A Different Biography
Being an artist my heart has most often shown me the way to go, which was always right even if my mind thought it was wrong. As my heart guides me I have never cared much about qualifications, so this isn't what you would expect from a CV.
David Nash, a New York dealer and important to some in the art world, has been quoted as saying, "Paintings with cows never do well. Never"
In the book, "12 Million Dollar Shark - The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art", by Author Don Thompson
Essentially I don't paint cows, like Vincent van Gogh did not essentially paint sunflowers. He painted a lot of yellow about the time he painted his seven sunflower paintings in all, a yellow chair, he even painted the house he was living in at the time also yellow, the colour of hope. Vincent & myself have something in common, we didn't do so well with the art dealers, suffering as we both were from moments of despair, our hearts revealing to us even if just for a fleeting moment an overwhelming feeling of tranquility.
Back in 1887 it is likely that David Nash may have said that paintings of sunflowers would never do well.
It's the artist who takes the chance to follow his heart. So while dealers wait to see what works, ultimately to see what sells, artists have already taken the plunge into the unknown abyss of creation often well ahead of the dealers existence. That's the madness and at the same time the dilemna of the artist to stay true to himself and yet still do well somehow.
I love this statement from Charles Saatchi who I always admired for his precisive good taste,
"A good artist is the toughest job you could pick, and you have to be a little nuts to take it on. I love them all."
If you think fame and money is the saviour for an artist then look at the story of Mark Rothko. He felt misunderstood despite the fact that he was selling works in 1965 which secured him an annual income of 37.000 dollars which is the equivalent value of approximately 300.000 dollars in 2020.
Rothko felt that the true purpose of his work was not being grasped by collectors, critics, or audiences and in 1970 after a period of deep depression, heavy smoking and drinking he took an overdose of barbiturates, slit his wrists and was gone forever.
As a teenager I stood in the Mark Rothko room in the Tate Gallery myself struggling with finding purpose in this extreme life. It was definitely a spiritual experience with Rothko. He'd done well at least with me. I was moved by his paintings and I don't know really why.
In my childish dreamy heart I imagine my "Yellow Bull" oil painting will hang in the future beside Vincent van Gogh's beautiful Yellow Chair on which my Bull painting is based.
Only the heart knows when it's doing well. It sees essentially that which remains invisible to the eyes of people who live in their bank accounts and sell works like Rothkos for millions missing the purpose and intention of the artist. What of it? Aren't we all screwed up somehow by the false values added by money which messes up our true sense of value, of nature, art, beauty and love. Money doesn't measure up what does well in my world.
4 of my artworks on newspapers are in the Annette & Peter Nobel Collection. along with works from Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies & many other great artists.
Beate Elsen Schwedler, curator of the Collection Würth, chose paintings of mine to be incorporated into the catalogue and exhibition "Menagerie" in 2013 along with works by Segantini, Max Liebermann, Heinrich von Zügel, Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Picasso and many other prominent artists.
I am extremely grateful for the above mentioned collectors and curators of art, Annette & Peter Nobel and their art historian and assistant to the, "Press Art", Collection Hanspeter Portmann.
My gratitude goes particularly to Beate Elsen Schwedler who chose two of my works bought by the Würth Family in 2008, "Golden Bull" Oil on Canvas 2007 & "Sevilla" Oil on Canvas from the year 2000, to be included in the Menagerie exhibition in the Würth Gallery. Unknowingly to her she was fulfilling one of my greatest desires ever in that my "Sevilla", painting would find a worthy place, it being one of the most important works of my whole life when not the most important turning points in my life as an artist both emotionally and spiritually.
It just goes to show that David Nash is not always right when it comes to what does well and what does not. He is of course talking purely financially.
Dates & stuff:
1962 born in Doncaster, England
1976 shows strong interest for all aspects of art, painting, printmaking, Silkscreen & Etching
1978-80 Design and Technology School
- worked with wood, plastics & metal
silkscreen printing, etching & lithography
1980-81 Art Foundation Course - Obligatory
- Lithography & Silkscreen
- Art History
1981-84 Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art, Newcastle University
- Painting & Printmaking
1984-1987 World Tour Europe, Greece, Israel, Asia
- in these years lived as a street musician, drawing, writing & embroidery
Since 1987 in Germany
The photo above shows my, "Golden Bull" acquired by the Würth Family and included in the "Menagerie" Exhibition in 2013 in the Kunsthalle Würth beside works from Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Picasso...
2000 „Art and Craft“ Gruppenausstellung Thal, Germany
2001 „Cows“ Werkhaus Rohrdorf, Germany
2004 „Cows and People“ Wilhelm Leibl Galerie Bad Aibling, Germany
2004 „Cows“ Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Kanold München, Germany
2005 „Kilkenny – Irish Artist“ Hugendubel München, Germany
2006 „The Yellow Bull“ Hermannsdorf Kerschlach, Germany
2007 „Cows in the Tower“ Stadttorturm Braunau, Austria
2008 „Springtime in Tegernsee“ Der Westerhof Tegernsee, Germany
2009 „Chocolate Cheese“ Farbwerk Sankt Radegund, Austria
2010 „Kilkenny's Cows“ Galerie Rathaus Burghausen, Germany
2013 „Menagerie“ Exhibited work in the Galerie Würth in Schwäbish Hall, Germany
2013 "Neueste Nachrichten Heilige Kühe" One year - a painting on every issue of the Süddeutsche Zeitung - Exhibition in the home & Studio of the artist, Tittmoning, Germany
2014 "Resident in the Castle" - In the Castle of Tittmoning, Germany
2016 4 Works on newspaper included in the catalogue to the Exhibition, "Press Art" - Collection Annette & Peter Nobel
2016 "Harvest Time" - Herrmannsdorf, Germany
2016 "Cows International" Cows on international newspapers of the world - Museum Prien, Germany
2017 "The Power of Cow" - Ingolstadt Museum, Germany
2017 "Alles ist vergänglich, nur der Kuhschwanz, der bleibt länglich."
(English: "Everything is transient, only the cow's tail stays long") - Castle of Tittmoning, Germany
2019 Artist in Residence by Professor Elisabeth von Samsonow - Hadres by Vienna, Austria