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Aesthetica Art Prize 2020 at the York Art Gallery

Imagine my delight when I walked into the York Art Gallery in England and saw my paintings hanging in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2020 exhibition. Amongst numerous conceptual installations, photographs and television screens all over the walls, there they were… my paintings.

The editor of Aesthetica is able to see the connections and she was able to instantly tune in to how my paintings act as a bridge to the contemporary art scene with what clearly are traditionally executed paintings.

I spent many years studying contemporary art. I majored in photography at university and I’m comfortable when surrounded by conceptual installations — in fact, I myself have produced many. In forthcoming posts, I will explain precisely what my intentions are with my paintings, but for now, enjoy these few photographs of the installation at the York Art Gallery by photographer Jim Poyner.

Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography
Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography
Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography

Leading up to March 13 opening of the exhibition in York, England was obviously a confusing situation. In my part of the world, everything was already entering COVID-19 shut-down, but the United Kingdom maintained the status quo and everything was set to go ahead as planned. I had the strongest feelings that I was getting my England excursion just under the wire. It turned out exactly as I had anticipated with the added anxiety about supposed travel bans and being trapped forever and far away from my family. It didn’t turn out that way. My travel days were fine, I enjoyed a free upgrade to a more comfortable seat as I flew home over the Atlantic. I am now in the midst of a self-quarantine along with millions and millions of others.

To be very honest, little has changed in my daily life. For a decade I have set myself up in my studio for months on end to concentrate on painting. Audiobooks, podcasts, music, streaming radio from around the world — I never feel isolated or alone. I know this is true of my fellow artists and has been true of artists for millennia.

So wherever you are, I hope you’re well, I hope you’re coping, I hope this passes soon and we can get a grip on what it all means.

I have a commission I’m working on, as well as several new paintings for a planned exhibition in New York City this coming September. We shall see how this pans out. Whatever the case is, I’m positive I’ll have a body of work I’m proud of in a few short months.

Aesthetica Art Prize 2020

Ampro Precision Projector painting by Christopher Stott

I am very excited to announce that my work has been shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2020.

The renowned Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition returns this Spring, inviting audiences to discover and engage with new ideas from the next generation of talent. Hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, it redefines the parameters of contemporary art.

Since its establishment 13 years ago, the prize has provided a platform for artists from across the world, supporting and enhancing their careers through prize money, exhibition, publication and talent development, inviting leading jurors such as Sarah Allen, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern; Claire Catterall, Senior Curator, Somerset House; Damon Jackson-Waldock, Deputy Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Pierre Saurisse, Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and Eliza Williams, Editor, Creative Review.

The 2020 exhibition includes 18 artists that respond to today’s key issues, unpacking the layers of digitalised, globalised world. It is an honour to have my work selected out of thousands of entries.

As Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica, notes: “This Prize reflects upon the global situation – actions, behaviours and developments that are changing society. These artists are responding to the world around us, offering genuine insight into how we can encourage positive change. I am privileged to have the opportunity to see and support so much talent.”

Audiences can see my Ampro Precision Projector painting and other selected works at the exhibition which runs March 13 – July 5 at York Art Gallery, United Kingdom.

Read about my entry on the Aesthetica website.

ITOYA 2020 Calendars

2020 brings in another calendar from ITOYA in Japan. For the past four years, this fine stationery store sells a calendar they produce with my images. It’s a total delight and I love it — large and sturdy and tastefully designed.

This year ITOYA has also added a desk calendar.

The calendars are only available in the Japanese market — if you’re outside of Japan, try using tenso.com to import the calendar. You can find the calendar on the ITOYA website here.

The Southampton Review

I had the honour of having my painting appear on the cover of the summer and fall 2019 edition of The Southampton Review. Inside the beautifully published literature and fine art journal, there are also 8 paintings from my portfolio.

I am pleased that the publisher appreciates the poetry of my paintings and finds them able to relate to their audience and correspond with the other art and writings in the magazine. I aim for my paintings to have subtle narratives and it is a privilege to be able to spend my time endlessly working on them.

The Southampton Review – Summer/Fall 2019

My next solo exhibition…

It is going to be a busy and productive fall and winter for me. I am setting up to work on several new paintings for my next solo exhibition which will be in Los Angeles in February/March 2020 at the George Billis Gallery LA.

First up we’ve got this set of cameras, just completed and set aside in the stockpile.

There will also be a few art fairs along the way before I head to LA for the show and I plan on having fresh work for them as well. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

9 Cameras / on the easel

George Billis Gallery NYC April 2019

The evening of the reception for my exhibition saw great weather and a good turn out. I had many conversations — it’s nice to get feedback from others as we stand in front of the actual paintings.

Below are some very crude iPhone snapshots of the installation and some people pondering the paintings.

Seeing the paintings framed and lit is a joy for me — as I usually see them up close and usually in an incomplete state. I am grateful to be able to do this — to spend my days working on my art and to then have the opportunity for a gallery to spend time and energy to share the work.

George Billis Gallery NYC / April 2019
George Billis Gallery NYC / April 2019
George Billis Gallery NYC / April 2019
George Billis Gallery NYC / April 2019
George Billis Gallery NYC / April 2019

I had my two teenagers with me this time around. We spent 5 days walking around New York and taking it all in. I am now back in my studio and hard at work on another painting that has a tight deadline, which seems to be the way I work best.

American Art Collector March 2019

This is always exciting — seeing your work in print. American Art Collector magazine has a nice preview for the paintings that will be in my upcoming exhibition in New York.

The exhibition runs from March 26 to April 27. I’ll  be travelling to New York for the reception that is on Thursday, March 28 from 6-8pm.

All of the available paintings for the show are now on my website, you can view them → here.

ITOYA 2019 Calendar

For the third year in a row ITOYA has issued a calendar featuring a dozen of my paintings. The calendar is made exclusively for the Japanese market, and ITOYA is in charge of all the sales.

The calendar is large, measuring at 23.5″ x 16.5″ and printed on sturdy, heavy weight paper, the images are big and colorful.

If you’re outside of Japan, try using tenso.com to import the calendar. You can find the calendar on the ITOYA website here.

 

The Studio

I have been busy working on new paintings for my upcoming April exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles. I’ll share new work soon, but in the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the studio as it was on February 2, 2018.