George Raftopoulos on the joy of painting (vs. going to the dentist).

I recently received an email about a new exhibition for Sydney painter George Raftopoulos. I knew George hadn’t had a Gallery show for a couple of years so I’d been thinking about speaking to him for The Art Life when he popped up for a online chat one evening last week. Read what happened in our interview on The Art Life.

George Raftopoulos ‘The Dentist’ 2012 Oil on canvas. 120 x 180cm

[Image used with the permission of the artist and Art Equity, Sydney.]

An Interview with Tamara Dean…

To coincide with Sydney’s Head On Photo Festival, this week I’ve interviewed artist (and Sydney Morning Herald photographer) Tamara Dean who is currently exhibiting her show ‘Only Human‘ at Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney:

“I am [also] interested in the relationship between humans and nature, or more specifically the Australian bush. How we interact and engage with the natural world and with each other…”

Read the full interview at The Art Life.

'Upstream' 2011. Tamara Dean. Photographic print on archival cotton rag.

[Image courtesy the artist, Tim Olsen Gallery and James Makin Gallery].


Mikala Dwyer ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ at Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art.

“Last weekend the new exhibition Contemporary Australia: Women featuring more than 50 contemporary female artists opened at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Brisbane. Meanwhile just across the river and not-too-far down the road in Brunswick Street, a solo exhibition and ‘mini retrospective’ by one of Australia’s better known contemporary artists, Mikala Dwyer, has recently wound up at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA)…”

Read the full review of Mikala Dwyer’s ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ at The Art Life.


Mikala Dwyer 'Moon 2009'. Appliqued banner.


[Image used with permission from Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery].


To Pin & grin or copy right?

If you’re into social media you’re probably already heard about the new platform called ‘Pinterest’. ‘Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web’. But there’s a proviso …and it’s called copyright.

Read my article about Pinterest, art, artists and copyright (and Italian Vanity Fair!) at The Art Life.

Italian 'Vanity Fair' cover with Victoria Reichelt's 'Self Portrait' oil on linen

[Image courtesy of the artist].

‘How tweet it is…’

Last week a friend asked me who were the most interesting people in Australian art to follow on twitter. While attempting to make a list from those I’m following, I realised Peerindex could do all the work for me. It also ranks tweeters according to their social ‘influence’.

I’ve now made my Top 200+ ‘Australia: Visual Arts’ peerindex list public so anyone can view it.

If I’ve missed you let me know (@followolff) and I’ll add you to the group.

follow me...follow you

‘ArtExpress 2012’ at The Art Gallery of NSW.

‘ArtExpress 2012’ is a showcase of the best works produced by art students in NSW high schools during 2011.

See the exhibition in Sydney until 22 April at The Art Gallery of NSW and read my review ‘Young People Today’ on The Art Life.


Georgia McGlennon 'Stigmata' 2011

[Image reproduced with permission from The Art Gallery of NSW].


Laith McGregor’s latest Sydney exhibition ‘Ohne Titel (Them Listless Folk from Apocryphal)’

According to critic and writer Andrew Frost, in his latest show artist Laith McGregor ‘ups the weirdness’ [Sydney Morning Herald 2 March ’12]. Read our full review of the exhibition ‘Ohne Titel (Them Listless Folk from Apocryphal)’ at Sullivan and Strumpf Fine Art (Sydney) at The Art Life.

Laith McGregor 'Drunken Boat' 2012 oil on linen 183 x 274.5cm

[Image courtesy Sullivan and Strumpf Fine Art, Sydney].

‘The Chairs’: Try sitting on Louis, Carol or Henry…

On Tuesday I stumbled into an exhibition in Sydney with the title ‘The Chairs’. Yan Fletcher and Josh Murray (who met via facebook a few years ago) have collaborated to bring their respective talents of design and drawing to this show.

Beginning with a chair discarded by the road or purchased on ebay, Yan takes each chair and interprets it in its most simple form – in charcoal on paper. Josh then goes about the restoration process using materials that keep the original character but add some personality and a dose of quirkiness to each one-off piece. High gloss black paint, grey felt upholstery and pieces of natural leather are over-stitched to make ‘corsets’ for the chairs. It all started with Louis (a Louis XV salon chair) and now Bentley, Henry, Belle, Greaney and Carol have joined the bunch.

See them all on the joshandlouis website or visit them in person at Depot II Gallery at 2 Danks Street, Waterloo before the exhibition closes on 3 March 2012.

[Image courtesy Josh Murray at].

‘Test Pattern 2012’: new art by new Queensland artists.

For the past four years Ryan Renshaw Gallery in Brisbane has held an exhibition under the title ‘Test Pattern’ which gives several graduates fresh from art school their first taste of the commercial art world. This year’s exhibition includes the work of six artists in varied arts practices – Jared Worthington, Hannah Piper, Caitlin Franzmann, Yavuz Erkan, Dord Burrough and Dana Lawrie.

Read my review at The Art Life.


YAVUZ ERKAN 'Bubble Gum (2011)' (from the series Unorthodox Aphorisms) Edition of 8, archival pigment print, 50cm x 50cm

[Image courtesy Ryan Renshaw Gallery].



‘Works from the Verghis Collection’ plus Oksana Waterfall’s first solo exhibition.

Lismore Regional Gallery is the first Gallery of eight in NSW to host a touring exhibition from Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) entitled ‘Light Sensitive Material: Works from the Verghis Collection’. Curated by Richard Perram, Director at BRAG, it’s an exhibition that includes numerous well-known contemporary artists Shoufay Derz, Hayden Fowler, Shaun Gladwell, Newell Harry, Petrina Hicks, Jonathan Jones, David Knight, Rosemary Laing, Vanila Netto, Michael Riley, Julie Rrap and Hossein Valamanesh to name only some… All works are on extended loan to BRAG from London-based Australian collector Rachel Verghis.

Oksana Waterfall is a visual artist based on the North Coast of NSW. She is currently studying for her postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts. ‘Personal Geometry‘ is her first solo show.

The exhibition “is a glimpse at the people the artist comes across in her everyday life. Finely crafted and of an intimate scale, the drawings are from a timeline of everyone she talked to in a random two week period. They represent clusters of similarity and commonality (the teenagers and friends, their fathers, the mothers) but also those particular idiosyncrasies which make us individuals”.

Read the full review of both exhibitions at The Art Life.

[Image courtesy the artist and Lismore Regional Gallery].