Sunday, 29 July 2012

Ivan Karp (1926-2012)

Footsball Palace - 21" x 29" - Watercolour
I heard, just the other day, that Ivan Karp had died. No big surprise, he was 86, even so, a spark has gone. Karp was the often outspoken owner of OK Harris in New York City. He represented some of the artists that inspired me during my student years, including: Claes Oldenburg, Robert Cottingham and Roy Lichtenstein. He was very helpful to young, emerging artists - giving advice and encouragement and suggesting other galleries if the work didn't suit him. I met him in 1984. I was living in the USA and had gone to New York to find a gallery to represent me. He wanted to show my work. He introduced me to Malcolm Morley, who had just won the inaugural Turner Prize. I think he was intrigued to find another realist British painter but one who worked in watercolours. I thought I'd arrived. In the end I chose not to show with OK Harris - I didn't like the terms or conditions and I knew I didn't have the confidence or stamina to be part of the New York art scene. This painting 'Footsball Palace' was one of the ones Ivan liked. The Footsball Palace, in Nags Head NC, with its foosball games, roller rink and bar which only served beer, has also gone. It really is the end of an era.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Auto Ecole

Auto Ecole - 10"x14" - Watercolour

This driving school shop front was in Cherbourg. It had everything that interested me: reflections, reflected light, a glimpsed interior, surface textures, geometry. At the time I was interested in the story of the Lamed Vavniks - thirty six people who, unknowingly, hold the world in balance. Maybe this is one of them.