Andy Wicks Paints Blog

London Art Fair 2012

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 9 January, 2012

I’m going to be showing with Rise Art in the Art Projects section (stand P29) of the London Art Fair. My 2009 painting Fred will feature alongside a selection of original works and prints by Avigail Talmor, Ting-Ting Cheng, Chris Shaw Hughes and Edd Pearman.

The Art Projects section features many other project spaces and galleries include Edel Assanti (who hosted Superunknown in 2010) and Hannah Barry while Limoncello and Serpentine will both be showing a selection of their print editions.

The fair runs from 18th – 22nd January at The Business Design Centre, Islington.

Fred 122 x 121 cm Oil on Canvas 2009

Londonist Article

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 8 January, 2012

The Londonist have written a small article on my work as part of their London artists series, which looks at artists who take the city as inspiration. You can see the article here

Phoenix Magazine – Interview

Posted in News, Writings by Andy Wicks on 24 July, 2011

Andy Wicks with Fred (2009)

Photography: Loren Lazić-Duffy

What do you get if cross Facebook with an art gallery? The answer might well be Rise Art, a community based art platform that offers up and coming artists the chance to sell their work, and fans of art the opportunity to purchase original pieces at affordable prices from as little as £50.

Co-founder Scott Phillips, explains, “Rise Art helps anyone discover amazing work from a curated selection of talented artists. We work with top emerging artists, as chosen by our community and Board of Curators. Working directly with each artist to produce exclusive, original prints in strictly limited quantities’. Owning a piece of genuinely inspired and beautiful art has never been so easy or affordable with pieces starting at £50.”

Phillips continues “Whether you are a first time buyer or avid collector, Rise Art helps you discover and connect with a wide array of emerging artists in a fun, social platform.”

Words: Chloe Di Chiara (Phoenix Magazine, July 2011)

Andy Wicks, Alma Haser & Dai Roberts

Andy Wicks
Graduated from Middlesex University in 2006
What sort of person would buy your art?
I imagine someone maybe a young professional. Someone who engages with the city and urban landscapes but also wants something a bit more vivid and expressive.
What media do you use, what is the process?
I work in oil, but it’s very much a two-part process – my paintings consist of a background that dries for two weeks. Then I do a lot more desk-based painting, with much more detail, the top layer is a lot more flat.
What has Rise Art done for you?
They have been great. Making a print edition in collaboration with them is quite unique. Since then they have been quite good at backing me and promoting my exhibitions and just looking at different ways to connect with a market and the wider art world.
What have you been up to since leaving university?
I’ve been practicing and I haven’t really taken a break – I worked for an art framing company and met a lot of artists. I would recommend any kind of job to a student that can get your near to artists!
What’s next for you?
At the moment I am doing a year long residency at The Florence Trust [a studio space for selected artists set within a Grade 1 listed church], hopefully there will be opportunities from there.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Just look at lots of exhibitions, find out what you like and enjoy, and start to develop your ideas and try things. When you’re young it’s good to not be too defined at that stage.
What inspires you?
I guess my current work, it’s very urban and about the city in a very abstract way. As part of the process of researching I walk along the river Thames with my camera.

Art Basel report

Posted in Florence Trust, Writings by Andy Wicks on 23 June, 2011

This is the extended version of ‘Making Sense of Art Basel’ originally published on Rise Art.

In keeping with Lorena’s article ‘Trading Places’, the question ‘Are art fairs the new blockbuster exhibitions?’ kept running through my head as I wrote my review of last week’s edition of Art Basel.

As part of The Florence Trust studio residency each year gets to go on a summer’s art trip, previous years have seen Glasgow and Liverpool biennale so when it was announced we would be going to Basel the excitement was clear to be seen. This would be my first visit to Switzerland and my first art fair outside of London. We flew on an early flight on Tuesday morning ready to catch the VIP preview. Walking through the airport to our departure gate should have been a clue of the world I was about to step into, with a YBA, a couple of famous gallerists, critics and numerous faces all etched into my consciousness who I was unable to place at such an ungodly hour. This budget airline flight contained the sort of art elite not usually found canned in to no thrills travel. As an artist, the idea of the art fair doesn’t excite me as it would the gallerists, collectors and maybe even the general public.  But walking onto that flight was a real kick.

Art Basel Entrance

‘Art Basel’ is the main fair, while there are a handful of satellite fairs spread across the city as well as special events and late night openings at many of the museums. I must confess that I probably spent the least time at the main fair. But I did make sure I caught the UK galleries – Modern Art, White Cube, Sadie Coles etc and some of their European and American counterparts. But to be honest I didn’t have the stamina to compete with the excited moneymen and hangers on at the VIP preview.

Art Unlimited joins the main fair building at Messeplatz. It’s a large hanger style building and offers large curated site specific projects of individual works by big name artists. Each showing with their respective galleries but unlike the fair these aren’t manned sales booths. On the side of Unlimited was Art Statements which I would compare with the Frieze’s Frame, an area for solo presentation from younger galleries held within the main fair. I enjoyed Rodeo (Istanbul) who presented work by Emre Hüner who took Fordlandia (a city Henry Ford built in the amazon to extract rubber to produce tires) as inspiration for a varied set of sculpture and drawing of this failed utopian.

Rodeo Istanbul, Emre Hüner installation (Photo credit to Art Basel)

Other pieces of interest at Art Unlimited were Sarah Morris’ film Points on a Line which explored the Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House. As well as David Zink Yi’s Untitled (Architeuthis), a giant squid of legend recreated in ceramics and coated in copper and lead secreting an oily solution.

David Zink Yi’s Untitled (Architeuthis) - Art Unlimited

Outside of the main fairs there was plenty to see, with free shuttle buses linking you from one to another. Volta is set further out from the centre of town and had a far more relaxed feel to it which made for a more enjoyable experience. Although it wasn’t particularly busy so I’m not sure how the galleries felt? There were a number of British galleries on display here including Nettie Horn, Room Gallery, Vegas Gallery and Madder 139 who had some interesting G.L Brierley paintings. While former Vyner Street stalwart David Risley showed a good group of painters with his now Copenhagen based gallery.

Liste Poster Design

My favourite of the fairs was definitely Liste, which shows galleries no more than 5 years old and artists under 40 (much like our own Zoo art fair). It was set in a stunning former brewery Wartech just off the North bank of The Rhine and had a much cooler feel to it with challenging spaces to hang works. The show definitely had a more curated hang compared to Art Basel and gave off the impression of project spaces rather than Salon hung sales booths. There was a conceptual feel throughout with a leaning towards sculptures and installations; good examples of these were Limoncello, Hotel (both UK) and Liudvikas Buklys solo presentation with Tulips & Roses (Belgium).

Liste Art Fair

Other events I took in over the 4 days were Francis Alys’ Fabiola at The Schaulager, a reconfigured version of the show seen at The National Portrait last year, here mixed in to their permanent collection. The beautiful Foundation Beyeler, which can be found a 20 minute tram ride out of Basel, had an incredible show of Constantin Brancusi & Richard Serra in the Renzo Piano designed building (famous for Pompidou centre). Not forgetting the Swiss Art Prize which saw the Florence Trust’s very own Annelore Schneider take home an award as part of (collectif_fact) with collaborator Claude Piguet. Some of our group got to the Museum Tinguely which was heaped in praise for his kinetic sculptures and interactive displays, there was also a high profile exhibition ‘Car Fetish. I drive, therefore I am’ – definitely one for next time!

The party of the week had to be the Vitra party at the famous Vitra Campus (just over the German boarder). A stunning location with buildings and structures by a who’s who list of celebrity architects, including Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry amongst others. The sun was shinning, DJ playing from the Jean Prouvé designed Petrol Station/come DJ booth for the night and delicious never ending supply of Canapés and drinks.

Vitrahaus, Vitra Campus

So are art fairs the new blockbuster exhibitions? Through my artist tinted specs I would compare art fairs to theme park. They offer entertainment for the masses with short lived thrills, and after so many paintings I know I saw some good pieces but I would struggle to name more than a handful of them. With high price entry and long queues it’s certainly not how I would choose to view art, no matter how good. But what the art fair does do, especially in a place like Basel, is to ignite a city for a week and open up all the museums for people to explore. In London our commercial galleries open shows of their biggest sellers to coincide with Frieze, whereas Basel seemed to have institutions from across the spectrum celebrating all things art and design. To me Basel was more exciting when I went outside of the main fair to some of the stunning museums that open all year round. But with a record 65,000+ people in attendance this year who can argue with the formula?

If a blockbuster exhibition is a high profile, glitzy affair then maybe the art fair is just that. The blockbuster is something our museums should be producing. However with cuts in funding in the UK I believe it’s the private patrons and blue chip galleries of this world that truly have the ability to produce a blockbuster exhibition without the claustrophobic fair setting. Just look at Gagosian’s (Britannia Street, London) Picasso and Crash (A Homage to JG Ballard) exhibitions last year – epic in resources and scale without compromising the viewer.

Rise Art Launch – Pop up exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 4 June, 2011

Last week Rise Art had their first offline exhibition to celebrate their launch and display the prints produced by myself and fellow Select Artists. The event was a great success and good chance to meet the other artists and discuss my work. Here are some photos from the event which was hosted at Luna & Curious in Old Street, alongside the prints was an installation of wall paintings, screen prints and sculpture by Dai Roberts.

Rise Art Select Artists Andy Wicks, Dai Roberts, Alma Haser and Erik Bendix

Dai Roberts' UNIT installation

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


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