Monday, 25 April 2011

UnMasterclass 17

UnMasterclass visited Birmingham this weekend, home of a world class collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. In fact this collection was discussed at length for virtually every Monday morning history art lecture on our foundation of art course by the effervescent and enigmatic Victor Peach. He grew up in the Black Country and used to spend cold and rainy days decoding the paintings like a sleuth and growing from that a love of art and paintings. Victor Peach was a memorable character, always turned out in a brightly coloured suit, complete with handkerchief billowing from the chest pocket. One lecture consisted of Dada performance recitals, but almost all touched somehow upon the Pre-Raphaelites. Despite his enthusiasm for this era of painting, we cannot say we are great fans here at UnMasterclass, give us something contemporary any day. So we strolled straight past the Birmingham Museum and Galleries and their collection of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces in the scorching bank holiday sunshine and basked instead in 2 excellent shows at the Ikon gallery. Thus completing the old adage; do as we say, not as we do. So go along to a historical collection of paintings and learn from them, instead of the example set by UnMasterclass, where we doggedly stick to our formula of learning from reproductions, and as you can see from this weeks painting, we are, if anything, getting slightly worse at painting, not better. Maybe we should have popped in for gander at a bit of Rossetti, Millias or Holman Hunt. If you are as philistine as us, don't bother visiting the gallery and pop along to the latest UnMasterclass viewable here instead

Friday, 15 April 2011

UnMasterclass 16

Here at UnMasterclass we are fully respectful of the fact that our copies pale into the smallest microcosm of insignificance compared with the majesty of the originals we are copying. In fact we know we can never compete with these pat masters. Yet still we have a go, we try, in the limits time, space and means that we have to do a reasonable job in painting. We have some pride. Yet, without fail we are producing bad versions of paintings. But 16 weeks in to this exercise we needed to get a bit of belief back in the exercise: our the paintings we produce really that bad. Well judge for yourself whether we deserve to enter the collection of Bad art at the Museum of Bad art. we hope you decide we are not that bad, or on the other hand.......
To judge against the art in the collection with your own efforts please visit our latest UnMasterclass at or of course use your time more productively and visit a bona fide proper gallery with some proper paintings in it and  enjoy them. You might even learn something about painting by doing that!

We Are All In This Together

I shall be showing one of my recent Transitory Paintings in Bureau's curatorial open submission craziness. In fact I will be winding my way up to the Northern Quarter in a few hours to drop it off in person so pop along to the excellent Bureau before the 10th of June to see how the manage to arrange my paintings around the potentially thousands of entries in bonanza non critical/hierarchical/judgemental curation. You might as well submit something yourself.

The official Bureau word on the show is below....

Bureau is pleased to announce We Are All In This Together.
A curatorial experiment… A gallery gamble… An exhibition determined by you, the artist, and the public… Without agenda or bias, refuting government and funding criteria, and not driven by the market, current taste or trend in contemporary art.
Open to all UK artists. Get involved! We are inviting you to provide the exhibition. More information below...
Submission forms can be downloaded below or email the gallery for a copy
Alternatively, visit the dedicated exhibition site for We Are All In This Together:

Thursday, 7 April 2011

UnMasterclass 15

David Sylvester: I want to ask whether your love of photographs makes you like reproductions as such. I mean, I've always had a suspicion that you're more stimulated by looking at reproductions of Velizquez or Rembrandt than at the originals.

Francis Bacon: Well, of course, it's easier to pick them up in your own room than take the journey to the National Gallery, but I do nevertheless go a great deal to look at them in the National Gallery, because I want to see the colour, for one thing. But, if I'd got Rembrandts here all round the room, I wouldn't go to the National Gallery.

From Interviews with Francis Bacon by David Sylvester

Bacon goes on to say that when he was in Rome he chose not to go to see Valesquez's Innocent X as a fear of seeing the reality after his 'tampering with it, seeing this marvellous painting and thinking of the stupid things one had done to it.' 
Here at UnMasterclass we feel very stupid producing these copies of reproductions of masterpieces and we hope you as viewers do to. We hope all the flaws and mistakes are there for you to see, to be revolted by, to be charged to go and see original paintings, not to hide behind the photographs and jpegs and get out into National Galleries. Or become very rich and fill your rooms with masterpieces. Or go along to to see the latest UnMasterclass.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

UnMasterclass 14

Some comments about UN-MASTER CLASS

"Superb - there was a great deal of excitement and 'buzz' around your session; the Un-Master Class was a big hit!"
- Vicki Roth, program director

The organizers said that participants described the sessions as "sensational," "unbelievable" . . .

Gina Wake, Hal Leonard Music Publishers (Australia) 2007

"Wonderful, upbeat - it is vital to keep coming back to the emotional center - what is actually being communicated - and you did it creatively, without being judgmental."

- Marian Hahn, piano professor

Just like the paintings in UnMasterclass this quotes are also unrepresentative, inaccurate and in fact out of complete context with UnMasterclass. They are taken from another Un-Master class run by William Westney, a world renowned and radical music teacher. We at UnMasterclass aim to mislead in many ways, but always towards a greater goal of showing flaws, mistakes and general crapness for what it is. We do not aim to be sensational, exciting or upbeat, we shall leave that for a true master, Mr Westney. We aim instead to show that relying on the quick fix or the easy route only leads to inadequate resulats. Try harder, learn more and never aspire to what UnMasterclass shows. 
Start by visiting a gallery, seeing painting in the flesh, spend time working out how the painting has been made and put in hours in the studio trying, testing and gettign to know what paint can do. Or lounge back and spend a few minutes unlearning from us. Pop along to for this weeks monstrosity of Cranach's masterpiece.