Saturday, 23 November 2013

Q5 with Andrew Bonneau

This month our exhibition has been broght to us by The Pop Up Collective who are curating an International Men's Day themed exhibition called I am Man (official website here). We're delighted to have such a diverse variety of styles of art from the 4 artists in the exhibiton and will be posting a Q5 for each of them. Our next artist is Andrew Bonneau. Read about his art and inspiration below.

Describe yourself as an artist

Well, I guess you would say that I’m an artist who is very interested in reconnecting to a pre- Modernist conception of drawing and painting; one that is built on a close observation of the physical world and developing the drawing skills required to translate that into pictorial form.
I have always striven to develop the kind of skills and knowledge to do this; I recently returned from three years studying at the Grand Central Academy in New York, where a very rigorous kind of drawing and painting program is taught.

Describe the work you have in the exhibition

I have two pieces in the exhibition- One figure study-‘Santiago’ and one portrait of a local model- ‘Paul’. The painting of Santiago was done in New York earlier this year; I really like the contraposto in the pose. I painted it fairly quickly so it was interesting to have to make fast decisions about how best to describe his anatomy in a simplified but still very specific way.
The portrait of Paul was also painted fairly quickly. It was a great challenge to paint a portrait where the front plane of the face is either in shadow or strongly raking light. 

You seem to place a lot of importance on skill. Why do you feel that this is important?

The idea of Beauty is traditionally associated with drawing from nature, and I have found from experience that working within a convention, but being as truthful as you can about what you see, elements of the beautiful begin to emerge. So it’s a kind of Truth/ Beauty relationship, but it’s the desire for objectivity that allows this to happen

What is it that interests you about the human being as a subject?

Well, it’s THE subject of Western art, and it’s who we are as a species which makes it continually fascinating, despite what time period you’re living in. I think that the human subject is so important in that not only ideas but also feelings can be embodied in a representation of the human body or face. As an artist interested in developing my drawing skills, painting the human figure is a pretty strong indicator of your ability. It’s also central to humanism, which is one of the defining cultural achievements of the civilized world.

Who are your favorite artists?

Rembrandt is just great; I always get so much out of looking at him. There is such a presence in all of his paintings. Also Titian, Rubens, Raphael, Caravaggio; the list goes on. Lately I’ve been looking at Ivan Shishkin, the 19th century Russian landscape painter as I’ve been drawing and painting a lot of trees. 

'I am Man' runs from November 2 - 30, 2013 at 109 Lake Street, Cairns. As always Cell Art Space is open 24/7 and is still accessible to pedestrians during the City Place upgrade. Closest parking is behind Canopy off Grafton Street. 

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