... TURNS OUT I AM VERY SHIT AT PAINTING

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9929.jpg

artist as painter as weightlifter as fuckcunt (2022)  laser cut perspex, dish gloves, chain, LED light. dimensions variable.

EXHIBITION ESSAY

 

In her talk ‘Drawing in the Continuous Present’ artist Amy Sillman argued, “drawing is something everyone can do, literary everyone doodles [...] drawing is anti-‘masterpiece’ thinking, it is grassroots thinking, where you are building something [...] it’s democratic, it’s the underdog”. Painting on the other hand (especially in western art institutions) tends to carry a weight, grandeur and majesty. It carries baggage. I’m thinking Turner, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, Basquiat. It’s funny because at this point, it’s like what else is there to say or do with the ‘baggage’ or the personalities behind them?

Isn’t painting dead; *sigh*; do we care? Well, I couldn’t help myself, and in a quick google search I find the most expensive art sale in the world at US $450.3 million is Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ (paid for by Mohammed bin Salman!! Yes the crown prince of Saudi Arabia!!). Clearly not that dead in the Auctioneer houses.

For Jackson Farley, sarcasm and irony have always been devices for entertainment and critique. In ‘my very first painting show ever’ he offers agitated scenes of absurdity in a lop-sided dreamscape; of monarchs, devil children, and a screaming cloud-cock. This body of work presents critical paintings like never before. It’s giving fantasy, anxiety, crayons and devilish icing that will make your teeth fall out.

A theatre of the artist’s life working towards a show during the pandemic, the exhibition comes to you in seven ‘pts’, arrested two dimensionally, flat and static on the gallery wall, but not too far from the world that we come from (it all started at an Officeworks discount sale). Half the show is large Prismacolored scenes of alien figures, horny flowers and a ‘legged horse trying to work it out’; or in other words, the show is serving a big piece of Jackson’s pandemic heart. Sincerely.

Jackson often returns to the devices of theatre and performance in his practice, reminding us of the significance of joy to a proper sense of sanity. We see this in ‘my very first painting ever pt. V’, where we are presented with a scene of devils dancing around a fire upon a hill in the recognisable arrangement of Matisse’s ‘la danse’ painting. Here the amateurism operates with a knowing ludicrousness that renders transparent the absurdity of the ‘masterpiece’. In reassembling the art ‘canon’ and performing the painter, Jackson reminds us of joy and freedom.

In the other half of the pencil-paintings, which are actually more like, pen-paintings, text functions importantly to weave the chaos and narrative of the show together. The individual captions in each frame, when read collectively begin to build a critique of the ‘masterpiece’ and genius thinking. In ‘pt. II’, ’I am the hand that feeds you’ is scratched into a sad penis flag held by a creepy hand face- figure. The naïve simplicity of the black biro dresses the sincerity and cruelty of the statement, making you laugh and cry at the same time. In another scene, ‘pt VII’, a drawer, draws a reclining nude out the front of ‘Sad Castle’, 51% of which is also owned by the nude model. The blurbs in the work, intentionally wild and obscene evocatively ground the ideas behind, ‘my very first painting show ever’. The painter-performativity plays with the ‘myth’ of the painter, the absurdity of the genre and the ideas of ‘genius’ behind it.

Idiosyncratic and a hopscotch of art process, category and material, this body of work is not interested in over conceptually rationalising a reason for making art. Instead with self-care pencils and schoolboy humour, Jackson spins the narrative of paint fluidity, the painter-genius, and of institutionalised grandeur. Playing with reality, expectation and the pressure of being an ‘artist’ in Sydney, Jackson’s ‘pencil-paintings’ point to the uneasiness and ‘baggage’ within painting histories.

It’s direct, it’s drawing, it’s pencil-painting, ‘my very first painting show ever’, is as innocent as it is cynical. Jackson shows us that picking up a paint brush and joining the league of world changers who change the world with a flick o’ their wrist has never been so fun. In turning things on their head and parodying the process, with a pinch of existentialism, Jackson’s pencil-paintings are evocative of ‘anti-masterpiece’ thinking. Allow yourself to be entertained, smile and let Jackson Farley save the world with his mark-making!

by Claire de Carteret, writer + curator

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9951.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9904.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9940.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9970.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9923.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9967.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Jackson-Farley-WEB-20220310-9980.jpg

Install shot at Stanley Street Gallery (2022)

Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.39.33 pm.png

I

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who wanted to change the art cannon forever with his conceptually driven disruptive works calling into question absurd social hierarchies + other annoying shit. That turned out to be quite the task and maybe too much of an effort so the little boy made the very difficult decision to put down his concept pocketbook and instead become… a painter (sorry @everyone).

my very first painting ever pt. I (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

76.2 x 56 cm paper size, 81 x 61 x 5 cm framed size

II

Twice down on the clock, this new found mode of working caused many bliss’s and of course much euphoria for the little boy. A separation from the weight of weighted art things, a departure from the separation of said weighted art things, a bye bye now! see you! from the other tough things related but not directly pertaining to artist(ry). Finally… a full Carte Blanche-tte over creativity, a retaking of discretionary autonomy - the little boy will no longer make critical penis art. Say it with me. The little boy will no longer make critical penis art - the mantra the world has been craving.

my very first painting ever pt. II (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

177 x 127 cm paper size, 182 x 132 x 6.5 cm framed size

Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.42.46 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.44.56 pm.png

III

3’s! 3’s! 3’s! next to the timeline, the little boy finally had found art nirvana. Art heaven, with the likes of [famous painters name] and of course world famous [famous painters name] by his side. Complete autonomy to pick up a paint brush and join the league of world changers who change the world via the flick o’ they wrist. He stared at his blank canvas, endless opportunities to make our world a better place. He could already see the title of the 7 Australian Story’s they would do on him (1 for each time he decided to paint a different world changing thing)

my very first painting ever pt. III (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

76.2 x 56 cm paper size, 81 x 61 x 5 cm framed size

IV

Fourplay Fantasy, he lifted his weighted brush (with paint, not history) to his Canvas. A mark made, a problem solved. A problem solved, another Australian Story producer on the line. He stepped back to admire his masterbat… sorry masterstroke (can take the critical penis art of the little boy but not the little boy out of the critical penis art) and turns out he is quite a shit, awful painter. It was very bad - not in a nice, koo-koo-2021-kaa-kaa im a bad painter on a porpoise (purpose) way but in a very bad, oh that boy isn’t very good at painting and is clearly going through something… maybe he didn’t fair too well during lockdown kinda way.

my very first painting ever pt. IV (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

76.2 x 56 cm paper size, 81 x 61 x 5 cm framed size

Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.47.11 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.50.43 pm.png

V

Five big bums in a gingerbread house, he soul searched for at least 30 minutes after this realisation. The little boy will no longer be making critical penis art nor paintings; he is a very, very bad painter. Once more… The little boy will no longer be making critical penis art nor paintings; he is a very, very bad painter. Now what? The title of the show had already been agreed upon by the team at Stanley Street Gallery and the little boy didn’t have the  can-do-cbf-attitude to change it… Where do we go from here?

my very first painting ever pt. V (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

127 x 177 cm paper size, 132 x 182 x 6.5 cm framed size

Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.56.27 pm.png

VI

Six self-care pencils in the sunset, what if there was a way to maintain your need to be a world changing practice-based painter but not have to paint because it turns out painting is actually quite very difficult and you are especially shit at it? The age old question… the little boy went to Officeworks and saw there was a 40% off special on Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils Set - 150 Colored Pencils. He purchased these pencils and of course said ‘I will use these self-care pencils to create impactful pencil paintings that will change my world’.

my very first painting ever pt. VI (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

76.2 x 56 cm paper size, 81 x 61 x 5 cm framed size

VII

Seven this story is draggin on, with this new found outlook the little boy was able bring purpose (porpoise) and enjoyment back to practice. New modalities of storytelling. A love letter to self. A final fantasy. 1 cloud-cock. 2 flowers with marital issues. 3 horsies enjoying their freedom. 4 hand faces doing hand face things. 5 devils trying to cut back. 6 long aliens hanging out together. 7 very happy tree's singing in the sunset.

my very first painting ever pt. VII (2022)

Prismacolor 1800059 Premier Coloured Pencils on Cotton Rag float mounted in 4.5mm perspex box

 

21 x 30 cm paper size, 26 x 35 x 4 cm framed size

Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 2.58.47 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.15 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.19 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.27 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.32 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.37 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.42 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.48 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.52 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.02.09 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.01.58 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.02.03 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-03-13 at 3.02.12 pm.png

my very second painting ever pt. I (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. II (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. III (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. IV (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. V (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. VI (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. VII (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. VIII (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. IV (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. X (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. XI (2022)

my very second painting ever pt. XII (2022)

MY VERY SECOND PAINTINGS EVER

Jackson Farley, 'Painting Song Pt. I' 2022, 24 minutes 23 seconds, banga video.jpg

painting song pt. I (2022) 24 minutes 23 seconds, banga video