Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Andy Wicks – Interview January 2012

Posted in News, Writings by Andy Wicks on 29 January, 2012

Here’s a recent interview I did for Claudio Parentela’s blog, you can see more interviews here www.elvisinh.blogspot.com

Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born on the southern edge of London, a world of commuters and slightly wider streets. I spend most of my time in east London these days where I have my studio practice and do a bit of technician work.

How would you describe your work?

I’m interested in the city and the role it plays in our lives. I enjoy walking paths and looking for things that others may miss, subtle oddities in the environment that take my imagination. My current body of work has taken River Thames mooring structures (dolphins) as an motif for a forgotten past, one of the remaining elements of the River’s (and the city’s) shipping heritage. Still rooted to the mudbanks but gently rotting away with the movement of the tide. There’s a form of romantic longing and storytelling held within these structures for me. The paintings I’ve make as a result walk a line between the heavy ugly brutality of their construction (rotting and rusting colours) and a simplistic beauty in their form.

Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?

I wouldn’t say one person did as such, but growing up I enjoyed playing with art materials. I would always be painting and drawing on family holidays even from a young age. While at school it became apparent that the only subject I really cared about was the art lesson so I just took each opportunity to study further until I got to the stage that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite medium?

I work mainly with oil paint and use resins to create a flat layered surface to work on to. I enjoy the constant discovery of the medium, the way it can be manipulated to perform in numerous ways on the same canvas.

Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?

The world around me informs my ideas, often from walking somewhere with my camera and having an appreciation for the undervalued.

How long does it take to complete a piece?

With long drying times especially using resin I usually have a few canvases on the go at once. They can take anything from a couple of weeks to few months. I don’t tend to come back to unfinished pieces, if they aren’t working for me I move on to something that has more potential.

Who are your favorite artists…and who are some artists you are currently looking/listening to?

My tastes are split down the middle between ‘clean’ abstraction (Tobias Lehner, Thomas Scheibitz) and a more out their ‘messy’ approach (Albert Oehlen, Anselm Kiefer). I guess I should also say I’m particular into German artist if that wasn’t already apparent… I’m also into the work of Gert & Uwe Tobias who are known for producing large woodcuts but their output also includes sculpture, collage, drawing all tided together through interest exhibition design.

Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

I’m not represented but try to be proactive when it comes to exhibiting opportunities. I had a painting in the London Art Fair recently and have two group shows coming up in April/May, both are the debut exhibitions for new project spaces in South London; Collectible at Zeitgeist Project Space in New Cross and Past and Present at Occupy my Time in Deptford. I’m also looking forward to making my first sculpture which will be on display at WW Gallery’s Patio Projects in July, which is part of a public art commission series.

Do you have any ‘studio rituals’? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

I prefer to get into the studio early and ease into the day by looking at what I’ve been working on, I also need to get in early as I know I can procrastinate with my ritual of catching up on the news so I try to build that into my day. I usually have music playing while working but don’t feel that I need a particular sound to get me in the mood for work, if I’m in the mood I’ll get stuff done, the music just keeps me going.

What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e) tactile sensation?

A hard question to answer.. a/ taste is best when when unexpected flavours work together but I like spicy things b/ the sound of the sea, seagulls & a gentle wind blowing c/ an uninterrupted landscape of rolling hills and openness d/ burning coals (or the non romantic answer – hot tarmac & petrol) e/ cold soft powdery snow.

Do you have goals that you are trying to reach as an artist, what is your ‘drive’? What would you like to accomplish in your ‘profession’?

I push myself to be better, to enjoy the journey and grow with each opportunity. I am very driven and like most artists I never really switch off, but at that level of involvement with your own practice and the surround artworld you have to love it to keep the level of energy up.

When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

I suppose I am part of first home computer generation (a child of the 80s) . I was an early starter with websites and actually brought my domain name in my mid teens while at school to show my developing art activities. I now rely on the web to communicate what i’m up to and have found Twitter to be a great tool for networking, I also blog regularly and use Mail Chimp for exhibition mailing list. I find using a mix of social media and websites keeps me connected and up to date with goings on and helps get my work to new audiences (such as being asked to take part in online interviews!).

What do you obsess over?

Career, life/work balance, quality of work produced etc. Its all to easy for an artist to get obsessed by everything but generally I try to keep a balanced head and get on with it.

Do you have prefered working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?

I recently did a year long residency at the Florence Trust (a charitable artist studio program in a Grade 1 listed church in North London), while there I worked full days up to 7 days a week. An amazing experience but not possible for a sustained existence living in an expensive city. I’m a freelance art technician so now have a mix of odd days off in the week, evenings and weekends. I prefer an early start and have full days but realise I have to make do whenever I have the opportunity.

Do you do commissioned works?

I’ve done a few bits for friends and family but even those I found stressful and incongruous with my usual way of working.

Any tips for emerging artists?

A visiting tutor said to me on my foundation that the only reason why he didn’t get further with his art is he didn’t have the energy for it. At the time I was worried I didn’t have the drive and determination to make a go of it but I knew I enjoyed making work. Over time I saw people around me get opportunities and have some form of success, as a young artist a group of peers is an invaluable thing, a great motivator and education in the workings of the system. Don’t expect too much too soon but love what you do and observe others. Don’t wait for opportunities but create them – organise shows, studio groups, meet people and engage.

Your contacts

www.andywicks.co.uk
www.twitter.com/andywickspaints

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Tag: From 3 to 36 – New London Painting

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 5 January, 2010

I mentioned this show in a blog entry last month, it opens Thursday and the full list of artists can be found below.

January 7 – February 6, 2010
Opening Reception: January 7 from 6-8PM

Tag: From 3 to 36 – New London Painting

For the exhibition – Tag – Three London-based painters have each been asked to invite one other London-based painter they like or admire, who will then invite another, and so on. This has resulted in 36 artists being invited to participate, each with their own unique style of painting.

Tag was a way to allow each artist to ‘curate’ or organize the next step in the exhibition, in a similar way to exquisite corpse, where each person asked to contribute is aware of the person who precedes and follows, but is unaware of what is being contributed. Similarities appear between artists within each tagged thread, often marking a close understanding of the invited painter’s work. Viewers may examine each work, and decipher influences or contrasting differences.

Tag also perhaps gives a better survey of current London-based painting than a single organizer could give – as abstract and figurative painters, recent graduates and more established artists, and a variety of mediums and sizes are shown here side by side.

The rules each artist received when asked to participate were the same:

Each participating artist must be a painter who resides in Greater London
Each person must contribute one painting, smaller than 90 x 90 cm
Each artist will ask one other artist to participate, until 15 artists are included in each thread

As there was a given time frame, many artists were quick to respond and participate. However, as any exhibition with rules would likely discover, the rules can also break down. In one thread, an artist was unresponsive after agreeing to participate, leaving a short space of time to try and finish the chain. Therefore, another artist was asked in their place, who then asked two artists in order to try and create separate branches and a longer thread. Although this thread is still the shortest of the three, this directional shift adds greatly to the basic idea of Tag – that surprises and turns in an exhibition, or an artist’s work, trump any rules.

Artist List
(In order within the three threads. Underlined names are the initial three artists who were asked to contribute by Brown)

Gabriel Hartley
Mali Morris
Alex Scarfe
Stewart Cliff
Tom Livesey
Tom Bull
David Northedge
Andy Wicks
Alex Carmichael
Lyle Perkins
Geraldine Swayne
Howard Dyke
Clare Price
Stephanie Moran
Marcus Cope

Rannva Kunoy
Alexis Marguerite Teplin
Sophie von Hellerman
Cullinan + Richards
Milena Dragicevic
David R. Fenwick

Luke Rudolf
Annie Hemond Hotte
Gorka Mohamed
Robin Kirsten
Jill Mason
Tim Ellis
Jack Newling
Angus Sanders-Dunnachie
Yohei Yashi
Yo Okada
Miho Sato
Juan Bolivar
Karen David
Lee Maelzer
Dale Adcock

BROWN
Lower Ground Floor
42 Hoxton Square
London N1 6PB
+44 (0)20 7729 1290
http://www.browngallery.co.uk
info@browngallery.co.uk

Private view images

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 11 December, 2009

We had a fantastic opening with many faces from the past and some new contacts, we also had a reviewer from an online blog come along so hopefully a good write up will bring get us some more people through the door. We’re opening Thursday – Sunday until 20th December, 12 – 7 pm, come along to The Framery, its number 3 with the bright red door.

Here are a few shots from the opening, i’m going to try and take some proper images of the paintings soon.

The Artists (from left to right) Andy Wicks, David Northedge & Matthew Atkinson

ULTRAMEGAOK – Matthew Atkinson, David Northedge & Andy Wicks

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 6 December, 2009

Flyers –Press Release –
Ultramegaok brings together 3 emerging British painters in an exhibition at the ‘pop up space’ The Framery, a disused office within spitting distance of Hoxton Square’s galleries and bars. Matthew Atkinson, David Northedge and Andy Wicks each reference a moribund and derelict world within their work yet beyond the darkness lurks a nostalgia and warmth.

Ultramegaok refers to Soundgarden’s 1988 debut album (Ultramega OK), an album full of youthful enthusiasm which singer Chris Cornell later stated, “we really liked the songs on that record but we were disappointed in the production. We were sort of making fun of the finished product”.

Even during a global recession the numbers of artists looking to exhibit is as competitive as ever, in an art world where space is hard to come by, the falling of banks and gloom for businesses has given rise to the pop up space with artists taking advantage of the climate and showing their work any which way they can. With this exhibition the artists are forgoing the gallery system and its glossy production values to show works fresh from the studio in its unadulterated state.

In an ironic twist, many of these paintings relate to space, whether it’s physical, personal or emotional. The spaces created or revealed in these works may no longer exist having been a passing memory revived in the moment by brush mark, or erased from their physical landscape as an unwanted reminder of our past, creating new space and profit.

Matthew Atkinson presents a new body of work entitled ‘NeverNeverWorld’ in which curious and whimsically created landscapes sourced from Disneyland Tokyo are imbued with a deliberate sense of the ‘Grand Style’. Promoted by the Royal Academy the grand style was considered the most elevated form of art, dealing with moral themes in the universalizing language of classical idealism. The Landscapes depicted are found in Disneyland’s Critter Country. These are seemingly vacuous themed structures, albeit, created to provide a different and novel experience that transports the public into another world; ‘NeverNeverWorld’. Themes provide a veneer of meaning and symbolism, infusing this in the structures is deemed to make them more attractive and interesting than they would otherwise be. In doing so Disney creates a falsifying veneer of historical meaning and purpose that does not in reality exist. These paintings explore ideas of Disneyfication and Disneyization to communicate and convey the wider political debates and criticisms surrounding Disney’s autonomous (NeverNever)World.

David Northedge creates paintings formed of images which are primarily taken from art history, glossy magazines, medical books and other found resources. The images are built into each painting a layer at a time often on a large scale resulting in an excessive cocktail of the lurid and superficial. Themes of vanity and desire are delivered in slick surfaces which are the antithesis of the smaller works which expose the scaffolding of these airbrushed dreams.

Andy Wicks’s work takes reference from concrete and steel, weather systems, rust, and decay, the pieces are executed through a gestural technique which involves the dripping of liquid veils of paint contrasted with thicker applications of oil. The weeping paint serves almost as a reverse-wash, a tear-stained window through which we see geometric forms that float ominously. These paintings take iconic but unsightly buildings and reinvents their bold hulking forms as semi abstracted silhouettes set against a rusting landscape. The loss of context and surrounds simultaneously harshens and softens their architectural power, without modern new builds or empty wasteland to compete with, these piercing form become timeless in an acid dream. Wicks’ paintings have their titles taken from the list of Atlantic Hurricane names, which imbues each piece with a gender, life and a personality of their own while this arbitrary system disguises each pieces real world point of reference.