“When I came to New York City I knew nothing. Nothing about being an artist, nothing about selling or exhibiting, really nothing. This isn't unusual because I believe a lot of people come here thinking one thing and finding something else entirely. It was this air of uncertainty that would lead me to chase every lead and say 'yes' to every request and inquiry. Fortunately I haven't had a lot of bad experiences especially when it came to galleries but it wasn't because I knew what the hell I was doing. And there is an important lesson here, and that lesson is to say 'no' to things that don't work for you.”
“I began developing my own contemporary mythologies, continuing to paint scenes that told a story about the characters and personal relationships in my everyday life but also referring to the painting traditions, compositions and costumes of the early modern European period, combininghistorical symbolism with contemporary fashion”
“When I look back at my work from past few years, I would say, that it was nearly a natural consequence, regarding the vocabulary I use, to focus on the simple things – the common things. Things which are surrounding me but, as you were saying right, things and spaces which you would inhabit as well. Just to remind them painterly.
I do believe, that there’s a special sort of common sense in this vocabulary and therefor it’s necessary to have a closer look on the feelings which we relate to these things.”
“I’ve just finished a fully illustrated book, The Spirit Almanac, which will be published in Autumn of this year with Penguin Random House, New York. It’s written by Emma Loewe and Lindsay Kellner. It’s very healing in content and visually the illustrations toe the line between the mystical and the surreal. I got a studio for two months in Lisbon to work on it which was perfect, particularly as the book itself is very introspective. I feel like you can feel the warmth of winter sun in the work!”
Ben Edmunds lives and works in London. He received a BA with Honors in Painting at Wimbledon College of Art and studies an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. He is concerned with the materiality and process of painting itself.
Here’s an artist whose work I think you’ll like. I caught up with London based Joe Madeira to ask some questions about his sexually suggestive masterpieces, virtual exhibitions, digital drawing and what he’s up to next.