At 3 minutes, 17 seconds in, the interviewee: “It’s arrogant… it’s aggressive. Then the voice of Billy Childish saying “Artists who don’t paint aren’t artists” (from the Stuckists manifesto, precept #4, but not credited). From BBC Radio 4 program on manifestos:
A while back Charles Thomson linked an article from ARTnews about Stuckism’s place in history. The authors did not do their homework. I invited the organization to our opening at Quintus Gallery to witness our humble additions to history. I sent it snail mail with presents too. Sometimes these big art houses need to be politely reminded that they lean more toward obsolete than the artists being criticized. ARTnews relies on advertising anything to make itself viable, whereas the individual Stuckist advertises the soul for joy.
Buraecracies are what they are, and people need jobs to maintain a dry home and roasted vegetables on Sundays. But a Stuckist wants to give them a painting also, at a reasonable price, to hang on their marvelous wall with wallpaper. The one in the photo I gave for free because ARTnews cannot understand the joy of man’s desiring.
Here’s the article. And here is my response letter:
110 Greene Street
New York, N.Y. 10012
Dear Ms. Douglas,
Recently your magazine published a graphic article entitled “Wait—What Was That?!: History’s Bygone Art Movements” by Alex Greenberger and Andrew Russeth. In it your authors show Stuckism, created by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish back in 1999, as “in decline”. This cannot be true. I am a Stuckist painter collaborating with 34 other Stuckist painters around the globe for an exhibition in Watkins Glen, N.Y. opening October 13, 2017 at Quintus Gallery. (https://www.quintusgallery.com/) The proprietors of the gallery heard about Stuckism and sought me out last year during a show I curated called “Round Trip Stuckism”. They traveled to see my work, and also the paintings of four determined Russian artists. In my small world, that is the opposite of trending to obscurity. Four years ago I was introduced to Stuckism and have not looked back. And this is the prime of my life! Physically in decline, yes, however, mentally soaring. I have never felt this fulfilled as an artist since I was four years old drawing “Winky” the doe with crayons. Long since then I have become a firm believer that art’s most important task is to bring people together. Believe me, it has! At last autumn’s Russian exhibition, we sold over half of the 102 paintings exhibited. In Oswego, N.Y.! For three weeks during the cooling down season, bracing for bleak winter, Stuckism breathed potent life into sleepy, regional hibernators. Certainly that is not a movement “in decline”.
I urge the staff of ARTnews to rethink its position. Charles Thomson is still alive and painting. Let’s not bury him yet. He will show his work at our exhibition. This could be a lead art story for this autumn’s roll out: “International Stuckism at Watkins Glen. Who knew?”
Likewise, maybe ARTnews can retrain its focus on the small gallery once again. Quintus is a beautiful venue running on its third year. The proprietors Kathy Quinn and Joe Mantus work hard at it. They bring people together better than a David Zwirner. Real people. Human beings who want art in their lives, and don’t use “art” as a vehicle of rising economic narcissism.
Finally, I agree that I am odd, but not a “Brit”. I find it a bit disingenuous of the authors to give label to something they obviously have not researched properly. In October we will show paintings in the United States from 9 countries around the world. We are bringing people together. Send a representative to cover opening night. I will talk a blue streak, and ARTnews will see for itself people in the flesh who make newsworthy art.
Human beings need Stuckism, and vice-versa. Voila! Art!
I have enclosed two books I published to give you insight into Stuckism. The first, Last Communion, came out in 2013, the year I was introduced to Stuckism. There you will read about a bitter man alone and heading to the end alone.
The other is my year long labor of love culminating in the greatest art exhibition Oswego, N.Y. has ever produced—far surpassing celebrity Kara Walker’s debacle back in 2009. She didn’t even show up to exchange stories with the local yokels. She took the money and ran, complaining of a head cold, and pretended thereafter that nobody blinked. Those who can feel hollow yearn for fulfillment. She left everyone feeling empty in a room full of her paper crafts. Bad form!
Anyway, this book is the gateway into Stuckism. Unknown Ron Throop from Oswego N.Y. brought people together. The State Hermitage took notice, as well as Brian Conzone, local fireman and free spirit. I think with adequate conversation, ARTnews will begin to sense how Stuckism is heading towards canonization.
Please keep these books as a gift.
Thank you very much for your time!
Paintings are arriving. Most are coming directly to Quintus gallery. However, I asked that Russian painters send theirs to me. One reason: they sometimes arrive in great linen wraps, perfect for stretching and painting, and another reason—I have had good experience with past arrivals from Russia. (My postman isn’t a chicken little).
Nadya Romanchuk is the artist that made my day. Tell your friends about Stuckism at Quintus! This is the art highlight of the year. The music loud enough. The food, hot, and easily digestible.
¡Viva el Stuckism!
Lena Ulanova lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the greatest city in the Northern world. All the artists and clowns north of the 55th parallel make the inevitable journey—and right now on earth, I doubt there is a more opportune city anywhere for dreamers to be.
I know nothing about Lena but through her painting and kindness. I know she is a traveler, a gypsy, a perambulator along the canals of the Russian Venice. Her paintings hang on my blue dining room wall, and I dream of October skies, the golden Autumn, and the two most colorful characters in Knut Hamsun novels, Nagel and Bobi. I know that her work makes me happy to see, and that we could be great friends in some future or past, or dimension that has yet to be named.
Quintus Gallery is hosting her work, and will likewise house, all at once, the spirits of 34 other poets who paint.
Lapsking scared me last winter when out of the blue he asked if I would sell him a painting. Rarely do I sell work, yet when I do, I practically give it away. I have a penchant toward idiocy that prevents me, an honest man, from making an honest living. Although I show my work often, self promotion, for me, is often more painful than a sharp stick in the eye. I think Lapsking understands my artistic wavering between humility and stupidity depending on the given day or night. He gets Stuckism like I do, for the most part.
Anyway, we decided to trade work instead.
To say the least, it involved some international postal espionage, and I am a better man for it. Lapsking cannot easily send work to The United States. I wish the two of us could be free men, which at present is an impossibility while our government’s leaders hold back their mutual urge to lip-lock in public.
They will one day. Too many western artists long to see a Persian sun or moonrise. And the Internet is breaking up the CIA like a heavy butt sitting down on a bag of potato chips.
That’s good news.
For now, here is how Lapsking sees things:
The Stuckists manifesto starts with this point “Stuckism is a quest for authenticity”, although this quest is difficult for all Stuckists but it’s more challenging for Iranian Stuckists because when you want to be authentic you have to avoid censorship and in Iran this can be a crime. So there are two options; you have to give up authentic art and wear the Mask of Cleverness or you have to fight.
I have learned a lot of things from Vincent van Gogh. I have learned that it’s not the price which makes the value of an artwork but the way it has come from the heart. I’ve learned from Vincent how to follow my inspirations and how not to become the slave of my model. I’ve learned from him that the brush strokes should come from the soul and I’ve learned that satisfying your conscience is much more important than money and fame.
I will have a piece by Lapsking at Quintus, and I will not sell it. Please come by and we’ll consider together who decides what the poor people of nations are allowed to trade, and whom they are allowed to talk to.
Art = Freedom.
Thank you Lapsking for jumping through a ring of cowardly flames to exhibit your work with me.
Stuckist manifesto precept #10 (in part): Painting is mysterious. It creates worlds within worlds, giving access to the unseen psychological realities that we inhabit.
Or, it’s simply a beautiful landscape.
Or, a starved duck about to eat a giant clam.
Or, the only place I’d rather be beyond this terrible city I inhabit…
Rémy Noë has sent their dreams to the United States, and will show at Quintus on Friday, October 13th. Please impress this date into your brain cake. Come view the work by the master’s hands.
Rémy Noë was born in Bromley, Kent, England, to a French/Dutch father and English mother, but has lived in Medway for most of their life. From 1986 to 1993, Remy attended Vinters Boys School, described as “a living hell”, and Chatham Grammar School for Boys. 1993-97, attended Canterbury College of Art for Foundation and BA in Fine Art, but was forced to leave by the Department of Social Security.From 1997 to 1998, resumed a part-time BA, but was expelled for condemning “conceptual shit” and also threatened with arrest. Since then, Remy has worked in their father’s garage, Medway Citroen. During this time they returned to studies at Canterbury Christ Church College, and obtained a Master in Fine Arts degree in 2011.
In 1996, Remy’s work was first publicly exhibited in Indo Gothic, in Chatham, Kent. In 2000, took part in the first Stuckist demonstration against the Turner Prize outside Tate Britain. In 2001 founded the Maidstone Stuckists group and was exhibited in the Vote Stuckist show that year. There were staged fourteen shows of the Maidstone Stuckists works in various venues, including pubs, libraries and the Maidstone Music School, as well as arranging expeditions of the group for “painting, inspiration and getting drunk”. In 2004, Remy’s work was included in The Stuckists Punk Victorian at the Walker Art Gallery for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial.
Remy has a hatred of cities, but does frequent Gothic nightclubs in London, and likes to spend time exploring Kent and researching European mythology. Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology are recurring themes in paintings, as are historical sites and the countryside in Kent. The use of sacred geometry and their own form of aesthetic geometry are features in the work. The colour and texture of some work “evokes a kind of modern Impressionism.”
Exhibiting painter Richard Bledsoe on the animal that won’t take its eyes off of us!
Work in Progress: “The War You Will Always Have With You” starts to stare back
I have a saying that is only partially in jest: “Insanity is an occupational hazard for painters.” Look at art history, especially during the Modern era, and the trend is pretty evident.
Now I happen to be a very sane and stable individual myself. At least I think I am. But I can understand why going through the process of creating art opens the psyche up for derangement.
The smallest dab or gesture on a painting can make it or break it. My wife Michele Bledsoe and I are intuitive artists. We work it out on the canvas, trying to convey the contents of our minds without relying on preparatory sketches or source material. When it works, there is the thrill of discovery.
The problem is we never know in advance what the…
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Jonathon Xavier Coudrille lives on the southwest shore of the Lizard Peninsula in an old fishing village of homes constructed of local stone or cob.
If my story began with a geographical sentence like that one, I too would be an instant important person whom you would beg to know.
photo by Martin Howse
Jonathon’s brief introduction to an ongoing, distinguished career:
Cornish Surrealist painter, writer and composer.
Coudrille started his career in the nineteen sixties as a political satirist, song-writer and performer on BBC Plymouth and appeared regularly on Westward Television and later Southern Television and Thames, and was often heard on BBC radio 4 Jack de Manio’s “Today”.
His books include Farmer Fisher, [G.Whizzard imprint of Andre Deutsch 1976 Children’s book of the year] The Vulgar Frog [Quartet], A Beastly Collection, [Warne 1974 now a collector’s item] and Love Death and Bad Behaviour [Footsteps Press 2014, Coudrilles poetry anthology].
Compositions include the many themes for the first ‘Get This’ series (Southern Television 1970s) and the ‘Caballetta’ suite for Spanish guitar, premiered in the ’80s in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at London’s Festival Hall.
A recipient of the Melody Maker top soloist award, Jonathon now writes for and performs with his jazz-slanted Cornish semi-acoustic band ‘Gwelhellin’ (https://www.facebook.com/Gwelhellin/, and www.myspace.com/gwelhellin) and the Russian folk-music duo ‘Muzika Muzikantov.’
Coudrille is an honorary member of the Arts Club and a member of the Society of Authors. He is special Editor for the New Art Examiner and was elected Academician of the South West Academy in the early twenty-first century.
(Paintings may be viewed on the artist’s web site; http://coudrille.com/NewSite/gallery/ )
Twice married, he has an adult son in the United States and a daughter in London.
He gets interviewed too:
And plays a Spanish guitar like he is made of Iberian clay:
Thank you JX Coudrille for taking the life you were given and becoming alive!
One life to live, and at this point, I know that I will never “become” a surgeon or traveling magician. I have written before that with paint I seek to perfect my limitations. And then I view a Godfrey Blow, and wish I never went to college, nor read a book for that matter, if doing so meant a life of painting with results always too human all too human. I could have followed my dream of 16 to a career path of forest management, and had my ignorance to the impact of human creativity go unnoticed, while the real splendor of nature, of itself in all seasons, astounding me at every turn.
I’ve seen Godfrey’s methods. I know that he paints how I could never paint. Like a surgeon—precise, exact, steady, immovable. In nature he would be the heron waiting decisively to catch dinner, and I would be the scrambling squirrel, one step forward, three steps sideways, two back and a leap to the next branch, with just some loud noise to show for it, and maybe a dirty nut.
Then I see Godfrey a great painter because time has allowed him room to create a new nature that maybe I have seen or never have seen before. One without herons or squirrels. One without people, or after people, or people to become. That is a magic world. I would want to leave his landscapes to my children and my children’s children. A new world appearing or an old one reappearing, one that most likely neither you nor I have ever witnessed, but is witnessable to the born again.
With paint I will carry on nervously the temporal, the worldly, the “now” human, while Godfrey Blow adds another new or old-world-new to an almost recognizable dimension.
He is a magician.
Godfrey Blow was born in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, England in 1948. He gained a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University in 1971. From 1973-74 he attended Manchester Metro University where he qualified as a teacher. His first solo exhibition was held in London in 1976 and followed by another in 1980. He emigrated to Australia in 1982. Numerous solo and mixed exhibitions of his work have been held in Western Australia since 1982. He has also participated in a number of mixed shows in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, United Kingdom, India, China and Canada. His work is represented in private and public collections in Australia, including The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank Australia, University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Sir Charles Gairdner, Holmes A’Court and the collections of the cities of Bunbury, Albany and Fremantle. In addition he has won several prestigious art awards in Western Australia. In October of 2006 Godfrey was a finalist in Australia’s richest award for landscape painting, the Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale Art Prize, South Australia. Godfrey was one of 30 finalists in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2008 and was selected as Highly Commended, Runner-up. The exhibition was held in Sydney and traveled around Australia for the rest of 2008. During this year the artist was also a finalist in the Alice Bale Art Award in Victoria and the Tattersall’s Landscape Art Prize, Queensland.
I am one of the 35 international painters exhibiting work at Quintus Gallery in October. The great American poet, Robert Okaji, has done me quite a service, and at the same time helped blush my face off.
The untaught logic in honor’s mathematics:
Art must bring people together. Stuckism brings people together. Therefore, Stuckism is art and people together.