Running from July 10th to 4th September is the new Waterfront Arts Project exhibition entitled ‘Beyond the Obvious’. If you are anywhere near southport you really should take a look. You’ll find it in a unit towards the back of the Ramada hotel. There is a large walkway between the hotel and the Casino/ Genting Club. Both are located on the promenade and if you are using a satnav then the postcode is PR9 0DZ. Their Facebook page is here.
Remember the old days when national elections were fun? That fabulous time when apart from Lord Such and his wonderful Monster Raving Looney Party there was some bloke who changed his name by deed poll to Margaret Thatcher and stood as a candidate. Not only that there were fabulous alternatives like “The Best Party I’ve Ever Been To Party” but unfortunately not available in the real elections were the candidates of Monty Python’s Election Special where The Silly Party win by a landslide and the slightly silly candidate Kenneth Philip Bong polls no votes at all but optimistically bursts into song with “Climb Every Mountain …”
Well, in the spirit of the old days as we approach the rather sombre 2015 boring old farts election here is John Zehentner’s amazing contemporary painting appropriately entitled “Don’t Blame Me I Voted Looney”.
More of John Zenentner’s work can be seen at the Southport Arts Project in Southport along with many other local talented artists. Entrance is free so well worth a visit if you are there one weekend. Here is where it is: Southport Arts Project, Promenade, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0DZ
I had my birthday yesterday and we went into Liverpool to visit the galleries in the morning. At the Walker Gallery there is an interesting exhibition of black and white photography on at the moment. It isn’t usually my thing but these are exceptionally good and many of them are very interesting and often also very amusing. These photographers definitely had a remarkable sense of humour and a quick eye to spot these often extremely transient phenomena. We also saw the John Moores prizewinners. Some of the winners seem so ridiculous it makes you wonder how they arrive at a result like that. I recall that one of the entrants was a truly magnificent massive watercolour work that caught the attention of many local artists but that was , naturally, not to be found amongst the prizewinners. Why that piece and some others were not “deemed worthy” is beyond me.
This morning as I sat down with a coffee I burst out laughing as it suddenly hit me (I don’t know why I never saw it while I was there!) but the John Moores competition being held at The Walker Gallery is unbelievably ridiculous. If it was at the TATE, fine, but at the Walker it actually shows something utterly ridiculous. All these works of art in the Walker gallery have been collected over many years as great works of art including many of the country’s most loved artists and yet not one of them could possibly win the John Moores competition. So are they all rubbish and redundant in the face of the John Moores competition? Or is the John Moores competition a load of self-serving twaddle and redundant in the face of the great masters of the past? In the context of the Walker Gallery as a whole I do not see how one or the other conclusion is not applicable. Anyway, the absurdity of the whole thing certainly made me laugh. Maybe you can think of an answer to this dilemma but I can’t. Let’s see what the comments show, if anything.
For several years we have been visiting the art exhibition at Southport that always has some interesting art and sculpture by various talented local people. There is quite variety and by and large a much higher standard than you’d expect for a free entrance gallery in a seaside resort. Some of the pieces over the years have been quite large and challenging. I doubt that anyone who has seen it will ever forget the dimly lit cavern of Buddhist heads
and the seriously tragic and truly emotionally moving reality it signifies. There have been unusual lightshows and audience paticipation art, a variety of scuptural works in various mediums as well as more traditional oil and acrylic paintings. Amongst the paintings an artist that always stood out, to the point that we’d go in saying, “I wonder if he’s got a new one up” was the art of local artist John Zehentner.
Last week we went to see the art exhibition in its new home round the corner from where it used to be. The block of units is mostly empty and the owners appear to be allowing this group to use the units that are not sold but this means they do have to move as a unit is sold. We were pleased to find five John Zehenter paintings on display that we haven’t seen before addressing the current theme of the exhibition which is ‘Metamorphosis’. One is an old piece based on Smithfield Meat Market in London where John Zehentner comes from (London that is, not the meat market!). This one is an unusual combination of painting and sculpture with the frame hanging on a meat hook that actually comes from
Smithfield Meat Market. Another painting shows a single figure transformed through the mediums of cubism, impressionism and realism from top to bottom.
Onthe way out I remarked to the lady on the door that we particularly like John Zehentner’s work and she pointedto a chap nearby and said, “Actually, this is Mr. Zehentner”. He explained the thinking behind each picture in quite an understated way and I am pretty sure he has no real idea yet how good he is. Given the attitude of many people to art, like the well-known cliche ‘I don’t know much about art but I know what I like’, it is not hard for a artist to feel that their work is not appreciated. This is especially so when the best of artists like John Zehentner are their own harshest critic and the standard they aspire to is one that they will probably never reach. Still, as you can see from the couple of images included here, this is hardly the work of a novice. This is an artist who has honed his skills and has real vision. It is also not the work of an
artist who only knows how to do one particular style or subject. One of the fascinating aspects of John Zehentner’s art is the range of expression coupled with a human warmth and a sense of humour. But of course you’ll need to see larger versions of his work than these small images to appreciate the style and technique properly.
It was fabulous to be able to discuss the art directly with him and we are going to look at the possibility of making his art available in print form since practically none of it is available as prints or posters at present. Watch this space and check out our updates page at our main site for developments in this regards.
If you haven’t seen the amazing artwork of Francois Schuiten then just click on the image above and see a whole range of the most stunning artwork you could imagine. These small images cannot really do justice to Francois Schuiten art though. The large fine art prints of Francois Schuiten’s drawings are unbelievably impressive and are often used as a centrepiece for a large room. Artists like Francois Schuiten show quite clearly how artists who made their name in drawing comic books are often as talented and at least as creative as other artists despite the long-term prejudices in many art colleges against comic art as a worthwhile profession for a “real” artist. Perhaps it will be the work of people like Francois Schuiten that will one be hanging in the world’s national art galleries. Francois Schuiten gives you an amazing perspective, tones and colours that hint at some kind of film noire plot that is not explicit but only hinted at. There is almost a sense of vertigo in some of the art and books play a prominent role. To have a look at more of the incredible art of Francois Schuiten all you need to do is click on the image or if that is a bit too far away then how about right here.