Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Eria Sane Nsubuga | Uganda

Artist Statement:

"My interests in art dwell around what is around me. Nature, as well as day-to-day activities of the common man are my major sources of inspiration. I delight in simplicity, and as a result a lot of my work has been linked to naïveté. I however make no apologies for being true to myself."

SANE was discovered in 2003 by Maria Fischer, the owner of Tulifanya Gallery in Kampala, which is the most prestigious gallery in Uganda. Since that time Sane has had regular exhibitions at the Gallery and even participated in several International Exhibitions in the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Kenya and Tanzania.

He has won several prizes and awards including a joint first prize for the 30 Years of Ugandan Art competition in 2005.

Sane is a painter, illustrator, sculptor and printmaker; born in 1979, in Central Uganda, he began his artistic career in late 1999, as an undergraduate at Makerere University and in 2001 he was awarded a first class degree in Fine Arts. Most recently, the Germany Ministry sponsored him to travel to Bavaria for an exchange programme.

Sane’s work is all about deconstruction and simplifying the natural world around him. In his collages the work, on first sight, seems so primitive with outlines of forest birds and tribal masks but on closer inspection the audiences are amazed at the complexity and depth of the work produced; the multiple linguistic texts dexterously woven onto the canvas and the occasional photograph of a child’s face or a good-looking blonde from somewhere in Scandinavia, are deliberately placed to unsettle the onlooker. So the artist is intelligently toying with his audience, encouraging the viewer to rethink their thoughts on contemporary Uganda and boisterously teasing the observer, whether at home or abroad, with their preconceived ideas of stereotypical Africa.

In his paintwork Sane manages to capture a myriad of ideas with one symbol. His extraordinary ability to control the paint whilst his extensive knowledge of the palette allows him to produce astonishing colours in chorus with inventive bubbles made by the paint. His masterly application of paint is quite something to behold. His work is certainly amongst the best being produced in Uganda today.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

John Phillips | Master Printer

TAJAN | Lot 156
John Phillips (né en 1951) The Iron Lady, 1989 Lithographie rehaussée de poudre de cuivre Signée et datée 89 en bas à droite Pièce unique 56 x 38 cm
Estimation : € 5,000-7,000

John Phillips, one of London’s best-known art rebels will be at auction in TAJAN, Paris on the 20th November. (See www.tajan.com)

John Phillips has been the inspiration and support for British and international artists throughout his career. In 1974 he squatted a space in West London - then an area at the centre of London's counterculture. A studio was rapidly established - Paddington Printshop (now the londonPrintstudio). Art school trained - but as a sculptor, not a printmaker, Phillips engaged with local people and the local artist
community, promoting ideas and social action through print and graphic media. The timing was perfect; this was an electifying period of creativity in London's rebel music and street culture. Artists, musicians and local anarchists gathered around John and the studio, as well as local working class communities- many of whom were from the Caribbean. Surrounded by the musical and artistic anarchists of the epoch, the studio became pivotal during the London's Punk era(1976-1981). John worked alongside infamous members of the early punk bands; - the Clash, the Slits, the Sex Pistols, and many others.

Led by Phillips, the studio engaged in a series of bold community campaigns and developments, leading to radical change in the role of art in the community and London's urban lanscape; and radical social change in urban housing and its governance. The subversive use of print-posters, handbills, record cover designs were an important feature of the era, playing a paramount role in instigating 'Anarchy in the UK' particularly within the epicentre of Punk - London. While John Phillips led developments at the studio, he always carried out his own work, which has increasingly been recognised as bold, engaging and original. He has often been seen as the forgotten yet true Punk. Phillips is one of the key artistic voices of London; vibrantly anti-authoritarian, yet sometimes poetic, reaching back to older London radical artistic traditions - inspired by Gilray, Blake and Hogarth.

John's reputation as an artist and master printmaker has developed strongly over the years. His work is consistently challenging and experimental, while being accessible. Now regarded as an iconic figure within the print world, he is both a Master Printer and facilitator of printmaking nationally and internationally. LPS is now supported by the Arts Council of England and is a model for similar resources in the UK and elsewhere. About 400 artists work in the sudio each year every year.

The Iron Lady, 1987 (Lady Margaret Thatcher) is an unusual print with a deliberate and distinctly raw guerrilla flavour. It's also sardonic, juxtaposing an idealised image with experimental and subversive use of materials. Confrontational images featuring ironic technical experiments, were a part of John's work in the late 70’s. His work from that period is still considered extremely edgy. This unique print made
of screen printed iron filings is a fine example of his work. For many years now John has been teaching this and other experimental techniques to artists and is regarded as an inspiration to all who enter his studio. John Phillips' work will be sold at auction at TAJAN, Paris this coming November.

Article by Jane Goodsir

For more information about John Phillips and the London Print Studio |

425 Harrow Road, London W10 4RE | Website: www.londonprintstudio.org.uk