We speak with talented Barcelona based contemporary English painter Connor Addison, as part of our new series interviewing emerging artists.
The exciting young artist has recently completed new work from his 'Sublime Affliction' series, focused on the theme of contemporary love. We were delighted to interview him on the subject of inspirations & creative process...
"The vulnerability of love is manifest in deep connection and tension expressed in moments of physical affection. It is a dance of interlocking beings, capable of cultivating some of the strongest and most rewarding emotions in our emotional field. When we bond with another, we find ourselves in chains. Chains which are sources of great power welded together by unbreakable trust. But equally, we are captured by the movements and desires of the other, vulnerable to the tension of two souls pulling in different directions. Reconciling a capitulation of the self and an authentic expression of ones inner-world strikes a delicate balance in which everything can be gained and lost. The fear and beauty found in the power of love."
What artists and styles are your main source of inspiration?
Broadly, my work counters the idea of difference for the sake of difference, I love the rich history of creativity that has gotten us to where we are, it should not be thrown away as a relic of yesterday, rather reinterpreted. With this in mind, I try to incorporate a wide range of inspirations. Picasso’s cubism and Bacon's paintings are latent in my works but there is also inspiration from the renaissance, Brutalist architecture, poetry, Stanley Kubrick, Conceptualism and Pop Art, especially in my upcoming paintings. I think I'm attempting to bring as many influences as possible together because all art comes from the same creative source and builds upon yesterdays discoveries. That's true for all elements of human progress, it has taken millennia to build this foundation of inspiration, all of it is valid in this constantly unfolding story of humanity.
Tell us about Luca Gallery (https://www.instagram.com/luca.gallery)... what is the art scene like in Barcelona?
LUCA, which stands for Last Universal Creative Ancestor, is a long term project of founding an online/offline art collective of creatives from different backgrounds, to sustain their practices and encourage-cross disciplinary experimentation. The name is borrowed from the biological Last Universal Cellular Ancestor, the first common single cell that appeared 3.6 billion years ago, from which all life was born; our genetic origin. Similarly, our creative origin comes from the first-ever work of art, a ceremonial Acheulean hand axe, which, though mimetic evolution, has become all the art forms we see today. I would love to see LUCA become a platform of experimentation between different species in this family tree of creativity, putting filmmakers and painters together, sculptors and musicians etc. I'm reasonably new to the Barcelona scene, but it is quite a relief from the scene in London where it sometimes feels like drowning in a sea of artists. Barcelona is certainly a good place to paint and I am currently enjoying sharing space with some great painters at Groc Studios. It’s less intimidating to work here and that frees up a lot of mental space.
What is your process for painting? Any advice you wish to share?
Today, just like fast fashion there is too much fast art, I have no problem with work being quick to make, but I feel in the 21st century we are losing an appreciation for slowness and craft. When I paint, I take my time, probably to my detriment. Often works arrive as a mental image and I work to extract that onto a canvas. I feel anyone looking to paint should learn two things above everything else, patience and a strong sense of self-belief. Patience is more obvious, it allows for more detail, larger works, more consideration. But self-belief is the harder one, when anyone is really pushing their creative limits they need to sit in a space of doubt, for me it means sometimes the canvas is an oppressive surface, it's in charge, but you have to wrestle with it and believe in what you are doing or face defeat.
Tell us a bit about your story... where were you born?
I would love to give you an amazing life story about overcoming adversity, like that I was born in a plane wreck in Siberia where I was raised by wolves and went on an epic journey to discover where I came from, but In reality, I'm just like anyone else. I was privileged enough to be born in London, went to a state school, university, met a girl, moved country and became an artist. That’s it! But that averageness is just what you should know about me, even when nothing special happens it’s still really intense and deeply interesting. I'm very interested in that, existence as a universal; the philosophy of human experience. My paintings try to create windows that invite refection into our own incomprehension, pain and joy for life and, I hope, remind everyone that you’re not alone in it sublime unravelling.
Check out this collection of some more of his incredible paintings below ~
You can discover more of Connor Addison's art on his website & Instagram !
- PSYCHIC GARDEN