50 for 50 — Part Two

I hope you can tell a lot about a person by the art they like. My favourites are as eclectic as our gallery, which I presume means I’m a little on the crazy side of normal! A bit like the chicken and egg scenario, I’m also not sure if the art I like moulds me into who I am or if I like the art because of who I am! Answers on a nice art card please…

6. The Great Wave — Katsushika Hokusai

Under the wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) from Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji. Colour woodblock, 1831. Acquisition supported by the Art Fund. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

This piece by Hokusai marked the start of my obsession with Japan. From ceramics to prints with lots of dallying around the food, Japan forms a large part of my life and I am ashamed to say I missed his show at the British Museum.

7. The Kiss — Gustav Klimt

From Google Arts & Culture

An image so captivating and annoying at the same time. Annoying in that the influence has been so far reaching it invades just about every day. I have seen this painting in the flesh, or at least one that was portrayed as being the original. I have my doubts and it is reputedly one of the most copied images of the 20th/21st century.

8. Edward Hopper — Nighthawks

Edward Hopper — Nighthawks from Smithsonian Magazine

In truth it could be any of a number of Hopper’s works I selected here. I love the way he portrays normal daily life in a style that says France yet you know you are looking at the American Dream. Hopper was renowned for his ability to turn the drab and unexciting into a scene that had so much undercurrent running through it. Most importantly, he took a new look at life through his art and influenced so many after him. None come close in my mind.

9. Anthony Gormley — Earthbound

Anthony Gormley — Earthbound at Downing College, Cambridge, UK

We are located close to Ampleforth College where Gormley had his secondary education. Taught by the man who built our original gallery space, John Bunting, so I love the full circle connection back to my roots in Cambridge. We recently did one of the several sculpture walks around the town and found Earthbound, a full size replica of Gormley which is buried upside down with just the soles of the feet showing. There’s not much Gormley I like but this is brilliant and levels him with the rest of us mere mortals. Inspired!

10. Simon Gudgeon — Search for Enlightenment

Simon Gudgeon — Search for Enlightenment

Simon was born and raised close to the gallery but left the area for a career in the city and fell into art as an escape. Now he is one of the most highly rated UK artists, producing consistently strong sculptures, which he displays so well in his sculpture park in Dorset (Sculpture by the Lakes). We were introduced by Guy Combes, a British artist based in California who was visiting the area and called into the gallery. I love his ability to capture the emotion of each different subject he tackles, which is presumably why he is in so many significant collections! Not only that but he is a remarkably jovial chap who is a joy to work with!