July 1, 2022
  • July 1, 2022

The lazy painter? – FAD Magazine

By on May 18, 2022 0

Benjamin Deakin: ‘Emanator’, 2022 – oil on canvas125 x 150 cm

Painting looks like easy and enjoyable work: roll around the studio when your hangover allows, mix a few colors until you see something you like, then celebrate with another drink. Goes beyond the project management required to make movies; or the supply of materials, labor and weight of the sculpture; not to mention the disciplines of a real profession…

My suspicion that practice is not necessarily so conducive to idleness was confirmed by Benjamin Deakin’s recent exhibition at the JGM Gallery (April 6-May 14). The route to what we saw displayed looked more like:

  • Travel to the Himalayas to hike Nepalese teahouses, inspired by how they make you feel like you’re “in many places at once”
  • Make in-depth photographic documentation
  • Return to the studio to develop a pictorial language to make the most of the odd combination of Buddhist traditions, plastic tablecloths, tomato ketchup and dramatic mountain views through the window, channeling Patrick Caulfield and William Eggleston in the mix.
  • Make an innovative edition of 15 (based on ‘Emantor’) with a print-on-paint method
  • Design a complete installation with hand-printed wallpaper in a section to evoke the interiors
  • Explain your thought for the catalog

Installation shot (with wallpaper) by Benjamin Deakin

In Deakin’s case, he also took photographs to document his own exhibition for the gallery. The other detrimental factor to the easy living is that almost all painters have to find another source of income to continue: assisting a famous artist, working as a gallery technician, or teaching art are the classics. In Deakin’s case, he is well known as a professional exhibition photographer.

Installation shot by Benjamin Deakin

So it’s a pretty hard job to be a painter. In this case, however, the glowing and distinctive results were worth it.

Art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent sees a lot of exhibits: we asked him to write down everything that comes to mind

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Paul Carey Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, World of Interiors, Seisma, Border Crossings, Artlyst, … and, of course, FAD.

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