Friday, February 27, 2015


Skin in the game.

New Zealand’s greatest Inappropriator Rohan Wealleans (anyone who was there  must still look at the performance Wealleans's brother gave at the Queensland Art Gallery on YouTube and cringe that they all sat there and laughed) is in Thailand. Wealleans snagged a grant and is using at least part of it to learn Thai massage. So wait and watch for Rohan to return home and let his fingers do the talking.
Vaulting ambition 

 There’s a great Sempe cartoon about art collecting. Wellington collectors Les and Milly Paris used to have it in their gallery and you can see it here reproduced on page two of the auction catalogue of their collection (pdf here). It’s a guy talking to an art collector in a large bank vault full of crates marked Picasso, Monet etc. and he’s saying, “I had no idea you were so passionate about art.” It turns out that David Nahmad is that collector as you can see from the photograph. When asked about his relationship to the art that he keeps in a vault year after year he said, “It’s not so sad, it’s more like having children who live in Asia that I can only get to visit once a year. The important thing is not to see them every day, but to know that they exist.“ So there you are, what the hell do we all know.

Singing the blues  
If you ever wondered what made NZ art different, take a look at these two tarpaulin works. The one on your left was made by the American David Hammons last year and the other by Don Driver in 1978. Lookalikes for sure, but these two clearly come from different worlds. Definitely not feelalikes.

You’re an artist, of course we take you seriously  

 “Abby Tanner is content to live on her mountain creating her beautiful works of art and enjoying the peace and quiet. All of that changes when a strange golden space ship crash lands on it.” Welcome to the world of Paranormal Romance. Why are we telling you this? Because an important subsection of this very important category features artists as heroes and heroines, like Abby. Want to catch up with the cream of this crop? Then get yourself S E Smith’s Abducting Abby (Dragon Lords of Valdier, #1), Christine Feehan’s Spirit Bound: Sea Heaven/Sister of the heart #2 (“Judith Henderson was an artist on the rise—an ethereal, and haunted woman whose own picture-perfect beauty stirred the souls of two men who have made her their obsession”), Soul Catcher by Leigh Briger featuring “the tormented journey of folk artist Livia Belane, who has been stalked through many lives by a sadistic and vengeful demon”. Otherwise you can graze at the top end of this excellent genre with Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife. More (so many more) here.


 Joe Sheehan is in Wellington at the moment working on his Cenotaph project. A couple of weeks before he came down we visited his Auckland studio and the pics are now up on OTNSTUDIO. So too photos of a recent visit to the et al. studio in Henderson where work for a show in the Netherlands was being finished. Then on the way back down the island we caught up with Peter Peryer and, while we’re at it, there are some new artist portraits up too.

Images: Abstracts in the et al. studio