'It's a self portrait'
So as bit of light relief I thought I'd have a go at recreating one of Hancock's 'Infantilist' masterpieces from 'The Rebel'. 'Only take a couple of hours', I thought. Wrong! It turns out that getting it 'wrong' can take two days. I don't know how forgers have the patience.
Anyway, some of you may recognise the exchange that gives me today's title as a particularly toothsome piece of Galton and Simpson dialogue between the lad himself and the redoubtable Mrs Cravatte, Hancock's long suffering landlady, played by the equally redoubtable Irene Handl, What is less well known is that this purveyor of quintessentiall Englishness in over 100 films and TV programmes was scion of a French aristocrat and an Austrian banker who was also an acclaimed novelist (I've read 'The Sioux' and it was a goodie).
This Saturday, 5th October I'll be at Tavi Arts Market on Bedford Square (in the marquee no less!) with a few old favourites and also previewing a couple of pieces due to appear in the Watermark exhibition. I'm planning on discounting some work and it'll probably be your last chance to get an exclusive picturepalace T shirt featuring 'Stan and Ollie'. Also on the square (although not a Masonic way) will be the Big Draw yurt with free workshops all day
'Andrei Rublev' 2013 Detail Acylic on canvas 36" x 24"
Hope you enjoyed that gratuitous use of an iconic 60s tune to introduce this blog post, all will be made clear in due course. In the meantime here's a detail from another bit of (literally) iconic 60s artistry re-interpreted by your's truly. Almost finished, this is from Tarkovsky's 'Andrei Rublev' . See what I did there, 'iconic' you see, because it's about an icon painter? Never mind.
Bad jokes aside, we come to the title of today's blog post, a film that contains some very good jokes, many of them about art. So I'm going off message for the next in the 'History Painting' series and working from a film about a fictional artist. Prompted by Ben Miller's BBC documentary on Tony Hancock I'm having a crack at the lad himself in 'The Rebel'. Now it might be supposed that a film satirising the excesses and pretensions of the 'Art World' wouldn't be particularly popular amongst artists, this would be incorrect (at least in my experience). I've never met an artist who didn't enjoy it and I've spoken to several who volunteered it as their favourite movie. It's full of quotable lines (as you'd expect from Galton and Simpson), some of which I've used myself on occasion. Probably my favourite comes from the distinctly Daliesque Dennis Price, as leader of the Parisian existentialists, the enigmatic Jim Smith, 'English names are so mysterious don't you think?'
The artwork featured in the film, both' good' and 'bad' (I must admit I've a soft spot for Hancock's 'infantilist' work) was produced by Alistair Grant, later a professor at the Royal College of Art.
In 2002, the London Institute of 'Pataphysics organised an exhibition based around the recreation of all the art works seen the film and presented the exhibition as if it were a retrospective of a real unknown artist called Anthony Hancock. (directly copied from Wikipedia).
Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be an available widescreen release the film so a little aspect ratio jiggery pokery may be on the cards. In the meantime here's a sample from the film, enjoy.
Work in progress and other stuff that happens.