Christopher Williams (photos by commercial photographers). I like Maria Lassnig paintings; they are far from beautiful but aesthetically remarkable."