Missing in Moscow

This is the poster I shared on social media, when my painting “Michael” went missing on its return from a show in Moscow. My painting, along with over a dozen others, were being shipped back to London, to the co-organisers of the event here. Somewhere enroute, the box containing all the artworks was damaged, half the artworks were reboxed, given a new tracking number, and found their way successfully to London. The remaining artworks have disappeared into some limbo between the Russian and British courier companies. Each side is blaming the other, with neither accepting liability. All the time treating the lost “items” with about as much sympathy as they would deal with a lost book or DVD.
With my painting now lost to me, part of me hopes that it has been stolen, and is hanging on someone’s wall, giving them pleasure. The terrible truth is that it has most likely been mashed up by a clumsy forklift driver, and thrown in the bin like it was a dirty pair of socks.

Who are you? What do you do?

So, it’s finally here. After toying with the idea, experimenting, hesitating, prevaricating, I have finally committed to commence sittings for my “Who Am I” series.
The idea is simple enough, but the execution of the idea has proved problematic. I’ve struggled to think of a way to convince strangers to pose naked in my studio, in an unflattering direct light,… Paid only a token sum, and portrayed anyway that I see fit.
It’s all about identity. Our sense of who we are, or more specifically, who “you” are. When you take away the fineries, your props, and you strip yourself down to your bare naked self…, is that a more honest account of who you are? Or are our clothes and embellishments just as much about who we are? And what of the viewer? What are they to make of a subject who has been stripped of all those things that would normally hint at social status and personality?

So the idea evolved from a commission (above, painting on left). The commission was for a naked portrait, of a guy about whom I knew nothing.  At first I didn’t enjoy it…. saw it as a chore. But slowly I began to feel a strange sense of liberation, a freedom in how I described this stranger.  At first I was concerned about how they’d view my “interpretation” of who they are. Then I started to think that maybe my interpretation is just as valid  as their own self-image.

So my idea, my project, is to portray a series of “strangers” – a series of paintings of people standing naked in an anonymous space, with no clue as to their identity. I will be as ignorant as the viewer, so as not to taint the experiment.
So what is the point? Is it to ask if we are all the same deep down, beneath the veneer of our attire? Or is the opposite? Will someones personality shine through regardless? What is a more valid interpretation of a person’s personality? Is it how they view themselves, or how others see them?

If you’re interested in participating in this little experiment. do get in touch (email on contact page). Just remember not to tell me anything about yourself.

London Ultra 2018

I’ll be showing my diptych “unnamed portraits” in the London Ultra exhibition at The Bargehouse, London SE1 9PH. The show runs from the 6th to the 9th December, 11.00-18.00. Preview party is on the 6th December, 18.00-21.00.

Present, Perfect, Continuous

“Present Perfect Continuous”, hosted by Zverev Contemporary Art Centre in Moscow, has just finished. This show was a collaboration between artnumber23 here in London, and  the Zverev Contemporary Art Centre.

My contribution to the show was my portrait “Michael”, which the organisers kindly placed in a frame before showing.

Art of Nude


I’ll be exhibiting “Arrangement on Red Carpet” at the “Art of Nude” exhibition, opening on the 21st September at V.23 – The Old Biscuit Factory, 100 Clements rd, Block F, London SE16 4DG

Open Studio 2018

Well, this years open studio event at Leegate House has been and gone. Many thanks to those that made the journey to this little corner of southeast London. Thankfully the heatwave abated, just for the day, and we didn’t all melt in our studios.

These open studios events are a prerequisite for studio providers to maintain their charitable status – to demonstrate they’re “engaging with the community”. In my experience, many studio providers will only make a token effort, and most artists will see it as an inconvenience.
I’m pleased to say that Bow Arts treated this event with a lot more enthusiasm than some other studio providers I’ve been involved with; as did most of the artists here in Leegate House – it was the most enjoyable open studio that I’ve taken part in. Some of the nicest conversations I had were with local people who’d seen a flyer in the local Sainsburys, and thought “I must go along to that”. I spend most of my time locked away alone in this room on the fifth floor. It’s actually quite nice opening the doors to the public once a year.

Espacio Gallery

Here I am standing in front of a couple of recent paintings on show in the “Perspectives” exhibiton, at Espacio Gallery, London. The show is open until Sunday 13th May.

Perspectives

I’ll be taking part in this show – Perspectives – at Espacio Gallery, London. It’s my first time showing work at this space. It’s an artist run gallery, and one condition of participating in group shows is taking a turn invigilating. So I shall be there on Wednesday 9th May between 1-7pm.

Website Woes

I’ve given my website a much needed facelift. I have been working on it for weeks now, testing it out on another domain. The transfer over to dalessandri.co.uk seemed to go smoothly enough. I was sure I had taken every precaution, and tested everything out. And then I realised that the photos from all my blog entries had disappeared!!!

So I’ve spent the last few evenings going through my blog entries, trying to find copies of the missing photos. Quite a few posts have had to be deleted, because I just can’t find any suitable photos. And so far I’ve only checked about a third of the posts!

Oh well, I quite like the look of my new site, so hopefully it won’t need a revamp for a couple of years.

Exercise in Objectification

I’ve started work on a series of headless nudes. It’s a development of some figure studies I have been working on. I was interested in seeing to what extent a sense of the sitter’s identity could be conveyed if, first, they were stripped of their clothes, and then, as in the case with this painting, their heads were cropped from the painting.

exercise in objectification