Sweet ‘Art’s Summer Festival and Art Bar Crawl Artist Interviews – Ant Pearce

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

My practice focuses on the concept that man is condemned to exist imprisoned. I explore the fragility of life, drawing on human psychology.

Currently my work consists solely of drawings, which I produce in three distinct but related styles. Recent work consists predominantly of Thread Drawings with select pieces created as Line Drawings and Syringe Paintings (which despite being created using paint are essentially drawings). Each work examines the human condition, dissecting the psychical personality while encompassing aspects of narcissism, gender and the life and death drives, as discussed by Freud.

These concepts are communicated through ‘breaking’ and ‘reforming’ the image(s), using geometric shapes and pixilation in combination with the straight and diagonal lines formed by sewing thread onto paper. Each piece embraces the idea of deconstruction and the spiritual importance of the line as explored by Dutch avant-garde, constructivist Theo van Doesburg

My creation process oscillates between the desire for structure, through mapping, which I then abandon in favour of fluidity. Thus, each work is created through a combination of control and chance, conscious and subconscious, with the formation of overlapping and intersecting angular planes resulting in a raw sense of flux and instability.

11_Kate #6 #3a_21x29cm_gold sewn on paper_450GBP

What inspires you?

Many things — numerous works begin taking shape in my mind while I am on the bus.

From the arts I have found a strong connection with classical music, particularly the piano works of Bach which are profound, suggesting the breaking apart and reformation of matter. I also find listening to the written works of Kafka and Dostoyevsky breeds images, like a ‘music’ which allows me to connect with my own sense of what I see and feel around me. I rely less on fine art. However, I do have a love for the works of Bacon, Schiele and Picasso.

Images from magazines, especially fashion and wildlife magazines are a huge source of visual stimulation providing the start point of many of my works. Images of primates, mostly baboons and chimpanzees, help me form ideas, often overlapping with imagery of a more erotic nature.

People who have been in a position of authority over me, as well as more deep-rooted relationships from my past have also sparked the urge to create.

07_female #7_21x29·7cm_ink on paper_350GBP

What are you main plans a goals currently with regard to your practice?

Most immediately I am looking forward to working with you guys (We Are Sweet Art) later this month. However, I do have a few other things in the pipeline.

I was recently approached by After Nyne Magazine to take part in a month long exhibition in London for later this year. I was also invited to donate original works to The Hepatitis C Trust as part of their Art on A Postcard initiative planned for The Moniker Fair, October 2015. And NY artist Zev Jonas, founder of I Shot Kate Moss, will be publishing an interview with me this month which will mention Punch and the We Are Sweet Art Summer Festival. Artvea’s Galerie, who currently represents me in Switzerland, will be visiting London in September. I have a meeting scheduled with them at my studio and they have already shown an interest in some of my new works. And I have recently started working with White Court Art who deal mainly with the US market. So things feel pretty exciting for the months ahead. There is also the possibility I will be taking part in The Other Art Fair, October 2015 but I will have to wait and see. Now they have gone global with the September fair taking place in Sydney I am hoping they will try the US next year. Being part of a NY or LA fair would be super exciting. Other than that I will continue experimenting, creating new work, plus applying for as many opportunities as possible.

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

I’d have to say being lucky enough to have the time to make the work is the most fulfilling. I can find it (or rather my own limitations) frustrating at times but the feeling of completing a work which I think is OK is wonderful, if short lived.

I find the shows, particularly the fairs the most exciting — working towards an event, the build-up and preparation, specially the ones in Europe. I also try and customise my clothes around the work when I take part in a show and fair. I really enjoy all of this, and the curation etc, more than attending the actual events.

15_Kate #1 #2_59·4x84·1cm_cotton thread sewn on paper_7500GBP

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

I’m happy to spend time with most people for short periods of time. Although I do generally find interacting with people a bit like being underwater — slightly removed but OK while you have air. I guess I prefer being alone or with one person at a time.

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

I don’t like to plan too far ahead, but maybe we could meet at Espacio Gallery again and look back to see where we all are — that might be interesting.

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