Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Japan Relief Auction update

Posted in Exhibitions, News by Andy Wicks on 7 April, 2011

Rise Art have kindly donated an artist proof of Matthew my recent print edition to the Japan Relief auction which is being held tomorrow night (Friday 8th April) at Fold Gallery. It’s a great chance to get your hands on work by some exciting artists at a great price, bids start at £20 or you can ‘buy now’ for £100. As well as the print I will also have a small oil on paper piece I’ve made for the auction.

Bidding is between 6 – 7.45pm

Matthew (2011) Archival pigment on paper



Fri 8th April – Silent Auction for Japan relief fund

Posted in Exhibitions, News by Andy Wicks on 2 April, 2011

Myself and fellow Florence Trust Residency Artists have donated work to this great cause happening on Friday 8th April at Fold Gallery, near London Fields.

Silent Art Auction for Japan Relief

We need your help! Please come out and show your support for the victims of Japan!

Recent earthquakes, a tsunami and the ongoing Fukushima nuclear power Plant has devastated Japan and emotionally scared the millions who live there. The cleanup and recovery in Japan has only just begun but the country still has a long way to go before they can move on from these recent events.

They need our help more than ever. If only we could all fly over to bring them potable water, food and medical supplies, as well as help them with the daunting cleanup they still face.

Visiting Japan at this time is unrealistic for most of us. This raises the question: What can we do as Art Lovers to help? One thing we can do from London is hold a fundraiser. Even a small amount can help those who have lost their homes, their family members, their friends and their memories. With the support of London-based artists and Art Lovers we CAN do something.

In response to the crisis taking place in Japan, FOLD Gallery London will be holding a silent art auction on the 8th April 2011 from 6pm

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the British Red Cross, Japan Tsunami Appeal: Japan Relief which is helping earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. Established and emerging London-based artists have generously contributed artwork to FOLD Gallery London’s art auction. Artists include Edward Allington, Sarah Pickering and many more.

For one night, you will have the opportunity to bid and take home original works of art donated by passionate artists! Come out, show your support and have fun!

Bids will start at £20 (those who just HAVE to have it can “Buy Now!” for £100)

Time schedule for April 8th

18.00 gallery opens / start bidding!

19.45 close bidding

20.00 successful bidder make donation / handing over the work to successful bidder

(Payment options: cash or internet donation by credit card)

Silent auctions have no auctioneer. Those interested in a piece will place their bid on paper.

Fold Gallery, 32 Fortescue Avenue, E8 3QB

Facebook event

Limited edition prints

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 18 March, 2011

I’m pleased to announced the release of my first Limited Edition Prints which I have produced in collaboration with Rise Art. Given the opportunity to create two new pieces exclusively for the edition run I decided to embrace the printing process to achieve the sort of perfection usually impossible for a painter dealing with a wet and reactionary paint process. I have previously found myself spending time trying to recreate a particular finish with limited success. Each piece was painted with oils on paper with the foreground and background scanned and superimpose together. I decided to use the same background on each to challenge the idea of the pieces every existing in a form other than the finished composed print, through the printing process the works are completed. Both prints feature a Thames dolphin (mooring construction) which have been the subject of my recent series of works, both feature a metal Tripod form showing signs of age while still being distinctly different.

The sharpness of the veins of paint in the background flow beneath the image rooting the structure to a deep and rich earthy surround. While the central image reveals the brush marks and flicks of paint giving it the illusion of standing proud of the paper, this creates a similar contrast to my paintings which have a deep gloss background with a flat matt central image.

Details for both editions : Paper Size: 450mm x 600mm, Image: 373mm x 525mm, Archival Pigment Print on 315 gsm Cotton Rag paper with hand torn edges, Edition of 25

To purchase an Edition or find out more about Rise Art and the prints click here – Lisa & Matthew

Lisa (2011) Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag paper

Matthew (2011) Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag paper

November Newsletter

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 9 November, 2010

Andy Wicks - Igor - Oil on Polyester - 25.5 x 35.5 cm - 2010

You can see a copy of my latest email newsletter at the link below. Including… last chance to catch Superunknown, Painting as Prophecy interview and details of upcoming exhibition.

OpinionArted Judge

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 9 November, 2010

I will be returning to my old school tomorrow as a judge of a new Bromley schools art competition. Looking forward to catching up with some old faces and seeing the students work.

Sixth form art students from across the borough will be competing next month in an exhibition designed to celebrate the work of young artists who have messages to deliver through their art.

The OpinionArted Prize is being held for the first time at Darrick Wood School, in Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington next Wednesday

At the event, the art will be on show and awards will be given, judged by a panel of experts including professional artists, Andy Wicks and Maggie Higginson and Arts Consultant, Giselle Richardson who has worked with esteemed galleries such as the Serpentine Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, the V&A and Victoria Miro (Gallery).

The exhibition, organised by art teachers at Darrick Wood School, came about as a way of encouraging pupils to think about their work beyond a school setting.

Art teacher Anna German, said: “I want pupils to have the opportunity to enjoy the accomplishment of being involved in a selective exhibition.

“When they leave school and move on to Art colleges the environment can be highly competitive and this is hopefully a chance for our pupils to get a taste for this and feel confident about striving for success”.

Judge Giselle Richardson said: “I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to see the work of the next generation of artists”.

The OpinionArted exhibition is open to the public on Wednesday 10th November between 6 and 8pm at Darrick Wood School, Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, BR6 8ER.

Painting as Prophecy – Superunknown Interview

Posted in News, Writings by Andy Wicks on 15 October, 2010

Artist-Curators Andy Wicks and David Northedge discuss Superunknown, their exhibition currently at Edel Assanti which examines contemporary culture’s visualisation of the future.

What is the idea behind Superunknown and how did it come about?

Andy Wicks: Superunknown came about through a mutual fascination for the wealth of literature and film exploring dystopic landscapes and in particularly the work of JG Ballard who has influenced both of our practices for some time. The exhibition was built from wanting to delve further into these worlds with a mixture of artists to create a landscape of our own.

How do you think this exhibition builds on the current legacy of the superunknown? What does it add in a contemporary sense?

AW:The title actually came from Soundgarden’s album – Superunknown. We wanted to have a title with impact, something ambiguous and all encompassing. Superunknown seemed to have the grandeur needed to take on this subject matter, its the type of title which you could imagine with certain visual associated with it whether old B-movie / 60s or 70s Sci-fi novel. I hope that it adds something to the idea of the unknown, it’s our version, our prediction of what the future could hold. Superunknown is a show of contemporary artists at various points in their careers, each has a strong voice and vision within their work, hopefully in viewing this exhibition the audience will gets some sense of stepping into this world.

How did you choose the artists?

AW: The artists are a combination of people that David and I have encountered over the last few years, work that we’ve spotted in other exhibitions, recommendations from fellow artists and contacts made through art related jobs. They all have something within their work that shared the sort of the aesthetic we were going for. There has been a lot of dystopian and Ballard references in the visual arts over the last few years, since we started discussing the concept for the show there’s been Gagosian’s Crash exhibition, the homage to Ballard earlier in the year, prior to that a group of young artists put on a show at a warehouse belonging to Damien Hirst in South London, also called CrASH, along with many others across the country. We thought it would be good to have our own take on it, with artists that we admire and who we felt would create tight and interesting show.

Aside from Ballard’s Crash, which films and books have influenced your concept of the superunknown?

David Northedge: We both read a lot of Ballard before writing the proposal. I wouldn’t say Crash was the main influence, it’s more that Ballard has a great knack of prophesying the next five minutes, a kind of visionary present rather than a distant future land, and this runs through all his work.

AW: Reading the classics in my teens – Orwell and Huxley – those books really stick with you. Films such as Brazil, Battle Royale, The Terminator, 28 Days Later, and Children of Men, and then there’s been a heap of big post-apocalyptic CGI films out lately. What was refreshing was reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which really looks at the opposite end of things and strips it back to make it about a single relationship rather than a race. The whole melting pot of influences got us thinking and perhaps it was McCarthy that put us onto a more open idea of the unknown and hope.

How much of a political dimension is there in this exhibition, in relation to climate change for example? It seems to suggest the self-destructive tendencies of our age, the lack of self-regulation.

AW: We didn’t want the exhibition to be all doom and gloom, a lot of recent visions have shown total destruction in post apocalyptic worlds, and certain works in this show may have elements of that, but we also aimed to explore our hopes, dreams and fears. We wanted to show light with darkness, elements of the psychedelic and human spirit amongst chaos. Some of the works show toxic sky and destroyed worlds which can’t help but be political, even if they do so indirectly through referencing works of film and literature, many of the classic books were written as warnings to future generations about what could happen, whether its through control states or through human actions. I think the digital side of the exhibition has an interesting political angle, elements of pixels, matrix’s, static and markets, these data streams that fill all our lives, areas of communication which are new and growing rapidly which can’t be properly regulated, user generated content on the web – blogs such as this one.

Have the two of you curated many shows, either solo or together?

DN: We have worked on a few things together in the past, actually more so than individually. We did a two-man show on Vyner Street a couple of years ago which went well and it spiralled from there. Finding somebody who you feel comfortable working with and can rely on is difficult but invaluable. Just logistically putting on a show this size would have been a nightmare for an individual.

AW: While searching for the right space for Superunknown we put on a small three-person show called ULTRAMEGAOK in pop-up space in Hoxton. Along with our own work we also included Matthew Atkinson, so it kind of acted as a prelude to Superunknown and got us thinking more about how we would want to approach a larger version with further works of a similar aesthetic. This has certainly been the biggest thing we have done to date but having known and been in dialogue with the artists for some time it made the hang surprisingly easy with us both so familiar with the work.

How did you find it fulfilling two roles within the same show: as both exhibiting artist and as curator?

DN: When we first started talking about the show we drew up a list of about 15 artists who we felt could bring something to the Superunknown project. I thought that we had a good brief for the show, but we invited so many artists, because honestly, we were not sure whether we could attract people like Mike [Ashcroft] or Gordon [Cheung] to show with us. However almost everybody said yes, so we had to go from thinking about an intimate space to thinking about something much larger and more testing. So in the end it became much more about the project than our work. I think you need to remain objective about the show, to make it work as a whole rather than make it a crass ego trip.

AW: Including our own work in the show needed to be justified, we didn’t want it to be a token gesture so it had to feel coherent with the others. I set myself an earlier deadline to complete my painting, I guess I treated it like any other show, as if I hadn’t seen the brief before, so as to approach it with fresh eyes without the baggage of knowing what everyone else was putting in or how I could see it hanging. The last thing I wanted was to be worried about finishing a painting on top of having a heap of admin to do at the same time. Once I had finished at the studio I could put my curator’s hat on and enjoy the organizing and the practical side.

There’s an interesting mixture of abstraction and realism in the show. I’m thinking of the contrast between, for instance, Michael Ashcroft’s The Huntsville Times and Sayshun Jay’s Statictest. Do you feel that abstraction lends itself better to postulations of an unknown future?

DN: We didn’t want to be restricted to one or the other when selecting for the show. There is a novel by Ballard called The Atrocity Exhibition which is formed by many paragraphs of text which at first seem unrelated but slowly the imagery and subjects of these texts begin to resonate and an underlying story appears. I see the two disciplines of realism and abstraction within this show as a kind of drifting in and out of consciousness. You see something as definite as the image in Mike’s piece at the entrance of the second gallery and each piece after becomes more abstract until you reach the abrupt ending of Jay’s Statictest, in which so much and so little is happening simultaneously.

AW: A lot of the abstract work deals with the digital age, replacing contact and real world experience with a virtual landscape. I think both the abstract and the representational offer something of the unknown; with traditional landscape the viewer can either buy into a vision, or (perhaps naively) dismiss it as being too far fetched, whereas with the abstract it can be harder to call.

As you mention, traditional forms of landscape painting appear throughout the show. Was it your intention to use these traditions to highlight the difference between the past and a possible future, perhaps to cling on to the past?

DN: If it does that then it wasn’t intentional. Perhaps that happens more directly within Andy’s practice. Comparing the past to the present tends to polarize emotions into past equals comfort and reassurance, and the future being uncertain and daunting. We wanted to embrace the future in Superunknown and for it to be anything but the well-trodden cautionary tale routine.

AW: Alternatively I think some of these landscapes highlight similarities between the past and future: rather than being dramatically different it offers ideas of devolution and returning to a simpler, less developed state.

How does the superunknown operate specifically in your own work?

DN: I’m interested in beauty and vulgarity, or more specifically when one becomes the other. I source imagery from plastic surgery websites and society magazines. These images are manipulated through a painterly process which subverts the intention of the original image, onto which we are encouraged to map a fictionalized reality to achieve our individual hopes and dreams, turning it into something nightmarish.

AW: The painting I’m showing in this exhibition, Earl, is the continuation of a series I’ve been working on which explore derelict structures, they are set against rusting back drops which take the object out of their surrounds recreating it as a floating abstract form, devoid of context or history. Earl depicts a wooden dolphin in the river Thames, they are posts or structures which boats would have been moored to but are now mostly rotting away. I like the fact that they still exist in the modern day as a relic to an industrial past. Its the sort of element I could imagine in a landscape torn apart, objects that no longer serves a purpose but has survived until now and could continue to exist amongst our more modern surroundings of high rise and cars.

Painting – Sponsorship opportunity

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 18 July, 2010

As part of my residency I am giving people the opportunity to invest in my year at the Florence Trust by sponsoring me for a months studio fee in exchange for a painting of your choice from a selection of pieces. For £250 you can not only support my adventure and assist with the creation of a new work but also get to own an original painting at a bargain price.

For further information and a selection of the available paintings please email me

Colin (3) – 25.4 x 35.5 cm – Oil on polyester – 2010

July Newsletter

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 18 July, 2010

Studio Party

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 3 May, 2010

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We opened our studio up to friends and contacts on Friday 30th April to great success. The pulling power of free wine, a selection of cheese, biscuits and chutney along with some art was too much to turn down with people turning up in droves, as well as invited guests we even had a few lost souls wandering Vyner Street on a Friday night (perhaps confusing Deptford Last Friday for our First Thursday, eitherway a great time was had by all). My studio mates and I last opened up during the Acava Open studio weekend in August last year, while we had a large turn out it felt more pressured and more of a show and tell as apposed to the relaxed party we enjoyed on this occasion, not that our latest creations weren’t on display but it seemed easier to have honest and open discussions with  the changing faces. I showed mostly new works in progress and found it helpful to have input and share ideas with our guests, some helpful, some playful and some damn right odd (two people commented that a new painting of a decommissoned RAF bunker looked like a cat, infact someone said it looked like a specific cat from children television.. most worrying!)

Studio portrait – Artists In the

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 18 April, 2010

Andy Wicks, Vyner Street by Dredd, 2009

In May 2009 Dutch artist and photographer Dredd visited my studio block to meet one of my studio mates, Dredd has been travelling across Europe for the past 2 years photographing artists in their studio and documenting his journey and the people he meets on his website The only thing is we don’t actually recognise any of the artists as they all appear with their back to the camera framed by their studios of various sizes and uses, its a facinating site to spend some time on if not simply for the voyeur in you to sneak into the otherwise private world of the artist studio or  if your like me,  to stir jeolousy of those blessed with expansive studios. Dredd arrived at my door via a friend of my studio mate, based in Berlin, it seems that he travels Germany, Holland and occasional England following leads given at each location. Having shot many well known contemporary artists, including most recently Luc Tuymans it was a fantastic opportunity to take part in his project. This was taken soon after I moved in to the Vyner Street space which explains the rather empty and paint free walls, the large grey canvas is what became Fred, 2009.