Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Video Review of Richard Jackson: New Paintings at Hauser & Wirth, North Gallery, London

Richard Jackson: New Paintings
Hauser & Wirth, North Gallery, London
23 May – 26 July 2014

Richard Jackson (born 1939) has been a pre-eminent figure on the American art scene since the 70s and, in his current exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, he certainly leaves his mark. Influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and action painting, this show is a playful, yet disturbing synthesis of the two.

To read the rest and to watch this video review, please go to:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Interview with Julian Schnabel at the Dairy Art Centre


Julian Schnabel: Every Angel has a Dark Side
Dairy Art Centre
25 April - 27 July 2014

STATE.TV grabs some rare facetime with the infamous American painter at the Dairy Art Centre, London. 


To watch the video, please go to:

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Report on Un-Straight Museum Conference 2014

Un-Straight Museum Conference 2014: Tackling Institutional Homophobia
Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool, decided to “do something good” with the Council of Europe 2013 cash prize for their April Ashley exhibition, Portrait of a Lady, so turned to Liverpool-based arts and social justice organisation, and co-organiser of the exhibition, Homotopia, to organise this seminal conference.

Interview with Marina Abramović at the Serpentine Gallery

Marina Abramović: 512 Hours
Serpentine Gallery, London
In 2010, Marina Abramović took over MOMA in New York for a 736 hour and 30 minute long performance, The Artist is Present, during which time visitors could sit opposite her, meeting her gaze and feeling her energy.
For her new performance at London’s Serpentine Gallery, Abramović is taking things one step further, removing the chairs, and simply wandering around among the 160 capacity audience, sometimes touching, sometimes interacting, for a duration of 512 hours.
We spoke to her ahead of the opening about why, for her, presence is so important, what she expects from this long durational performance, and why it leaves her feeling even more vulnerable than her early 1970s Rhythm works.

Marina Abramović, 512 Hours, will run at the Serpentine Gallery until 25 August 2014. Entry is free, but on a first-come, first-served basis.
To view the interview, as well as further excerpts from the press conference, please go to:

Portfolio: Sarah Pucill

Portfolio: Sarah Pucill

“I read somewhere the other day that in black and white film, you do still see colours. It is more imaginative. It has ambiguity. The flesh is the same colour as the beach, so things happen.” This is why photographer and filmmaker Sarah Pucill prefers to work in monochrome. Uncertainty of recognition and bending of identity are key themes recurring throughout her works. From her first film, You be Mother (1990), through Stages of Mourning (2004), made in memory of her late partner Sandra Lahire, to her most recent and first feature-length film, Magic Mirror (2013), based around the work of French Surrealist and early queer thinker, Claude Cahun, Pucill has employed motifs such as blood, milk, hair, masks and the mirror, to call into question representations of the female body from Medusa to Venus. At a time when it was popular to portray masculine lesbian identity, Pucill sought instead to celebrate the unison of two feminine female bodies in Swollen Stigma (1998) and Cast (2000) considers the lesbian overtones she sees inherent in encouraging young girls to nurture female dolls. Her works are evocative and uncanny, speaking a language that will resonate for women across time and space.

Magic Mirror is shortly to be released on DVD. Details to follow on Sarah Pucill’s website and through LUX:

To see this full portfolio, please buy the July 2014 issue of DIVA magazine

Monday, 9 June 2014

Review of Maripaz Jaramillo: Ellas at Sandra Higgin’s Art Salon

Maripaz Jaramillo: Ellas
Sandra Higgin’s Art Salon, Apt. 3, 46 Harcourt Terrace, London SW10 9JR
27 May – 20 June 2014

Vibrant, buzzing and sensual, Maripaz Jaramillo’s close up portraits of women in the throes of passion, dancing, laughing and being happy, are pure celebration: celebration of being women, celebration of being happy, celebration of the simple joys of life. Living and working in her native Colombia, amidst much political unrest as the elections drag on and war and peace hang in the balance, Jaramillo wants her work to represent happiness and the positive side of her country, which, according to a recent study, has one of the happiest populations in the world. “Our country is full of people dancing,” Jaramillo explains. “The politicians are killing one another, but the people don’t care. They’re just dancing. If you go to a concert, they get up in the aisles and are all dancing. They dance, they eat well, and they are happy. That’s what I take for my work.”

To read the rest of this review, please go to:–-ellas.aspx 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Interview: Maripaz Jaramillo

Maripaz Jaramillo: Ellas
Sandra Higgin’s Art Salon, Apt. 3, 46 Harcourt Terrace, London SW10 9JR
27 May – 20 June 2014

Maripaz Jaramillo (born 1948, Manizales, Colombia) is a highly successful artist back home in her native Colombia. She has 126 graphic works in the Art Museum of Pereira, filling a room named in her honour; she has painted a grand scale mural on the Museum of Medellin University; and she has painted portraits of two presidents: Alvaró Uribe (2002-2010) and Juan Manuel Santos (2010-now). Despite international exhibitions, she has not returned to London, where she studied for a postgraduate degree in graphic art at Chelsea College of Art in the late 70s, until now. Coinciding with Pinta, the Latin American Art Fair held at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre from 12 – 15 June, Jaramillo is showing a small but succinct series of work, Ellas, at Sandra Higgin’s Art Salon, just down the road in Chelsea. I met with her to talk colour, happiness and politics.

Anna McNay: Let’s talk a little bit first about your work, in particular your series Ellas. Where do your colours come from? The yellow in particular, and the greens? What inspired you to use this colour scheme?

Maripaz Jaramillo: For me, the colours are very important. They’re more important than the drawing. I love colour. In Egypt, the woman was always drawn and painted as yellow, and the man was brown, because the women were not meant to go out in the sun. So I took the idea of these colours from Egypt after visiting the country. And then, in South America, there is just so much colour. People dress and fill their homes with colour, and so that is why I work with such strong colours. It’s also a very Pop Art way of depicting things.

The green is nature. We have a lot of green in my country, so I love green. Where I grew up, there is a lot of green, because of the coffee plantations.

Also, yellow and green are not complementary colours – they are next to one another on the colour wheel – and so they stand out vividly against each other.

I think it’s also very Expressionist, my work. The drawing is not as important as the strong image. But it’s still very important to me that the pictures are figurative.

AMc: The women you depict in Ellas are also very sensual.

MJ: Yes, they are sensual. They are happy women, not sad. The first graphic series I made, which was very Expressionist, was very strong and very sad. The women in Ellas are happy and want to live their lives.

AMc: Do you think this represents a change in your own life?

MJ: Yes, I think so. I’ve moved about a lot. I lived in Cali, which is a very hot city, very sensual, and then I came here and then I went to Paris. After that I went back to Bogotá. And my work has changed as I’ve moved. It’s evolution.

AMc: Would you say there is a narrative with your images?

MJ: Yes, I think so. To begin with, the images were very strong and tortured. Now they are still strong but less tortured. And I think this is also true of my life, because I was married, and it wasn’t a good marriage. At the beginning, it was very hard to live with my husband. Now I’m happy. My work is a celebration. Things are going well. It seems to me that my life is reflected in my work. It is very important for artists to work what they live.

AMc: You’ve mentioned sensuality already. Do you think there is also an element of vulnerability in your Ellas series?

MJ: There is sensitivity, yes.

AMc: You also have zoomed in very close on the women’s faces…

MJ: Yes, they are very close up, as if you had zoomed in with a camera. That’s important. It’s important that there is no background. No distraction. Some of the bigger pictures in the series have green backgrounds with flowers. But not the smaller pictures.

AMc: There are also some paintings with men in them…

MJ: Yes, I do a lot of couples.  I believe a lot in women, but I am not feminist. I think life is nice with men. I don’t hate men.

AMc: Some of the women seem almost to be in states of ecstasy. They’re not just sensual, but also very sexy.

MJ: Yes, they’re very sexy. But all of the women in Colombia are very sexy. They wear sexy dresses, they move in a sexy way. Our country is full of people dancing. The politicians are killing one another, but the people don’t care. They’re just dancing. If you go to a concert, they get up in the aisles and are all dancing. They’re happy. A recent report showed that Colombia has one of the happiest populations in the world. There is all of this killing, but they are happy. They dance, they eat well, and they are happy. That’s what I take for my work.

AMc: There is a lot of political unrest in Colombia at the moment and there will be a second round of elections on 15 June, while you are in London, in fact.

MJ: Yes. President Santos lost the first round in May. People still believe he will win the second round, on 15 June, but it is a nasty situation, with war and peace in the balance. I have painted both Santos and his wife [Jaramillo was commissioned] and also Uribe, the previous president. When Uribe was in power, Santos was his number two and they were like brothers. Uribe was funded, in part, by the Americans and began a war on the Farc [the Guerrilla army]. He had two terms as president, and, when Santos took his place, he felt his policies were safe. Santos, however, sees himself as a peacemaker and has very controversially embraced Venezuela, where the Farc had been hiding, just over the border, and so he has been criticised for harbouring the Farc. He wants to embrace them and incorporate them into the government with a peace treaty. Uribe is now trying to get back into the government as a senator and is waging a very personal war against Santos. There are too many bad things going on. I want to paint happy things.

AMc: Do you use a model for your painting?

MJ: No, I use the television a lot. There is a Colombian television programme called Bailando por un Sueño (‘Dancing for a Dream’) [something like Strictly Come Dancing], where celebrities have to learn to dance. One painting – Las Estrellas – is of dancers and singers at a fiesta in a small town with horses and cows and music.

AMc: You are also currently producing work for an exhibition at your gallery in Colombia, Alonso Garcés Galería in Bogotá, next year – Abrazos (‘Embraces’). Do you tend to work on a number of series consecutively?

MJ: No, I do about 30 works in each series and then finish it and start another series. I used to complete about one series every three years. My works may look quite easy to make, but they’re not. I spend about two months on each painting. There are layers. First of all I work with the yellow and the other colours and the green always comes last.

AMc: How important is it for you to show your work internationally, and to show a positive side of Colombia?

MJ: It’s wonderful. Especially to be in London for the first time after 30 years. I’ve shown work internationally, but I’ve never been back to London. I’m so happy to be here with Sandra. London has a sentimentality for me. In Colombia, my work is recognised and people like it. In London, I will see what happens, what people say. It’s very important what Sandra is doing, bringing artists here from Colombia and Brazil. She is very brave.

Private View, in the presence of the Colombian Ambassador, Nestor Osorio 
Tuesday 10 June 2014

Visit by appointment only

Contact Sandra on 0207 244 7194 or