Our Opening Went Well as Far as Understatements Go

To captivate and hold captive at least some audience for the opening at Quintus Gallery in Watkins Glen, I contracted a party bus to deliver us. A wonderful pre-viewing was had. I played music by and loved by Stuckists, opened wine, champagne, nursed the sick, uplifted the poor, healed the bore (myself) for that time being…

Please watch the video below, which covers just a sliver of the night. Quintus gallery has more rooms than I captured, chock full of other paintings and pleasures. There is another Stuckist room, but I would hope that during exhibition season one would keep focus on the invitational downstairs. 36 painters living in 9 countries did me a great turn this year making my path into a new winter an enticing mystery worth the trouble of more cold and more bleak.

Now this “thank you”:

Acknowledgements

“She said ‘Somewhere there’s a faraway place
where all is ordered, and all is grace.
No one there is ever disgraced,
And everybody there is wise, and everyone has taste’”

—Lou Reed from “Think It Over”

I would like to thank warmly Kathy and Joe Matus of Quintus Gallery. This exhibition would not have happened if they did not visit Round Trip Stuckism last year, acquire my work for their gallery and home, purchase several Russian pieces, and then happily show up at my door last February to talk shop. I set up our meeting in my basement studio, dank and cold and dimly lit with dollar store lamps, and we planned like true novice-professionals inhabiting a sane world.
I remember Joe, sitting in my painting chair, asking if I’d like to do a “Russian” show, and me answering, “Great, but let’s give it a more international flair, and with more Stuckists!”
Yes, the more the merrier. I insisted they leave all the start-up details to me, then led them upstairs and served quiche and bread and cake. It happens they were full from a late breakfast, so my family gobbled it all up while we talked about anything under the sun to take us away from the gloom and doom of a northern winter.
Kathy and Joe are the type of art professionals that artists want and need. Quintus Gallery can house any artist with a genre, but stands as shelter in the storm for Stuckism. We thank them for their inspiration and enthusiasm.
Now, about that “leaving the details to me”.
Once again, the over-elaborater, Ron Throop, setting up the very difficult task of getting other painters to participate in his super great art plan.
That night I floated the idea past Charles Thomson, and caught his attention. Viola! Suddenly it became two fools instead of one. Almost a party.
With his expert advice, adept organizational and editorial skills, and undeniable patience and dedication to this movement called Stuckism, I was able to fuel up for the demands of an exhibition of this magnitude.
Great thanks to Charles Thomson! He wrote once during our frequent e-mail exchange that Stuckism operates on a national, regional, and of course individual level, and that he would like to see more collaboration among U.S. artists. His frequent input into the creation of this exhibition has been very welcome. We can bet on the continuation (and growth) of Stuckism in the United States. Unless Americans are actually so determined to forego the joy of visual art-making and appreciation, (and there is evidence pointing to paradigms leaning this way), we painters will have to persevere against the cold shoulders of the confused media, entrenched academia, and non-essential establishment critics.
Thank you Charles Thomson.
Thank you Stuckism. You wake art up. You bring people together.
Thank you Stuckist painters for trusting me and Quintus Gallery to exhibit your work on your time and dime.
And thank you local and world wide audience for clearing these walls of Stuckist paintings.
Please bear in mind though—Take one down, and two spring up!

Ron Throop
Oswego
August 2017

I have more thank yous to offer during exhibition month. Meanwhile, stock up on your wine for the holidays, deep reds for the solstice, dry whites for the equinox. Remember please that no wine is worth the winter trouble of a blank wall to stare at while the cold winds blow. So mark a stop at Quintus in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on your day trip itinerary. I’ll introduce you to these painters, many whom I know very well—about as much as you, but only because we’re human and hold dear these darling imaginations.

Bring the color to your winter!

One more thing.

A visitor at Friday’s opening asked me to show him the Henderson paintings. He shared the same last name, and wanted to see what possible genes and genealogy were spread and sent his way. When gallerists or curators connect more to the idea of painters rather than paintings, private vistas can widen significantly even a skinny finger lake.

I walked him over to Holly Henderson’s paintings, and then escorted him and his wife to the video table to show how his many great grandfathers and mothers unwittingly saved the world with Stuckism.

Instant connection! Unless he was a cardboard man. I expect him to purchase her paintings soon. If not today, then tomorrow. Imagine sitting in a cat hair chair thinking on nothing during the intellectual season, or dreaming a hungrier life in a London club getting to know the band before the lights go out.

Absolute magic!

We’re still alive. Go start your painting collection!

Quintus Gallery
65 Salt Point Road
Watkins Glen, N.Y.
14891

(315) 527-4263

 

 

Saturday is the Only Day Left to Stuckist Shop in the Finger Lakes

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Adam Crosland: Island Life 2017. Acrylic and poster paint on board, 12 x 12.5″

 

Oh, I’ll be there early next week, at Quintus, packing paintings with good will and expectation for the next exhibition. So you may stop by and haggle for a painting. It ain’t over ’til the bald man sleeps. And I tell ya, he hasn’t even begun to yawn.

I am indebted to the artists who answered the call to exhibit in my part of the world. If any painter needs a painting of mine to hang on a wall, a rock, or a tree in the woods, then it will arrive, and perhaps with me holding it, for I am that desperate to express the  gratitude I have for your kindnesses and participation in this autumn affair.

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Elsa Dax: Charles Thomson Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

Winter is nigh upon us in the northern hemisphere. Enjoy your green summer Kari Seid and Godfrey Blow. The rest of us will sink low in our overcoats and burn our noses in the frosty air. Well, not the Bledsoes of sunny Phoenix, nor Lupo Sol of Spain-on-the-ocean, and Michael Odysseus Yakoumakis—hey, what’s it like living and painting in the forever land and sky of blue?

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Peggy Clydesdale: Billy Burroughs Gouache, ink and watercolor on paper, 8 x 11″

Well, I’ve lived a half century and know that place does matter. My place does not wish for men and women to be happy. Joining together in a room you poets and minstrels who paint, was like a blast of sweet babies’ breath to a land encumbered with a monumental nursing home despair.

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Virginia Andow: Geisha

Group Stuckism is good medicine as strength in numbers. Misery loves company, but so does joy, when there is another, or two, or a hundred to recognize and share it. I have found that exhibiting paintings together in a group show is a powerful force and much more life-giving than standing alone in a room all alone in a room.

Stuckism brings people together. ¡Viva el Stuckism!

Thank you all again and again, and may cadmium yellow always be plentiful on your art cart!

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Holly Henderson: Blind Girl Oil on canvas, 35 x 25″

 

 

Michele Bledsoe and Joe Machine Have Two Things in Common

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[Quick: (315)527-4263! Only two more days of Finger Lakes Stuckism. Open today and tomorrow, 12 – 5 p.m. Go there, demand drink!]

When Kathy unwrapped Michele’s delivery to the gallery, she swore the painting above was a print. I had to show her this wasn’t true, that I believe the substrate shows through because Michele Bledsoe pushes all of herself onto the canvas, and keeps pushing.

She posts on a blog from time to time, brief poetic lines that say much with so little.

I can see see the painter seeing in the painting. For me there is no other way to view fine art. I think Stuckism knows this but has not come to admit it yet. Thoreau wrote:

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?

Michele Bledsoe is a self-taught artist and has been exhibiting her paintings and drawings in galleries for almost 20 years. Inspired by the beautifully illustrated children’s books she grew up with, Michele started creating art when she was a child, and never stopped. She is the co-author and illustrator of The Secret Kingdom, a children’s book of paintings and poetry celebrating the world of dreams. She is also the illustrator of Lemon Bee and Other Peculiar Tales by author, Patricia Lynn Dompieri. Michele is a passionate supporter of the arts and encourages artists of all ages to express themselves creatively and to share her lifetime love of creating pictures.

Time is creeping. The exhibition is poised to close in 2 days. I promised two things in common with Michele and Joe Machine. One is their mutual Stuckism, the other is what Joe writes here:

From Stuckism—Higher Purpose in Art (by Joe Machine):

For me Stuckism is about right thinking and right action, freedom from rather than freedom to. Those who see it as a revolution and its participants as radicals in the art world are missing the point and miring themselves in low level egotistical pretensions, there is something much more important at work in terms of what has and what can be achieved. Neither do I see Remodernism as an experiment, but part of a great tradition, one that if practised to its proper capacity within the individual, can both confirm and change the life experience of both painter and audience. Using self-confrontation in art is one of the central pillars of Stuckism. This has not only given me purpose in life, it has helped me to transcend my past, to examine and explore a wider universal structure and my place within it. Painting is my method but Stuckism has been my chamber of journey, allowing me to identify not just what I want to depict in life but what is necessary.

 

Chris Yates and a Skunk at my Door

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Chris Yates: John Lennon Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm

“I’m sick to death of seeing things from
Tight-lipped condescending mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of watching scenes from
Schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac primadonnas
All I want is the truth just give me some truth”

– From Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon

I myself have given up on the truth because there isn’t one for any species outside of the human spawn.

It just is. It just is. It just is. What is the “it” in It is raining? Exactly! That’s it, and that’s the truth!

I’m not pretending to make sense because last night my house got skunked, and I don’t think the university scientists have proven this, however, my hypothesis reeks of skunk drain on the brain. The scent messes with the hormones or something like that, and one becomes surly to the extreme. For those of you international painters who never met a skunk at your door, imagine your most despised politician shaking you while yelling up your nostril with 4-hour old chimichanga breath. Then triple the olfactory pain of that experience.

Chris Yates in his own words:

The art I make draws on things I see everyday, such as teeth, people and concrete objects, as well as religion and metaphysical writings. I want people to see the world as I see it. I do not like the way people are judged because of where they live or where they were brought up. Society, in my opinion, should be inclusive and not dictated by a select few.
Each and every painting I make is an attempt to unearth my “real self”. My infatuation with the bizarre and unusual, as you can see, frequently rears its ugly head in my work. It explores the delicate balance between light and dark, life and death, male and female, etc. My work dredges out of my subconscious, the darkest and brightest feelings I have ever had, as well as drawing on the work of other modern artists.
Friends, as well as enemies, frequently crop up in my work which is more concerned with “self discovery” than pleasing a dictatorial art world. Of course, if pushed, I would say my work is concerned with Remodernism, which attempts to bring back the old values of spirituality into art, culture and society.
It is different from modernism insofar as it is not cynical, or some might say, “spirituality bankrupt”. I am opposed to “unmade beds” and “dead fish”. Nevertheless, I welcome the U-turn by Damien Hirst, who is now painting once again. It could be said that Remodernism is an alternative to the established high art hegemony, known as postmodernism, and its institutionalized cynicism and ironic detachment. This was reiterated at The Third Annual Re-modernist Painters Exhibition.
I tread this stony path called Remodernism, and Stuckism is the best vehicle to reach the end.

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Chris Yates: George Harrison Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm

Here is Chris at exhibition with a couple other Stuckists presently showing at Quintus Gallery. (315)527-4263. They’re open today and every day until the exhibition closes. Any species can stop by except Mephitis mephitis.

Alena Levina is My Favorite Person and Painter in All of Moscow

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Alena Levina: History #2 2017. Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm

Alena is a painter. I have been watching her paint, internetly, for over two years. I have purchased two of her paintings that I look upon at night in my dining room. She is one of the reasons I am no longer a complete geopolitical people ignoramus like Americans are raised to be. I have a new interest in language and places around the globe—similar to upper middle class Oswegonians and Park Avenue dentists at the tail end of the 19th century, who were proud of their childlike curiosities. Their tastes were more eclectic, like Greek statuary and leopard heads stuck in the same vestibule. I prefer painting to take me away from what I see and hear of contemporary society. It helps me to tolerate, not abandon, the trite and inane, which is everywhere, like toothpaste, yet ubiquitous in America as if toothpaste was the air we breathe.

I also adore her sing-song voice that I can hear at will because with big bad there is also big good of society, and I have to think that someone somewhere was dreaming on a favorite painting while delving into the concept of everything at once, which is the Internet, which is the only reason I found Alena and her paintings during this lifetime.

And you can too, this final week at Quintus Gallery. (315)527-4263, or visit them on Seneca Lake where the songbirds tweet even in November.

Alena has given herself.
I have collected her genius.
Kathy and Joe have hung it on a wall.
The Internet was invented.

One statement is out of order, which would make all the others false just a generation ago.

We live in wonderful times but only if you push yourself to seek the sublime. Out with the trite and inane!

Alena has words:

Alena Levina is a Russian illustrator and artist who was born in 1988 in Moscow. She graduated from the Moscow State Textile Design University with a degree in Graphic Design. Since 2014 she has been working as a graphic designer, watercolor illustrator and an art teacher. She is actively exhibiting her artwork. She also likes to draw both nude and clothed models, who pose for her at her art studio. In her work Alena often uses digital interface, the phenomenon of gadgetry and everything that is connected to the realm of social networking, signs and presence of the digital space. All kinds of images from the digital world can be found in her work, i.e., the use of emoji as a way of messaging. The reality of the materials (paint, canvas, subjects) is matched with the emblems of the digital kind and certain static connections are thus realized. It is possible that her paintings deal mainly with static reality, but if they depict something dynamic it is the dynamic of the passing moment. The realized perspective is often similar to the one in iconography, where we can observe the same juxtaposition of the table or mountains with the dominant idea of the aura; however, the use of digital signs often plays the role of the nimbus. For Alena, the sign of communication often equals to the signs of a gadget. However, Alena’s portrait paintings and illustrations can be almost completely devoid of any such followings. Some of her portraiture and illustration do incorporate some foundations of the modern world that underwent the crucible of the digital space. Her concepts are about how it all should be; it is more about the deformation of the visions of the space of this new world, where stone oil morphs into gas and it is the electricity that powers all the light and gadgets around.

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Alena Levina: History #1 2017. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

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Shelly Li and the Earth of Renaissance Women

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Shelly Li Chess—Abandon Kingdom 2011
Oil on canvas, 4 × 6′

Shelly Li is a Renaissance woman if the Pope of 15th century Italy allowed Eve the freedom to do anything besides procreate and nurture nations of foul-smelling misogynistic sociopaths.

Lately, equal rights for women is a hot topic here in the U.S. It should have burst into flames the moment a woman-hating ding-dong brain was sworn into the presidency. In our constitution, women got the right to vote and still bake pies in 1920, then the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was passed by Congress in 1972 to ensure all else be equal after the voting, yet was not ratified by the majority of the same states that defended slavery and then Jim Crow. That same southern United States voting block swears a NY City woman-fearing, billionaire sociopath is their savior because, even if he’s anti-baptist, white-trash hog-basting sniff picnic, he is adamantly pro fear of women and black people and brown people and white people and wild animals and changes in the weather, and shares this all-powerful tight connection with many of my insensitive, voting countrymenwomen.

Where does this rant lead, and how does it help Shelly Li?

Western art history is 99% the account of Western man. Stuckism is about painting accomplishment for any sex, whether they have arms or not. And it doesn’t have the good graces of an ARTnews which swears the only contemporary “artist” worth coming out of China, is Ai Weiwei, another active, though untalented rich man who doesn’t paint, so Stuckism can be sex-blind when hanging paintings in an afternoon, and the political world much improved.

The 21st century is going to kill celebrity and maim misogyny. Stuckism is a vehicle for artists to seek that end.

Now for Shelly, how she likes to be human:

Shelley Li is a self-taught painter who was born in Shanghai in 1983, and then moved to England for further education. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a BA Hons in International Trading and MA in Business Management. Now she is living in London.
Being an artist was always a dream for her and, without any art background, she showed and sold her works internationally. She is also a designer with a passion for creation which ranges from small items such as jewelry to large projects, including furniture, shop fitting, interior design, as well as graphic design, animation, fashion design, product/package design, clothes styling, make up artist, hair stylist—the list just goes on! To create something beautiful is part of her nature.
She has a lot of hobbies and when she gets interested in something, goes into it in depth. She is a big food lover and making a table full of food from around the world is her passion. She was trained by a six star hotel chef. She particularly loves jewelry and is qualified as GIA (Gemological Institute of America) diamond gemologist. She studies history to appreciate the beauty of antiques. They all have a story behind them, which Shelley finds fascinating.
Shelley has always been known as a very active “arty” person, and friends used to call her “quirky”. At the age of 4 she learned Chinese folk art paper cutting. Since then she published her work and did countless performances at a national level, even before high school, though at that time her school work stopped further development. Because of this training from a young age she has developed an eye for detail, perspective and how to compose a graphic image.
At the age of 13, she joined the national harmonica society and sang in a choir. She has always loved a wide range of music, as well as singing and dancing on stage. At age 17 she started to work for Shanghai East Radio 101.7 and classic FM, and has also worked in the overseas department of EMI, where she furthered her interests in music. She has interviewed many international musicians for radio and did live broadcasts during the Grammy Awards. Recently she was in a band called Elbow Sisters, doing live gigs around London, but had to leave due to the pressure of other work. Her endless passion for art is the core pursuit which keeps her motivated.

Shelly’s work at Quintus, for view, purchase, or both, but not neither:

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Girl in Black Hat 1 Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

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Girl in Black Hat 3 Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

Jiří Hauschka is In the Middle of Somewhere

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Jiří Hauschka: Untitled 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 cm”

What an honor it is to be entrusted with these paintings from far away lands! Quintus gallery has one of those retail security gates for their main room that gets dropped and locked each night after Kathy and Joe switch off the lights. I’d ask Jiří where does he think his painting goes when the lights go out. Or more pointedly, if there is no one to see a Jiří Hauschka painting, does it exist?

I would hang this painting by my bed to be reminded of my non-existentialism each night before sleep. And then I would drop the gate down on another day no longer alone for the time being.

Then another day with the 10,000 things, and back to the painting at night.

That’s me, anyway. What about Jiří?

“In a very persuasive way Hauschka connects the tradition of Czech painting to the context of the international art scene. His work moves on the border of abstract and figurative painting. He works with stimuli from his surroundings, giving real objects timeless meaning by generalizing them in abstract shapes. This way he manages to objectify not only figures but also untouchable moods and feelings, which in his paintings receive tangible physical form. Hauschka’s paintwork is soaked with strong energy and expression. It pulses with an intense inner charge, and portrays the deeply rooted tradition of Central European expressionism, which played an important part in the paintings of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria from the start of the 20th century. Decorative function of surfaces, strong lines and even distribution of colors are balanced by expressive objects. Even though we can see Central European tradition in Hauschka’s paintwork, it isn’t anachronistic. He uses contemporary art language and perceives all the traditional elements from the view of an artist of the 21st century. He paints contemporary themes and uses contemporary art procedures. Expressive colorful surfaces emphasize symbolic meaning of the colors. However, Hauschka’s color notation doesn’t carry in itself universal meaning typical for medieval art. His color notation is strictly individual. He forms it based on his personal experiences and feelings. This way he reacts to the postmodern era when individualism outweighed universal perception.

Hauschka’s paintwork has strong outlines, and his use of colors and surface stylization resemble the aesthetics of computer art. He creates art relevant to the 21st century. And because it leans on a strong foundation of European painting tradition, it can grow.”

Before you look at this next one, please think about a vist to Quintus Gallery in Watkins Glen, N.Y. to see Hauschka paintings, and feel what you feel with a painting.
Kathy and Joe have taped the phone to their bodies: (315)527-4263.

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Jiří Hauschka: In the Middle of Somewhere 2015.
Acrylic on canvas, 60 × 80 cm

 

 

Jasmine Surreal is Good Medicine for November

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Three Eyed Cat Alien with Flying Saucers of Milk! 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″

I have one of these! I keep it in my absurdity room with the whizzgongers and the bad trees. Many winter nights, even in gloomy November, I open the door and step inside. Some of my paintings are in there too, but they can’t make me laugh. I won’t let them. To laugh, to reel, to guffaw at my own delivery on a dark and stormy night is signed application for the straight jacket, and my wife won’t have that! Not while I’m still useful as a cook anyway. After supper, I’d climb up (it’s always up) to the absurdity room, switch on the light, and recover more quickly than a meditating monk who had a rough day at the office.

First, Kathy and Joe standing by the phone, the magic phone, at Quintus: (315)527-4263. Next, the most beautiful gallery in the Finger Lakes awaits your arrival to it.

Now for Jasmine:

Well, there are guitars playing musicians, paintbrushes painting artists, half me-half cats, Kraftwerk making craft work, Doris Day and Doris Night, Worry men with bills as heads, hot and cold water as creatures giving birth to Luke warm, and weather creatures. All sorts of Jiggery Pokery and humour aplenty, there’s sadness and alienation and solitude. And toy cats. Lots.

My subjects are symbolic and surreal, but not on the surface—more of an in-depth surrealism where I am pouring out my heart and imagination—things I’d like to see in real life but never materialise so I realise them through the medium of painting. I am inspired by my own imagination, just me really…

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The Boy Whose Veins are Made From Tree Branches 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″

 

 

 

We Have 8 Days To Go To South Africa With Kari Seid

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Kari Seid: The Scatterlings Tryptic (partial)

Kari is a Stuckist painter. I am a Stuckist painter. Africa is a Stuckist continent and so is North America. I don’t know what I mean, but it means something. I do know that I’d rather be a living naive painter than a dead Disraeli (or a living one for that matter). I can say, write or paint what I want, be stupid all day long, and whistle down the tracks when I’m through expressing myself. And this is true: Stuckists are tossing aside all nation’s Disraelis. The latter are no longer relevant. Art comes first, always—it precedes science which needs to play catch up with its snail methods. This instant, the Internet has given voice to the artists. No more establishment gatekeepers. No more presidents of Pace Gallery! You like it. You can know it directly. The gnostics are dead! They weren’t that bright anyway, figuratively or literally. Holed up in caves telling you what’s what, and now the artists can show you “in the flesh”. You just have to want to straighten your back, lift up your head, and look us in the eye. Ha! Fooled you! It’s you in the mirror! Yes, you’re a Stuckist too. Probably the greatest one on earth, right now, as we live all at once. Like eternity.

There is a poem with attachment to the painting(s)

The tryptic has a story.
It is an analogy dedicated to all refugees and migrants (as I am one) who have risked their lives and those of their kin to seek a new home and life of safety and peace, as a bee to a flower.
And to all mothers who have lost children and husbands, fathers and uncountable others.
The old rhyme rings true, and this  is what I title this work:
“Lady Bird Lady Bird,
Fly away home.
The wrath of the fire God has come
And your children are gone.
The flower of peace
Will surely come
And God’s Grace, in time
Will offer you home”

Kari is our resident minister of Stuckism. The good news is freedom and freedom to be!

8 days left to see and/or nab an eternity for yourself. Quintus is a gallery with gallery people working the phones ’round the clock: (315)527-4263

 

 

Ella Guru Knows a High Hill

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Ella Guru: The Empress Oil on canvas, 12 x 16″

[Before I forget, please dial (315)527-4263, read post, and then press send to inquire of a Guru]

Ella Guru is one of four founding members of an art movement exhibiting work at Quintus.

Ella is a painter with a strong following. I see from social media that she is many more things too. This is as it should be because it is what is real. I don’t know how well she sells on “the market”, if she tries to sell at all, like business people do. I am certain that if she had a capable and sober publicist, she would be one of the most famous living painters in the U.K., living atop the highest habitable hill with many butlers and maids to exchange their time for her time to paint.

I asked Ella to write about the relevance of Stuckism today. She has the answer that ARTnews never sought because it follows the publicist’s business model, never the life more abundant. Perhaps Ella can pay for these paintings and more. Perhaps not. Either way, she is an aristocrat of the spirit, and in my eye, lives atop the highest hill in the U.K.

It’s the middle of summer break, and my daughter is making a fursuit head, with my support. She’s attaching foam to a lycra balaclava with a hot glue gun. I get out my laptop to write about Stuckism, reading the brief aloud: “…the relevance of Stuckism today… how it can inspire painters of all ages…”
My nearly-13 year old interrupts: “Stuckism is unnecessary.”
Me: “Huh?”
Paraphrased: “Kids don’t need Stuckism because they already draw. Kids don’t understand modern art anyway. Modern Art is losing relevance and so is Stuckism’s purpose. Everyone I know only knows about drawing and painting; they don’t know about modern art. Making something, drawing, creating something, that is art. They have never heard of modern art anyway.”
My response: “So Stuckism’s work is done? No one is interested in modern [conceptual] art any more?”
Daughter: “I see modern art as a fad. Like heelies were a fad. No one is interested in it any more.”
Of course 12 year olds’ interests are video games, cartoons, animal costumes and RuPaul’s Drag Race. But I’m starting here because Stuckism takes art back to it’s primal roots: the need to draw and express ones thoughts, feelings and experiences through the process of making marks on paper (or designing animal heads, or working in clay) it’s the process of doing something, creating, making something. Children do this anyway; they are not tainted by the conceptual “modern art” rubbish that requires an explanation and a degree in Art Bollocks (art speak).
Stuckism encourages self expression, passion, emotion, spirituality, making art from your heart and doing it even if no one is watching. The kids might not want to know, but the cow-poo known as conceptual art is far from over. If modern art were truly dead, there wouldn’t be a bunch of cardboard boxes strewn around a local outdoor space masquerading as “art”. It looks like all the streets in Hastings where seagulls, wind and delinquent teenagers throw rubbish around. And two (con) artists came all the way from Lille to “show” these cardboard boxes! Even the sign attached to the fence says nothing, only that the artist’s come from France and do “site specific work”. Well, you could get the same thing from Asda’s parking lot.
More than an opposition to garbage, Stuckism is an international grassroots art movement, the first of it’s kind to use the Internet to inspire people from all corners of the world to take up their own paintbrush and just do it. Not to worry if it’s “good” enough. To make what you want to make; to bring your feelings into being in some form, whether it be beautiful or ugly—that is up to the beholder—and each beholder will find his or her own meaning. Or no meaning at all. It’s all about perception. There is no restriction in Stuckism; contrary to being “stuck”, the movement is fluid and evolves.
Sincerity and being true to yourself is all that is required. Training is irrelevant; many Stuckists are self taught, and many have studied art. It’s quite simply the sincere desire to express oneself in the clearest manner possible, using whatever skills you have, and making the most of those skills. Much Stuckist art is along the lines of primitive or “outsider” art, but this is not a strict rule. The only rule really is the process of making something in the most authentic way one can. Paint was the primary medium in the beginning, and remains so to this day. The Stuckist attitude can be applied to many art forms, and has been linked to groups doing stone carving, photography and even film making.
The initial rallying cry of Stuckism echoed from Australia to Argentina; from Kentucky to Kiev; from Ystalyfera to Karachi. It’s all on http://www.stuckism.com. All one has to do is say “I do” and you’ve got your own Stuckist group. All work independently of each other. Some are more active than others. One only needs to agree with some of the manifesto in order to sign up. All are welcome. Information is on the website; or, if you prefer, just get some paint and start doing it! That is the one piece of advice I give any beginner: practice. Just keep drawing and painting and don’t worry about anything.
So that is Stuckism in a nutshell, as I see it today. But the road less traveled? We are each on our own path. Any road an artist takes is a difficult one. The balance of time and the stresses of living in a token economy make for a bumpy ride. If art is your calling, so be it; don’t expect an easy ride—just keep painting your way through the mud, and you’ll find occasionally, like with surfing, you catch a wave and for a moment all is clear and beautiful. And that it was all worth it when those moments happen.

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Ella Guru: The Fool Oil on canvas, 12 a 16″

Emma Pugmire Thinks on Halloween

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Emma Pugmire: Messiah Pepsi Can Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

Because corporate control is spooky boo, Emma Pugmire paints a picture. It’s thermostatically comfortable and nose clean safe at the shopping complex, and no one needs to know about the outgassing of everything born from a shipping container. We all have to eat, don’t we? So, let us be spoon fed corn plastic and breast milk from a billion cows even though we’re lactose intolerant. The rest rooms are kept as clean as societal unhappiness can shine, the floors are waxed but never washed, and everybody wins because the prize is a five dollar, last minute, dopamine bargain buy. And everything is the same, everything the same, everything the same. Familiarity breeds contempt among people, like spouses and grandfathers, but is the goal of planned obsolescence for Pepsi and the human body that it loves so much to dysfunction.

Enough of my thoughts. Here is what Emma thinks:

I am influenced by the Impressionists and their cityscapes. I like to sketch out of doors in London’s parks and green spaces. I am also interested in environmental issues and have exhibited in local ecological centres. I have taken part in social housing campaigns as there is an ongoing problem with gentrification in London.I am also influenced by Pop Art, SF painting, J.G. Ballard and the Independents Group. I have taken glossy magazines, advertising imagery, and their property sections as a source for these paintings. Canyon is from a cruise advertisement, but put in a future arid desert, while Paved Over concerns preserving natural greenery in built up areas.The paintings hanging at Quintus Gallery, Ghost Of Mindless Consumerism and Messiah Pepsi Can, are influenced by surrealism. The mannequin was a figure often used by the Surrealists. My idea was of a discarded shop dummy, left outside for the new model on the shelf, or made redundant, stalking the shopping centre like a ghost. Messiah Pepsi Can takes its title from an Ultravox song, “Western Promise”. I imagined the twelve figures as disciples, faceless consumers in a modern day cathedral of commerce. The crescent moon and aeroplane represent the ongoing wars in the Middle East, international relations and a reflection on Donald Trump.

Happy Halloween Emma Pugmire! Watch out for zombies!

Kathy and Joe at Quintus Gallery will open their doors for you to see, (315)527-4263

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Emma Pugmire: The Ghost of Mindless Consumerism Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 30 cm