Sunday, February 23, 2014

Contributors so far

So, here's what we know so far by way of contributors, in no particular order at all. These have come either from the press articles to date or from twitter/facebook feeds. Apologies for any spelling mistakes or omissions.

Grayson Perry
Richard Long
Maggi Hambling
Yinka Shonibare
John Baldessari
Anita Klein
Shane Bradford
Daniel Clark
Sarah Kurdika Davenport
Rebecca Arnold
Sophie Collier
Kevin Broughton and Fiona Birnie
Vanilla Beer
Mark Essen
Tomi Vollauschek
Neasa Terry
Stuart Layton
Nicholas Middleton
Jennie Edwards
Emma Russell
Nadege Meriau
Charlotte Bracegirdle
Angela Lamb
Roel Paradaens
Lee Borthwick
Wayne Chisnall
Holly Slngsby
Annabel Tilley
Molly Rooke
Babette Wagenvoort
James R Ford
Louisa Chambers
Masayo Matsuda
Julie Brixey-Williams
Michael Bartlett
Isobel Wohl
Olenna Mokliak
Pete Fowler

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First concrete contributor news

The college have posted on their facebook page this new article which it appears may have been in the evening standard on Friday night. Anyway as you can see it contains the first concrete contributor news: Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, John Baldessari, Maggi Hambling and Richard Long are all listed as contributors this year.

All those names have contributed to the show in the past although Perry didn't contribute last year and Richard Long hasn't done so for a few years. Exciting stuff.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lessons learned and preparation

By John:

Did you go to RCA secret last year?
Did you get what you wanted?
Did you like what you got?
Do you STILL like what you got?

2014 isn't my first year at the RCA secret! and boy I've made some fantastic mistakes buying cards that I really didn't like, but I so convinced myself I was buying something from a "famous artist" that I got carried away. Quite an expensive mistake that I've (mostly) learned from.

This years RCA secret approaches, and I'm getting excited. But apart from being an idiot again and buying things that I am never going to like, there's nothing I can really do until the exhibition opens and we see the 2014 cards, is there?

The answer is yes yes yes. loads of practical stuff from making sure I'm free on the day (getting out of any birthday parties/weddings etc), to making sure I know where my warm gloves are, and that flask I use once a year.

But with regards to preparing for the exhibition itself, there are a number of things you can do, this is my routine...

Firstly I take a look at what I got last year, and ask myself if I still like them as much as I did the day I got them. And if not why not? It's good to be clear with myself as to what I like and what I "liked the look of but got bored" with. "The love is no longer there" you may sometime hear me say.

Next I look at my list of cards that I didn't get, the ones crossed off while waiting for my turn. At the moment it's great because I can still type their numbers into the RCA Secret website and see who the artist was (until they take down the 2013 cards from the site in a few weeks). I sometimes google them to do a bit of research on them, to see if that may help me identify their cards in 2014 (if they submit them, although there a lot of serial contributors). Also, some cards that initially appear dull or uninteresting can be suddenly more attractive when you understand something about the artist that create them.

Finally I look at the framed cards on my walls and wonder "what would be good alongside the stuff I already have on the walls". I find it really helps to give me focus to know that I'm looking for something for my living room/bedroom/hallway/office desk/etc. For example this year I will look to get a monochrome card that will go with a pair I got from previous years and put in. The hallway.

So when the exhibition opens, it's not like I am suddenly an expert or anything, but I will go in with a sense of knowing what I like, what I want, and what will make a card "tick the right boxes" so I know how high or low to put it on my list (ordering your list as an art in itself). And getting a card that I like and know what I will do with is success for me.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

10 artists that make RCA Secret

We first did this feature a few years ago but thought we would re-run it in the run-up to the 2014 sale with 10 different artists, all of whom are regular contributors to the sale. These names may not be the household names that trip off everyone’s tongue but they are all artists who have supported RCA secret every year for many years and therefore deserve a mention and support. This is just my personal list - what is yours?

1. Paul Benjamins – working out of his studio in a Victorian house in Peckham Paul Benjamins has been producing his extraordinary abstract paintings for many years. He has been contributing cards to RCA secret for as long as I have been going – miniature examples of his colourful abstracts that draw influences from the urban environment in which he operates. He’s also a top bloke as well even though he is a Chelsea fan. He hosts regular open houses in conjunction with the Dulwich Open House season and I would thoroughly recommend going along for a glass of wine and a look at his amazing works.

2. Ray Richardson – another south Londoner Ray invariably puts pencil to card for his RCA secret contributions of dogs and south london “geezers” as he describes them. His cinematic figurative paintings have led to him having a loyal following with many collectors. A contemporary of Damien Hirst at Goldsmiths college Ray has admirably ploughed his own furrow, eschewing conceptual art for painting.

3. Richard Davidson – a former lawyer who sensibly gave up law to pursue his love of paintings Richard still paints the trappings of his former life – office shoes and shirts etc. Look out also for the odd tree, pillow or even a cupcake!

4. Guy Allott – robots, space, mystical worlds seen through holes in trees, what’s not to love about the work of this hugely talented painter and print-maker based in London but with a raft of international shows coming up for 2014.

5. Glen Baxter – whimsical paintings and drawings of his trademark characters are classic Glen Baxter, often with his own joke at the art-world’s expense. His drawing in 2013 of the man putting his hand through the Mondrian was genius. Well done to whoever picked up that card.

6. Elinor Evans - a painting graduate of the college a few years ago who now lives in spain with her menagerie in spain including picasso, whisky and coke and various others all of whom feature in Elinor's fantastic paintings.

7. Vicky Finding Vicky has been contributing paintings to the sale for years. In 2009 her style was confused for Gerhard Richter's - not a bad compliment. I think she turns out beautiful abstract paintings on thick card that really stand out. I have a lovely one myself.

8. Baroness Carrie Von Reichardt - spot a ceramic tile with a political message and you've probably noticed a work by the self styled renegade potter whose projects away from RCA secret inspire and awe in equal measure.

9. Rose Wylie - What to say about Rose Wylie whose contributions to RCA secret often seem to go unmentioned and uncommented upon despite Rose being in the autumn of her career with a retrospective at the Jerwood gallery under her belt. Hopefully this redresses that slightly!

10. Nicholas Middleton - extraordinary photorealistic paintings of ordinary scenes are Nicholas Middleton's stock in trade. Flick through them on screen and you will decide they are a photograph. Study them in person and you realise, amazingly, that they are not.