1988: Heads 2: The Drawings – Square Gallery Highgate November




The dark side…



Portrait by John English 1988. In my studio in Highgate, London sitting in the afternoon sun as I did when drawing the self-portraits below. A poor man’s Francis Bacon complete with leather jacket 🙂

Each drawing is charcoal and chalk on paper 24″ x 36″.

Goldsmiths hated them…I in turn never been too fussed about Goldsmiths nor their malign influence on British art world and education.

I talked about Peter Fuller, David Bomberg who was a massive influence at this point and Francis Bacon and Ivon Hitchens and Graham Sutherland.

They interviewed me with a graduating student who specialised in hanging bin bags in rows…..it was conceptual not shit apparently…even then in 1988:-) She said nothing which probably says it all too.

They went for a charlatan in Hirst..I suppose I had too much integrity for them.

They are my best drawings I will not get this level of intensity again….without tipping over into madness. This is the first time I shown them outside my studio.

A baker’s dozen ironically. Teresa Robertson’s mother asked me at the private view if I was depressed. I said no I was drawing out Bacon’s interpretation of Picasso’s Biomorphics through self-portraiture…..but I wouldn’t have said I ecstatically happy:-) See next post. The drawing was already on the wall…

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