Thursday 20 September 2018

10 Questions for Moich Abrahams

"Jo Mama's Alphabet Show" is a group exhibition that opens on Saturday 6th of October at The Studio One Gallery in Wandsworth Plain. The exhibition features a different artwork for each letter of the alphabet. Some of the work that is being featured hasn't been exhibited anywhere for a long time, some aspects of the show are memorabilia or preciousness possessions that are just on loan to the gallery and not for sale, and there is also a generous helping of brand new paintings that have been made especially for the show. Moich Abrahams is hard at work making a new painting to represent the letter 'V' but he was persuaded to answer a few questions...
Q) What's the best thing about being Moich Abrahams? "I have some great friends and a lovely family. More and more I seem to be able to live in the present (cf “Isness is the business”), and opportunities to share some of my awesome experiences continuously keep arising, as well as, as if miraculously, my needs are mostly being met moment by moment."
Q) What's the meaning of life? "Life has whatever meaning you give to it...check out ‘The Law of Attraction’. For moi, my favourite ‘hat’ on this subject is hidden in open sight within the philosophy of advaita or non-duality. I love the quote from Long Chen Pa which says “Since everything is none other than exactly as it is one may well just break out in laughter”
Q) What can you tell me about the art schools you went to - did you receive a good education? "I attended Byam Shaw in its hey day (1970 -74); it has now got subsumed by St. Martins. I also was privileged to attend the first or was it the second part time MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths (1980-82) under the pioneer Jon Thompson. I was a mature student (only age wise!), and along the way, was fortunate to become acquainted and sometimes friends with eminent and colourful individuals such as Ken Kiff, George Melly, John Bellany and Antony Green etc . In many ways, as is fashionable in great colleges of art these days, one is sort of self taught, unlike in the academic old days. However, the structure and focus these institutions provided certainly could be considered as a ‘good education’. Bottom line, education wise, may come down to the quality of the teaching artists ability to transmit inspired tutorials. As I said, I think I was lucky to have met a few good guys. Otherwise, I have often had a yen to relate my art to that of ‘untrained’ artists, as in Art Brut and Outsider Art. However, owning an MA from Goldsmiths etc precludes me from belonging in that cohort."
Q) Which of Gilbert & George's ten commandments do you most approve of.... I Thou shalt fight conformism II Thou shalt be the messenger of freedoms IIIThou shalt make use of sex IV Thou shalt reinvent life V Thou shalt grab the soul VI Thou shalt give thy love VII Thou shalt create artificial art VIII Thou shalt have a sense of purpose IX Thou shalt not know exactly what thou dost, but thou shalt do it X Thou shalt give something back. "It's great to show with Gilbert and George in the Alphabet Exhibition. Regarding their 10 commandments I go for all of them!"
Q) Is there an artist that means so much to you - you might not be able to be friends with someone who dislikes them? "Well yup in a way, certainly that could apply to a friend who is ones full time romantic partner. If they hated eg Picasso and Miro for example, and maybe even Basquiat, that might be a deal breaker."
Q) Is it true you knew George Melly - what did you talk about / was he easy to get along with? "Yes, I knew George. Visited his house a coupled of times and he came to my studio...on his motorised bike. Found him charming and erudite. Apart from being a jazz singer etc, he was an authority on surrealism and had quite a collection. I was delighted he bought one of my pastels ('Doves on Fire' see below) . As far as I recall, we mostly talked about art."
Q) Do you see Art as a language, a means of communication? Why do you make art? "In my Byam Shaw days, Harry Thubron gave a very very short possibly inebriated lecture in which I only remember him saying “It’s all about Eye (I?), Life Force and Thing” I make art because I am almost compelled to translate my experiences into something visual. In the first instance, It’s a sort of spontaneous out pouring though then there is often a mountain to climb to create something fit to show to the public. I love seeing what is and am fascinated with the mysterious. In particular, I love re inventing child like expressiveness. It is a language, one in which I communicate with myself. Also, making art is a choice which for me is a perfect vehicle, beautifully accommodating, my efforts to manage and master the art of ‘letting go’. Yes its also a vocation and a hobby and I love it when others get pleasure from what I create.
Q)Do you have a favourite word or a favourite letter of the alphabet? "At the moment,my favourite letter in the alphabet is V. Though I have sometimes used eg AAA, GGG or KKK in my art."
Do you have an art hero? Who is your biggest inspiration? "Naturally Leonard de Vinci ranks high in more ways than one! ($450,000). I really love the now deceased Gugging outsider artist Oswald Tschirtner . “How are you Oswald?”, I asked him, and his invariable reply was “ Happy in God”.
Of course, School of Paris artists are also my cup of tea, as are many, many others."
Q) What's your favourite Stanley Kubrick film? "Stanley Kubricks daughter was in my class at Byam Shaw, as far as I remember? I love science fiction cf my paintings eg The Origin of UFOs . I liked Kubricks 2001: A space Odyssey and also AI: Artificial Intelligence which was ultimately made by Spielberg."
You can find out more about Moich and see more of his work by visiting: here
Jo Mama's Alphabet Show is open to the public during the first two weekends of October 12 till 6pm


  1. Good to see Moich in top form. Good luck with the exhibition. Richard Bourne.

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