Art on show in Brighton and Hove & East and West Sussex
Sublime moments await viewers of the new art show at Cameron Contemporary Art in Hove. In the distant eyes of Mark Demsteader’s pastel women and the dark symbolism of Iva Troj’s landscapes, in the sculpted flesh of Kevin Hendley’s male torsos and the subtle skin tones of Jennifer Anderson’s heads, we can see art’s ability to inspire.
“Figure” is a show of art at Cameron Contemporary Art, in Hove, UK. Sussex Artbeat attended the preview on 17 October 2014, which was the first birthday of the Gallery. For more info about show dates, please see link at end of the article. Words by Russell Honeyman, pics by Marta Ptaszkiewicz.
Art captures an essence of what it means to be human. It’s hard to pin down, insubstantial and yet of supreme importance to us. Artists paint memories of light, as notes of tone and colour. Sometimes these assembled notes present us with moments of insight, mirroring something fleeting from life itself. Painting captures it for us to study. And in that study, as we wonder what mood is there in corner of the model’s eye, as we realise the human capacity for subtly interpreting such tiny nuances as a warmer or colder shade of peachy skin, or the tiniest flexion of muscle between lip and nostril, we get lost, loose sight of our ego, forget the anger and the pain, and in that moment recover our innocence and remember the joy of simply existing.
For Kevin Hendley the show at Cameron is a kind of homecoming. He is an artist with an international following, but this is his first exibition in in his home town. A graduate of St Martins art school in London in the 1990’s, Kevin was a practitioner of classical painting techniques at a time when modernism and Brit Art conceptualism ruled supreme. His first customer was the Royal Opera House, and then his work was snapped up by top Dutch galleries, where he has sold most of his paintings until now. Kevin’s paintings commanded prices in tens of thousands in shows abroad during the boom years of the late nineties and early 2000’s, but he remains relatively unknown in his home town, and his paintings at this show are more affordable. Torso II is priced at £1,200.
“I’m delighted to be showing here where I live, this is a wonderful space, and I’ve priced my paintings to sell locally,” he said on the night.
Kevin’s paintings on show included several portraits or character studies taken from his experiences in Brighton and Hove. These are painted from studies of photographs, or from imagination. One that caught my imagination was “Gigolo”, from a memory of a passer-by on a Brighton street. This has been stylised and developed to an seductive-scary archetype. Other portraits from Brighton life, such as “Boat race” and “Thespian”, are more down-to-earth but retain the feeling of depth.
Iva Troj is also a local of Brighton and Hove, whose surreal landscapes use digital editing and inkjet print, combined with detailed oil painting and drawing. One can detect recurring motifs, such as a contemplative bull of a man. Her paintings are packed with icons – elephants, classical nude women, stags, flame lilies, a strange hyena-cross-Chihuahua. From a distance they look like serene, classical paintings. Up close, the icons tell a darker tale. In “Know your place”, the happy nude beauties are surrounded by threatening images that recall mortality oppression and decay. One of Troj’s works was sold on the night at £2,100.
Mark Demsteader is another newcomer to Cameron, is also a survivor of the years of modernism (he produces figurative portraits and figures, mostly of women, in oils and pastel), but Mark is now one of the UK’s “most recognisable and collected figurative artists”, according to Cameron’s PR. Mark started work as a butcher with his father, then followed his dream of becoming an artist. The large pastel drawings on show at Cameron were priced at £4,500.
First time at Cameron: Mark Demsteader, Kevin Hendley, Iva Troj, Andy Beck.
Regulars on show: Jo Riddell, Annie Mendelow, Alison Bell, Julie Nelson, Jennifer Anderson, Kirsty Wither and more (see photos).
Photos from the show, below. You need to visit the show to fully appreciate the paintings, since digital reproduction cannot be accurate. However, they do convey a sense of the work and the space.
Link to Gallery http://www.cameroncontemporaryart.com/
Link to Gallery’ Exhibition page with showroom quality pics of paintings, dates and address. http://www.cameroncontemporaryart.com/
For more info on the show dates and address: http://wp.me/p488Yn-18K