We see her through smoke, the black outlines only revealing what’s necessary and letting the rest of her float away. Her skin is luminescent in white chalk that’s used to cast shadows across her body, left side glowing and right side faded, but her high cheekbones pick up light on both sides. Her head tilts back, and even though there’s no way to know for sure if her eyes are open, it somehow still feels like she’s looking at you because she knows you’re looking. After all, someone this beautiful must always have eyes on them.
Guy Denning’s impulsive sketching masterfully reveals something beautiful, usually a person, which is probably the most beautiful thing there is. The faces he draws use heavy shadow and sometimes a filled in background to emerge from the lines and paper, but they always come to life with the movements of the sketch, made so obvious that you’re able to imagine the process of each drawing coming to life.
What usually inspires the creation of a new image?
Ideas come from all over the place. Usually it arrives to a canvas after it’s sat in my head for a couple of months, and I’ve drawn it a couple of times. I’ve got more ideas in my head than time left to do ’em.
How would you define neomodernism?
No more than what’s defined here. In fact there’s a lot on my blog about methods, ideas and inspiration.
From Guy’s blog: “The Post-modern is useful only in terms of further defining Modernism from its origins and is essentially only a continuity of modernism – sometimes termed hyper-modernism. These are all useful, to a greater or lesser degree, in terms of avoiding the ideas of the ‘end of (Art) history’ but with regards to the actual creation of artworks they are invalid. People do not set out to create a work of ‘Post-modern Art’. If we must have a new label, let it be a New Modernism – a return to the critical aesthetic giving the artist the opportunity to create work that has some relevance to the new modern audience – an audience already familiar with ‘modern art’, where validation of quality is not founded on post-modern hyper-obsession with language and semiology and the artist is not ground into politically correct subservience. I do not see this as a retrograde step – it can be the only way forward – to let the artist communicate without the bonds of corporate and state art politics.
To those claims of ‘Art is Dead – long live Art’ –
Post-modernism is dead – long live Neo-modernism.”
What do you hope your pieces accomplish?
The most I can hope for is to emotionally move a viewer. Everyone brings their own lives and history to anything they look at, listen to or read. Consuming culture is as specific to the individual as making it.
When did you first begin painting and why?
I was drawing from childhood and I think that’s where my competency came from. I did little but draw and read – I certainly didn’t mix with other kids. First oil paintings were done at age 10 or 11 after my dad gave me a set of oil paints that he’d got bored with (a passing hobby in his 30s). I was hooked from the start.
Guy Denning is an English artist who’s been creating since the early 90s, and his work has been featured in exhibitions all over the UK as well as in Germany, Italy, France, and the US. You can see more of Guy’s work on his website, and all of these images come from his Facebook, which is filled with more things worth describing than I could ever filter into one post.