Artists Blog


Ray Johnstone

Congratulations to the curators of London’s flagship contemporary gallery for bringing us this magnificent exhibition of cutting edge art. Despite the controversially high entrance fee, the intellectual return you get when you see the works is quite amazing. Fortunately this has also cut down on the crowds of philistines one usually encounters when this kind of event is free — those masses of uninformed visitors who are so obviously out of their cultural and creative depth.

       On a recent trip to London I was one of the privileged few invited to a private viewing of the paintings on the Pink Polygon’s latest show. They are, without exception, masterworks of twenty-first century art.

       Unfortunately space and copyright restrictions allow me to show only three examples (If you haven’t yet noticed them, for goodness sake take a look at three masterpieces at the top left of this page).

       Jack Delbos’s huge canvasses “evoke a fleeting glimpse of movement through the landscape, while also conveying their own vivid presence. The viewer is encouraged to enter into the emotional content of the work through thoughtful and open-minded observation.”

       The other large colour field painting shown above is by the emerging Chinese artist Poubel. He describes his work thus: “The majority of my paintings are landscape inspired. I work from either my photographic records or from memory, applying layers of colour to express objects, movement and light. My method is very time consuming and it takes many months to complete a painting because of the multiple layers of oil paint applied to each work and the constant working back through the layers, resulting ultimately is a surface with few textural marks. Titles are also very important particularly when abstracting work; the title can be the only thing that links the artist to the viewer and my titles only hint at the subject matter of the painting, giving the viewer the freedom to come to their own understanding.”

       The piece de resistance, however, in this magnificent show is Kapoor’s abstract masterpiece. Here’s how he’s described his own work: “The content is there in a way that’s more surprising than if I tried to make a content. So, therefore, the idea that subject matter is somehow not the same as content. Then, in a different sort of way, moving from matte surfaces to shiny surfaces. In terms of the fact that the traditional sublime is the matte surface, deep and absorbing, and that the shiny might be a modern sublime, which is fully reflective, absolutely present, and returns the gaze. This feels like a new way to think about the non-objective object.”



Oh well, I hope by now that everyone reading this post will have spotted that it’s all unadulterated crap.

       Now, before anyone else says it, here come the sour grapes. By the bucketload: There’s no such place as the Pink Polygon — but sadly all of the artist’s comments are genuine. (The words have been taken, unedited, from commentaries living professional artists have provided about their own work.)

       And, even more sadly, one of the photographs above is of a real work by one of these highly acclaimed artists — it’s worth thousands — well, perhaps “worth” is the wrong word, but it sold recently at Christies for 54,000 Pounds. The others are: a photograph of a fading poster taken around the corner from the Zambezi Gallery in Condom, and a painting by my two year old grandson.

       The first person to post on the Zambezi blog the correct number of the REAL ARTWORK will win one of my original A4 size ink drawings of a village in this part of France. (All you have to do is say: Kapoor’s painting is number 1, 2 or 3) The drawing will be posted to the winner in a cardboard tube via the Zambezi One Gallery — if he, she or it wants it that is.







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    Robert Parish says:

    Kapoor's painting is number 2. That's my vote, I do know which one is the faded poster though so that narrows it down. BTW your grandson looks to be a force for the future, is it possible to invest now ? If I win I promise not to sell the painting on but will keep it for my private collection. Kind regards, Robert.

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    Ray says:

    Sorry Robert, Relatives, friends and other hangers on are not eligible to enter, according to the rules which I have on file. I await further comments and look forward to posting my drawing (not a painting) to the winner via your good self. Thanks for your comment and for taking the trouble to enter and sorry you didn't win. However, rules are rules. Amicalement. Ray

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