Last Friday night, I picked mum and dad up at the Goulburn South Caravan Park and drove them to the Goulburn Workers Club for a quick drink. We settled into a fancy booth that looked out across Auburn Street, where locals were doing mainies. As I came back from the bar with a tray of drinks, my partner's wildly gesticulating arms collected with the tray, I overcorrected and the drinks flooded across the table in a crazy gin-tonic-red-white-wine deluge. My childhood superstiti
What makes a great work of art? How do you separate the best from the base? What makes an artwork worth $110.5 million such as a recent piece sold by the artist Basquiat? And what work is worthless? This question was brought into sharp focus at this year’s Archibald Prize when Mitch Cairns portrait of his wife took out the $100,000 prize. Other well-known artists such as Tim Storrier and John Olsen harshly criticised the winner. Carins’ work certainly wasn’t my favourite this
I’m going to say it right now, I love Dan Kyle. He’s a young guy, living in the mountains taking an obsessive look at the Australian bush around him. To be honest, it’s not the man I love, it’s the artist. He paints trees again and again and again. The pale trunks of eucalyptus trees like ghosts stalking the landscape. They’re silent witness to what’s going on about them, the birds, the rainfall and the incursions of people. They stand in judgement, looking at us to look with
This was the first year I entered the Belle Arti Prize, it’s a great award run by Chapman & Bailey. Essentially, they send out hundreds of canvases for artists to create works and then they all come back to be hung together. There are so many different styles of works on display, so many different subjects and a crazy array of talent. It’s a true cross-section of artists in Australia and what I particularly love is that everyone – everyone – get’s hung. There’s no elitism, if
Idolatry, Acrylic and collage on canvas, Ray Leggott 2013.
Stur Gallery, Xmas Group Show, 2013. Art for art’s sake is a beautiful idea – but artists have to eat. Few of us have generous benefactors to lavish funds upon us, so a sale means we can keep going. Selling work means we can buy new art supplies, sales mean we can secure a space in a studio or artist-run-initiative (ARI) and sales mean we can keep doing what we love. Sales also give us critical feedback. Selling
A trip to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania is the closest you’ll get to entering Hades. In a good way. Carved into a mountain, you drop into the dark depths of the museum and then flail your way back to the surface. This photo is looking down into the complicated web-like stair structures that emerge from the darkness. A smart device acts as your compass, your string in the labyrinth, that helps you find your way out. Along the way, you meet the strang
I enterted the Saatchi Online collage showdown last month. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your work and even get a chance to show in Saatchi Gallery in London. Great stuff. The old voting system was a ‘hot or not’ style voting where you were paired with another piece of work and the viewer voted on the one they liked the most. Thankfully, they’ve changed the rules again and I feel it’s a fairer, better system. It’s good to know that they’re not afraid to refine their sy