Jude, Elena & Arthur 2010. Oil on canvas (30 x 40cm)
nnnnnnnnnnNo title (Let's Wrestle3) 2010. Oil on canvas (30 x 40cm)
 

MIKEY GEORGESON - TRAGICOSMIC (28 APRIL - 22 MAY 2010)

Looking at Mikey Georgseon's “No Title - Let's Wrestle”, a series of paintings made from a film of his sons wrestling at home, I am reminded of a tale a told to me by a friend while we were at school. His dad had taken him to see the Saturday afternoon wrestling somewhere in Birkenhead. It would have been the early 1980's, back in the days of Big Daddy, Giant Haystack and the ever terrifying Kendo Nagasaki. I only remember two things about his account of the visit, the first being a description of him, his dad and the whole crowd in the arena going crazy, standing on their seats, pumping their fists in unison, screaming ‘EASY! EASY! EASY!' as Big Daddy chucked his opponent around the ring. The second being how on the way out, he'd peeked behind a curtain, and saw the same Big Daddy, naked, in the shower.

Wrestling provides a framework in which we can transcend our everyday reality within the safety of agreed boundaries. As spectators we're telescoped from the mundane to the fantastic (and beyond, in my school friend's case). It's real, and not real simultaneously. I get a sense from Mikey's paintings that there's an element of that tension present too, perhaps on a very different type of canvas. The scene is played out with vigour by the young boys within the parameters of a home wrestling match. Mikey's paint swirls this way and that, thick gobbets merging to equalize the objects within, yet constrained by the edges of the canvas. Form is maintained to heighten illusion, but subject itself arcs across paintings.

Another features the young brothers from Edlington, recently convicted of a ‘appalling and terrible' assault on another pair of boys. The image is painted from a court drawing and defies the faceless and static nature of the source, there is gesture and texture. But is there a value judgement taking place here? I don't think so. Mikey insists that the simple cosmic interconnectivity of all events, our shared responsibility, is what is important. These ‘episodic globules captured in glistening sticky fluid called paint,' are channelled through him, via his ever shifting ‘here and now,' and onto canvas. The moment the work becomes didactic he draws back. Were those screaming wrestling fans in Birkenhead interested in knowing that Kendo Nagasaki's real name was Peter Thornley and he was born in Stoke? Maybe, but I doubt it. Rationalisation of the precise nature of relationships on the canvas is best avoided to dodge the negation of the act. Action springs from intuition, allowing infinite space for synchronicity and connectivity, at the centre the artist effortlessly dances around the canvas as we stand in the gallery, chanting EASY! EASY! EASY!
Dave Evans MA RCA

This show features a series of paintings called “No title – Let's Wrestle” based on a film I took of my sons. During their bouts, fairness is paramount. They enjoy the framework provided by supervision, but, as a painter, there is a sadness attached to this detachment, this distance. It reminds me that I used to work in a building where the lecture theatre was once a room where children were observed at play by medical staff. I think that for boys wrestling is like saying "This is real life - I am here"; so, for me, is painting. There is no sociological intent to the paintings when I am making them. At that point, I am just saying "Look at the colours of their pants and see how their skin tone is fractionally different. Look at that big black sofa. Isn't it funny how the paint is the same texture?" Everything is connected.

Alongside my own sons I have painted the Edlington boys in court from a drawing in the paper. These court drawings made from memory always seem to suggest a leaden inertia that is a travesty of real life, but in this case it's appropriate. A top that one of the boys is wearing is the same colour as a top my son wears and that particular blue became part of the subject. Everything is connected and responsibility is collective.

"To see that which is under your nose requires a constant struggle." George Orwell.
These tragicosmic paintings are a distillation of my desire to capture what I consider to be episodic globules in the glistening sticky fluid called paint. They are all from vignettes in my life when events were inexplicably book-ended. I imagine them as images forming in a primordial quantum soup. "Hush," a voice from the side interjects," the mists are clearing…"and the picture reveals itself. In my lighter moments I am buoyed by feeling part of a slow-motion explosion that fleetingly forms into coherent constellations. They represent a euphoric desire to live in the here and now coupled with the nausea of seeing those yellow police signs on the street that say "Life is cruel". When I was at school my teacher said I was drunk with words, and now I'm drunk with paint; suspicious of flourishes yet drawn to the transcendental nature of gloopy pigment.
Mikey Georgeson, March 2010

 


No title (Let's Wrestle1) 2010. Oil on canvas (30 x 40cm)

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MIKEY GEORGESON - MY MAGIC LIFE (MAY 23 - JUNE 19)

A phantasmagorical exhibition of painting, sculpture, film, sound and performance assembled by Mister Solo and his glamorous assistant Harry Pye.

Inspired by the life and magic of Edwardian conjuror David Devant, who changed his name from Wighton after seeing a painting called "David Devant Goliath". His catchphrase “All done by kindness” allowed him to delve into the world of spectres and demons in his illusions. Georgeson endeavours to manifest this duality in the pictorial magic of his paintings and performance as Mister Solo. Mikey says: “Anyone hungry for magic should head to the Sartorial Gallery. I am joined by artists who share a restored childhood faith in magic – using passions as beacons. This allows them to replace irony with tears of joy. It will appear incredible that works of such richness could have been produced in this thin, non-ritualist civilization.”

Mikey Georgeson attended Chelsea School of Art from 1986–1989. In 1990 he moved to Brighton and formed the group David Devant & his Spirit Wife. His passion for performance and painting led to the evolution of Mister Solo. Georgeson and Pye have collaborated on a painting of Devant wowing a crowd. The show's title is taken from Devant's Autobiography. Devant reveals his nickname was Monkey Face, which curiously was also once Georgeson's.

As well as Georgeson's new large “back to front inside out” paintings the show will include painted Magic Instructions from Eddie Argos (Art Brut), Andrew Cooper's Cabinet of Evocation, Paul Tecklenberg's Spectrogram's, Chris Rheinhardt's Déjà Private View Box, Chris Gilvan-Cartwright's sparkling landscapes of preternatural light, Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky's magic lantern show as well as Pye's own take on the David and Goliath story. A contribution from the world's only poet-magician, Nathan Penlington, comes in the form of his recently unearthed adolescent magician's diary.

 
 


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