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5 Minutes with artist Philip Maltman

5 Minutes with artist Philip Maltman

Philip Maltman has produced paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and written work over 40 years. His early work was inspired by meetings with Don Van Vliet, Alan Davie, Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys. His white canvases with words and grafitti-like marks, inspired somewhat by Robert Rauschenberg, and his degree show of a red paint-spattered and dripping environment  presaged a much later knowledge and appreciation of the work of Cy Twombly. A mutual interest in James Joyce led to correspondence with, and a lecture on, Robert Motherwell in the 1980's.

"I extend my experience and enjoyment of the world by making artworks. This invariably results in chaos and sometimes in an acceptable order, which can be called painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, or photography; generically speaking, an artwork. Artworks for me are about mark making, drawn, painted, scratched, gouged, flooded, scrubbed, stuck, dried or dusted. The mark is paramount whether accidental or deliberate and is recognised as primarily an attempt to convey the accident of passion before the secondary concerns of deliberate representation or composition.

Drawing comes first, but photography is often the most immediate form of mark making being instant and comprehensive in trapping the ephemeral for subsequent exploration. I make work, which is about objects or marks on surfaces; my main area of interest is in the aftermath of human intervention in nature. This can be as direct as looking at a beach at low tide or as indirect as using astronaut's photographs of the earth from space. It can be as indirect as the residue of history or the discoveries of science. "External and internal scanning of the world", as Robert Motherwell said, "in which, finally, the subject is not the world but the artwork itself", which may in turn extend the viewers experience and enjoyment of the world."

ARTCH When did you first get into art?

PM As a child. I had a great Art teacher - Bill Lockhart in Maybole Ayrshire. He also had taken my baby photos!

ARTCH Can you tell us what you're working on at the moment?

PM Investigating the Battle of Trafalgar 1805. Turner painted his biggest work based on this.

ARTCH Where do you find inspiration for your work?

PM It finds me. You really cannot seek inspiration.

ARTCH What does a typical day look like for you?

PM Preparation, business cataloguing in the morning, painting in the afternoons. Reading.

ARTCH What's hanging on your walls?

PM A drawing given to me by Don van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) and other works including my own.

ARTCH What's the best gallery you've been to recently?

PM Dulwich Picture Gallery

ARTCH Work of art you'd love to own?

PM 'Wilder Shores of Love' by Cy Twombly.

Massive thanks to Philip for answering our questions! We're so excited to have one of his beautiful paintings in our latest drop, In Nature.


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