Thursday, July 30, 2009

Julian Dashper 1960-2009

We have just heard the expected but still shocking news that Julian Dashper died this morning. Julian has been an irrepressible presence in the New Zealand art scene for so long now, it is impossible at the moment to imagine it without his emails, funny stories, relentless optimism and a sweet nature, albeit tinged with steel when it came to his work. Julian and Marie managed what has often been considered impossible: two artists living together, both hugely admiring and supporting the other’s work. Add their son Leo and you had a very tight unit. Much of Julian's earlier work is little known by a decade of young artists – his wild exhibition with John Reynolds at Peter McLeavey’s in 1984 is an incendiary memory. His later work, and his impeccable role model as a working artist, has been a profound influence. We will miss Julian terribly, but his presence is everywhere.