Art Archives - whynow

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An Interview: Episode 13

Gideon Summerfield

British artist, Gideon Summerfield preserves the legacy of World War 2 veterans and Holocaust survivors with his deeply personal portrait paintings.
An Interview: Episode 12

Arthur Timothy

Artist Arthur Timothy describes his paintings as ‘love letters’ to his family. Inspired by a trunk of old black and white photos, his life-size canvases invoke childhood memories.
An Interview: Episode 12

Duggie Fields

British artist, Duggie Fields took us to Brompton Cemetery to share his experience of coming of age in the swinging sixties, and how it shaped his unique creative style. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Duggie Fields.
Up Next: SO2 EP02

Ziad Kaki

Ziad Kaki’s vibrant canvases depict enigmatic figures in intriguing compositions. In the latest episode of UpNext, the Saudi Arabian artist describes how moving to London unleashed his creativity and helped him develop his style.
Open House: Episode 09

Rebecca Gilpin

Rebecca Gilpin creates visual rhythms on canvas. In episode 9, she tells us how listening to music shaped her latest series, Magic Carpet ride; and why the sea plays an important role in her work.
Up Next: SO2 EP01

Koby Martin

Koby Martin’s arresting canvases are saturated with emotion. He paints his life experiences, confronting difficult subject matter head on, including leaving Ghana as a teenager and the death of his father.
Open House: Episode 08

Lucia Fraser

Lucia Fraser reimagines the natural world in her serene paintings and ceramics. In episode 8, she tells us about her new series Flux, and why a trip to Iceland inspired a new way of working.
An Interview: Episode 10

Wilfrid Wood

Wilfrid Wood transforms well-known faces into playful, yet uncanny portraits. The artist invites us into his studio and explains why, to him, the human face is the most fascinating thing in the universe.
Open House: Episode 07

Sara Dodd

Sara Dodd’s intricate sculptures are formed using delicate layers of ceramic with no obvious start or end. In episode 7, she explains how her garden became a major influence in lockdown, and how subtle colourways express tone and emotion.
Open House: Episode 06

Tom White

Tom White’s colourful oils explore the vulnerability of the human condition. In episode 6 of Open House, he takes us through his artistic journey from pop culture to deeply personal self-portraits.

Open House: Episode 05

Emma Elliott

Emma Elliott’s beautiful sculptures deliver a vital message to humanity about the fragility of our ecosystem. In episode 5 of Open House, she invites us into her studio where she turns centuries-old marble into striking, relevant and challenging pieces.
Open House: Episode 04

Ian Bruce

Ian Bruce describes painting portraits as “somewhere between a haircut and a therapy session”. In episode 4 of Open House, he shows us how he’s adapted his intimate methods to lockdown, and finally found the time to launch his long-imagined animation project.
Open House: Episode 03

Millie Suu Kyi

Millie Suu Kyi’s ceramics and illustrations depict personality traits through playful characters and vivid scenes, inspired by childhood nostalgia. In episode three of Open House, she shows us how lockdown is shaping her work, and shares her hopes for the future of the arts.
Open House: Episode 02

Conor Rogers

Conor Rogers’ intricate miniatures of daily life in the north of England are authentic, emotive depictions of working-class society. In the second episode of Open House, he takes us round his studio where discarded objects become the canvases for his work.
Open House: Episode 01

Pie Herring

Pie Herring’s vivid, visceral depictions of womanhood are both disarming and exhilarating. In the first episode of Open House, the artist invites us into her studio to explain why lockdown isn’t holding her back.
Outsider Art: Episode 07

Colin Rhodes

Writer, artist and educator Professor Colin Rhodes is an expert on Outsider Art. The author of Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives, here he lends his historical and authoritative knowledge to help demystify the medium and discuss its origins.
An Interview: Episode 06

Christopher Bucklow

We visited Christopher Bucklow’s Somerset studio, where he creates dream-like portraits through experimental pinhole photography.
An Interview: Episode 05

Alex Israel

We sat down with LA based artist Alex Israel inside his new show "Always On My Mind" at the Gagosian in London.
Outsider Art: Episode 06

Donald Pass

We unearthed lost tapes from outsider artist Donald Pass. Here he describes the experiences which inspired the angels and resurrected souls who populate his art.
Decades: Episode 05

Grayson Perry

We met with potter, painter and tapestry maker Grayson Perry in his London studio to hear how his worked changed from 2005-2015. The artist explained his journey from art to television and why he chooses to work with clay and weaving.
Up Next: Episode 05

Sam Monaghan

Experimenting with dyes and pushing the line between art and fashion Samuel Monaghan is Creative Director of Second Best. We sat down with Monaghan to hear how his work has been shaped by his northern heritage and adopting the mentality of the hardcore scene.
Decades: Episode 04

Marc Quinn

Contemporary artist and visionary Marc Quinn has, quite literally, shed blood for his art. Perhaps his most well-known work, Self, creates a cast of his head with ten pints of his own blood, and is remade every five years. Discussing his entrance into the world of art, permanence and impermanence in his work, and his interest in how ‘art makes itself’, Quinn looks over the years 1981-91 for our ‘Decades’ series. 
Outsider Art: Episode 05

Henry Boxer

Henry Boxer is one of the finest British experts and dealers of outsider art. His gallery – The Henry Boxer Outsider Art Gallery – is the leading gallery of its kind in the UK, representing the works of over 120 artists. There are, therefore, few people better-placed to discuss this particular artistic sphere as part of our ‘Outsider Art’ series.
Up Next: Episode 04

Ania Hobson

Portrait artist Ania Hobson is gaining all the plaudits for her work, leading most notably to her winning the Young Artist BP Portrait Award last year. With a degree in fine art, as well as having studied Portraiture at the Florence Academy of Art and at the Princes Drawing School, there’s no limit to what Hobson can achieve.
Outsider Art: Episode 04

Albert Louden

‘I’ve just worked on my own’: the succinct words of Albert Louden, used to sum up his colorful, creative and solo pursuit in the art world. Here he shares his thoughts with whynow as part of our ‘Outsider Art’ series.
Decades: Episode 01

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin needs no introduction. After leaving school with no qualifications at thirteen, Emin went on to become one of the leading figures of Britart. Here she discusses her growth through the 80s and her adoration for art.
Outsider Art: Episode 03

Vivienne Roberts

Vivienne Roberts, curator at The College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington, began her journey into the spirit art through her interest in the visionary Madge Gill. Here Roberts discuss Gill’s cryptic work as well as other pieces in The College’s archive.
Up Next: Episode 03

Alex May Hughes

Alex May Hughes is a sign painter hooked on glass leaf, which she uses for her bright and bold designs. For our ‘Up Next’ series she talks us through her technique, the importance of signs and her love for The Simpsons.
Outsider Art: Episode 02

George Widener

Savant and former Cold War spy George Widener has turned his fascination with calendars into an artistic pursuit. He is now an internationally-renowned artist and speaks to whynow about his craft, calculating chaos and predicting the future for our ‘Outsider Art’ series.
An Interview: Episode 03

Ivor Braka

Ivor Braka has established himself as a leading London based art dealer specialising in major works from the likes of Picasso, Francis Bacon and Paula Rego.
Outsider Art: Episode 01

Richard C Smith

Richard C Smith is a self-taught Outsider Artist, represented by the Henry Boxer Gallery in London. From the sixties to nineties, Smith led a turbulent life due to drug dependency, spending time in prison and working as a grave digger.

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Hogarth: London Voices, London Lives

William Hogarth’s remarkable series, A Rake’s Progress, famously depicted a morality tale of the city and was bought by Sir John Soane to hang at Pitzhanger, to inspire and entertain his guests. For the first time in 200 years, it has returned as the centrepiece of our exhibition, reflecting voices and issues in London today.

c-Ω-n-t-α-c-t review

c-Ω-n-t-α-c-t takes central London as its stage, and an internal monologue as its soundtrack. What happens when distinctions – between audience and actor, you and me – melt away?

Stendhal at the Drive-Thru

The art world has come up with some ingenious solutions in response to the pandemic; but there’s no substitute to seeing art in real life. How will these new, improvised contexts shape the way we experience art?

Conor Murgatroyd mixes Hockney and Magritte

From his studio in Bermondsey, Conor chats about his hometown of Bradford, his artistic influences, his time working in construction and how he uses painting to explore his origins.

If a tree falls in Nordmarka forest

Katie Paterson’s Future Library sees 1000 trees planted in Nordmarka forest outside Oslo; they’ll be used in a century’s time to make the paper for the project’s eventual anthology. But what does it mean to write for readers you’ll never meet? And what kind of world will Future Library’s texts be released into?

A Conversation with Kojo Marfo

Kojo Marfo does not seek to divide, he strives for universality. The rising star wants to express frustrations, anxieties, fears, and social pressures through the intimate setting of the canvas.

A Conversation with Jiab Prachakul

whynow speaks to Jiab Prachakul. The Thai-born, self-taught artist found life-changing inspiration at a Hockney retrospective and was the 2020 BP Portrait Award winner with her painting Night Talk.

Love, Desire, Death

Seven of Titian’s masterworks have been united for the first time in over four centuries at the National Gallery. A spellbinding exhibition that elucidates why this man was known by his contemporaries as the 'Sun Amidst Small Stars'. 

‘Uncertain times and gelatinous lines’ — review of Philip Guston’s What Endures

Philip Guston broke away from Abstract Expressionism in the 60s to create cartoonish works for which he was initially slated. Now, Guston’s daughter has selected from her father’s vast body of work — which includes paintings considered some of the most important of the 20th century — to find resonances with our present, uncertain times.

‘My garden’s boundaries are the horizon’ – Derek Jarman at the Garden Museum

Derek Jarman – filmmaker, painter, author, gardener – bought Prospect Cottage on Dungeness beach in 1987. Undeterred by his AIDS diagnosis and the harsh conditions of the landscape, he transformed the cottage into a place “to get as much out of life as possible”. See his work at the Garden Museum from now until 20th September.

Fine feathers make fine artworks, with Kate MccGwire

Like many people, artist Kate MccGwire loves feathers. But while most people would think of exotic birds such as peacocks, MccGwire looks to birds from her native England – pigeons, crows, geese, and pheasants – and repurposes their feathers to create exquisite works of art.

Virtual Gonzo 4 – there’s no sugar-coating Kara Walker

This series sees us excavating Google Street View’s buried treasures. In 2014, a forty-foot sphinx stood guard over an abandoned sugar factory in Brooklyn, the first large-scale project by Kara Walker. We went to raid the tomb, a site that has since turned into condominiums and office space.

Spring in Art 6 – The Bored Girls of Spring, Part Two

Inspired by David Hockney’s ‘Do remember they can’t cancel spring’, we’re exploring springtime in art history. This time it’s more bored women in white dresses, images which uncannily echo our own time of isolation.

Spring in Art 5: The Bored Girls of Spring, Part One

Inspired by David Hockney’s ‘Do remember they can’t cancel spring’, we’re exploring springtime in art history. This time it’s Whistler’s ‘The Little White Girl’, introducing a new sub-genre in spring in art – bored women in white dresses, images which uncannily echo our own time of isolation.

Virtual Gonzo 3 – Reaching for The Line

This series sees us travelling the world on Street View — though this time the destination is closer to home. Having never visited London’s first dedicated public art walk, we thought there was no time like the present to walk The Line.

Virtual Gonzo 2 – Locked up with Ai Weiwei

From lockdown to Lock Up, we travel to the rocky shores of the world’s most notorious prison – on Google Street View. In 2014, Alcatraz housed Ai Weiwei’s @Large exhibition, which interrogates the nature of freedom and our attempts to restrict it.

‘A double dream of spring’ — Spring in Art 4

Inspired by David Hockney’s ‘Do remember they can’t cancel spring’, we’re exploring springtime throughout art history. This time, we Goldilocks around for an image of the spring we’re all living through, and we find our ‘just right’ in an unexpected place.

‘It all existed online and now it exists in real life’ – the rising stock of Furmaan Ahmed

It’s not often a Central Saint Martins student has already worked with the likes of Willow Smith, Kate Moss and David LaChaepelle before they graduate. Then again, the idiosyncrasy of Furmaan Ahmed is by no means ordinary. Holly Gibbs, a CSM grad herself, has gleaned the honest account of how this unique image-maker went from young boy in a strict Muslim community, to fully expressive creator.

Savage Salvation – Titian’s Painted Poetry

Titian’s inimitable ‘poesie’ series is hanging in the (empty) National Gallery, reuniting a half-dozen canvases for the first time in centuries. Transposing eternal themes to immediate and earthly bodies, Ovid’s stories travel through millennia, via paint, to land intact in 21st century laps.

London Mithraeum, a small bastion of the past

The memory of the London Mithraeum made Arts Editor Raphael Tiffou more appreciative of the bankers, the buses, and the birds, than frustrated that he would not meet Samuel Pepys or the Kray twins as he ascended from the depths.

‘Raw, visceral impressions’ – Steve McQueen at Tate Modern

Tate Modern presents the first survey of Steve McQueen’s work in the UK in over 20 years, during which time he won the Turner Prize, an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, and was given a knighthood. The act of looking is central to McQueen’s work, which is resolute, heavy-hitting, grounded, and beautiful. But our review explores the reasons why, at times, it might be hard to look.

James Lomax is one to watch at the RA’s Premiums

After winning the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship at the tender of age of 22, James Lomax has continued to create bold and thought-provoking work. Ahead of the Royal Academy School's Premiums show, in which Lomax's work will be on display, whynow spoke to the young talent about his latest work.

‘Stay open-minded’ – Alexander James works in controlled chaos

Alexander James is a multimedia artist whose work spans across the forms of painting, sculpture, video and installation. In his most recent show, ‘One More Slope’, whynow was invited to step into his grandparent’s living room and, metaphorically, into his childhood.

CSM Grads: A Guide to Surviving After Art School

Central Saint Martins graduate Holly Gibbs catches up with six of her fellow former students to see how the artistic life was going after leaving "the comfortable, encouraging parameters of art school".

Joey Yu is experimenting with new forms

Joey Yu is turning heads in the world of illustration, with clients already including The New York Times, Tate and The Guardian. She herself is illustrative of a blossoming artist experimenting as she grows.

The dreamy works of Amélie Barnathan

In the studio of artist Amélie Barnathan, the tumbling of dreams are taped to the walls around her desk. These sketches, paintings and images are all the product of her unconscious mind. But, above all, they're beautiful.

‘The weird and wonderful world of Glen ‘Colonel’ Baxter’

Glen Baxter is a veteran of British humour and draughtsmanship. His absurdist and witty "proto-memes", Alexis Self finds, "offer a lacquered life raft among a sea of lol cats." Baxter's work is currently on display at London's Flowers Gallery until 1st Feb.

Mario Klingemann is a pioneer in AI art

Mario Klingemann was the artist in residence at the Google Arts & Culture Lab. As a pioneer in AI art, Klingemann uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to explore artistic systems. His artwork, underpinned by these mathematical processes, is therefore as vibrant as it is original.

Capital Poetry: Week Ten

"My strongest feeling when it comes to walks is never to walk back on yourself. And bring snacks. And have a coffee. And pet a dog, but ask the owner." - Vilde Valerie Bjerke Torset

‘Cut. Cut, and she’s human again’ – Bruce Conner at Thomas Dane Gallery

Conner was one of the foremost American artists of the twentieth century, whose transformative work addressed facets of post-war American society, from a rising consumer culture to the dread of nuclear apocalypse. Conner created photography, collage and graphic work alongside hybrids of painting and sculpture, film and performance.

‘Medieval meets the future in full neon’

South African painter Peter Mammes presents his audience with beautifully rendered works that depict the grotesque ugliness of war and death, with a particular focus on WWI imagery.

25 Years Later – Alfredo Jaar at Goodman Gallery London

Since swapping architecture for art, Alfredo Jaar has had a flawless career, breaking social and idealistic grounds through his photography and installations. His show ’25 Years Later’ is on until January, and is utterly worth a visit.

Capital Poetry: Week Nine

"Christmas is a time to relax and be strange, and that's always inspiring. I love festive folklore in its scariest iterations - the nights are dark right now, so let's get properly weird." - Kirsten Irving

Week Three: Black on Maroon by Mark Rothko

"Rothko’s art constantly tried to negate any evidence of the painting process - in his opinion it was crucial that a viewer notice the painting, but not indulge in the intention of the painter."

Iain Andrews is reimagining the angel

The work of seven artists have been gathered to show different artistic interpretations of the angel, for a current exhibition at The James Freeman Gallery. The philosophical psychotherapist Iain Andrews is one of them.

Capital Poetry: Week Eight

"I love the moment when I step off the train at Paddington and the spot where I stand and feel the speed of the city around me." - Sarah Cave

Capital Poetry: Week Seven

"As an ex sex-worker I know the art of teasing a man until he collapses. London knows it too. I wouldn’t live anywhere else." - Serge Ψ Neptune

Week One: Jason by J.M.W. Turner

"Turner’s ​Jason​, with its silent serpent secreted in his secluded cave, is our call to arms." Can art make you feel better? Can it make you think better? Yes.

Capital Poetry: Week Six

"I started to write poetry on the number 9 bus, from Hammersmith to Hyde Park. I once saw Richard E. Grant on this bus." - Simona Nastac

Capital Poetry: Week Five

"The most enjoyable and memorable readings I've been to have been in and around London, mainly through the wonderful events of SJ Fowler." - David Spittle

Capital Poetry: Week Four

"This endless city that changes as quick as the minds that hide from it is the only place that has ever been my home." - SJ Fowler

Capital Poetry: Week Three

"I'm considered a bit of an outcast for writing poetry in English since I have no heritable ties to the language - my family doesn't speak it and I grew up hearing Dutch." - Nadia de Vries

Capital Poetry: Week Two

"My experiences of London, its joys, anxieties, how my life here contrasts with my closeted adolescence in Athens, all form an integral part of my writing" - Kostya Tsolákis

Pebble London, a Capital Gem

Collector Peter Adler peddles mesmeric tribal-inspired jewellery influenced by his travels around the globe. He invited us to get lost in his labyrinthine home.

‘Blue. Blue. New.’ – Lisa Brice at SFG

Lisa Brice approaches the female nude and the colour blue via an all-together new narrative. With the male gaze countered by the artist’s own, audiences find themselves more ‘seen’ than ‘seer’.

Capital Poetry: Week One

'I always find my heart still longing elsewhere, for simpler, purer surroundings' - Jade Cuttle.

Thierry Noir

The first to paint the Berlin Wall, Noir's art now breathes life onto London's streets. Approaching the 40th anniversary since 'Der Mauer' was demolished, we spoke to the iconic street artist about his life’s work.

Rampa  They Will Be