Man in the Mirror


161027a Mirror (2016) oil on canvas 34 x 50cm

I’ve been painting a lot lately, but haven’t had time to blog. I don’t like to write in a hurry because that ends up with me saying stupid things, which is especially bad when it’s about other artists’ work. Anyway, I did this painting today. It’s not typical of what I’ve been working on, but I thought it was a fun one to share.

It reminds me of Magritte, and of the hokey pop surrealists that he probably inspired, like Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, who painted the dogs playing cards. The dog paintings were originally an advertising commission, but at least one of them became one of the most popular posters of the 70s. I saw it when I was very young and completely uncynical, and I found it very exciting and a little sinister. The idea that it was somehow “lower” than other paintings I’d seen (Bacon, Dali, Hopper) didn’t occur to me.


Cassius Marcellus Coolidge A Bold Bluff (before 1909) oil [anyone have details on the dimensions? let me know, thanks!]

I also like mirrors and patterned wall paper in paintings, like in some of Christoph Ruckhäberle’s.


Christoph Ruckhäberle Abscheid [Farewell] (2004) oil on canvas 190 x 280cm

And although I didn’t think about it until now, I always loved the jarring effect of the mirror in the Ring movie. I looked it up for this blog, and it’s even the same shape as my mirror, so I’ll chalk that up as another act of subconscious referencing.


Ringu [Ring] (1998) dir. Hideo Nakata


Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Display


Martin Kippenberger Untitled (From the series Krieg Bose / War Wicked) oil and spray paint on canvas 250.2 x 300cm

Sotheby’s auctioneers on New Bond Street have extensive galleries, open free to the public, where they display art works due to be sold in forthcoming auctions. These displays aren’t generally reviewed or promoted as exhibitions, but they’re a great way to see privately owned art that might never be exhibited publicly again.

On friday of this week, Sotheby’s are having sales of Contemporary Art and Italian Art, mostly painting. Yesterday I saw the display, which includes paintings by a very broad range of modern and contemporary artists. There’s so much there, I think anyone interested in painting would find something of interest. Here are a few of my favourites.


Jean-Michel Basquiat Hannibal (1982) acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on canvas 152.4 x 152.4cm


Albert Oehlen Untitled (2007) oil and paper on canvas 200.3 x 340cm


Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild (1986) oil on canvas 120 x 80cm


George Condo The Pilot (2012) acrylic, charcoal and pastel on linen 177.8 x 165.1cm


Peter Doig Grasshopper (1990) oil on canvas 200 x 250cm


Sigmar Polke Spirale (1985) oil and lacquer on fabric in 2 parts, each 179.7 x 149.9cm


Neo Rauch Spur (1998) oil on canvas 200 x 251cm


Michaël Borremans The Swan (2006) oil on canvas 40 x 49.5cm


André Butzer Frau Audi (Frau von August Horch) (2005) oil on canvas 250 x 200cm


Giorgio Morandi Natura Morta (1957) oil on canvas 44.5 x 20.2cm