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Gallery details/show dates - manifesto/archive links

In light of the Tate Gallery's Turner Prize failure to notice that there are any contemporary painters in the country and that Turner painted pictures, rather than constructing plexiglass ceilings, Stuckism International (London) presents four contemporary painters in The Real Turner Prize Show 2002.

They represent the bulk of artists in this country, who still paint and who are ignored by the narrow tastes of the Turner Prize jury headed by Sir Nicholas Serota with his penchant for novelty at all costs.

They are all trained, accomplished artists who have a strong outlook on life and a powerful ability to create contemporary visual images which communicate their vision. They are all in 'mid career' and have dedicated many years in developing a high degree of skill in their art.

That the Tate Turner Prize should ignore artists of this calibre is a testimony that something is very amiss in the way the nation's gallery of modern art is currently being administered.


Statement:Ella Guru, best known for her portraits of transvestites in beehive wigs, is adding wildlife to her wild life. When asked if she is selling out, Ms Guru replied that she is just as excited by ducks, geese and pelicans as by men in drag, confirming Quentin Crisp's comment that Ms Guru is indeed "weird". Ms Guru's history spans fetish clubs and a life long fascination with dames with dongs. Even her own wedding was gender switched, with bride Sexton in a dress and Ms Guru in top hat and tails. "I enjoy gender confusion and delight in nothing more than to lift up a gal's skirt only to discover a sundial," Ms Guru says.

Fanny (notes on the painting): I often paint men and women in beehive wigs, because I like men in drag and met my husband, Sexton Ming, when he was in drag. Fanny is a transvestite friend of mine. I paint quickly, though this has slowed down since I have started using oil instead of acrylic - it gives greater depth and intensity. I like traditional painting and am more inspired by a trip to the National Gallery than Tate Modern.

Born: 24.5.66, Ohio, USA
Education: Fort Hayes Career Centre, Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio State University (BA Fine Arts)
Exhibitions: First Out, London WC2; Manto's cafe, London W1; Getto, Amsterdam; Waldos on High, Columbus, Ohio. For group shows see CV.
Prizes: "Painter of the Year" - Getto, Amsterdam Pride; "Travel writer of the month" -
Other activities: was a member of 'Voodoo Queens' pop group - performed on The Beat and Peel Sessions. Now plays guitar in The Tasty Ones and the Deptford Beach Babes. Certified Open Water Scuba Diver (i.e. wears rubber while looking at fish in the sea).

More paintings by Ella Guru: Guru Website | Artists Collections | Stuckism



Statement: I am fascinated by celebrities on a human level. When I see them, I always see them as human beings, not famous people. I'm interested in them on a human level, but I don't know why. Just the fact that they are human beings that have taken on a superhuman form, but they're not really up to it. I don't really think it's what humans were meant to do. I am fascinated by the mad things they do every day.

In a way, the actual celebrities I paint are not important - I find an image that is interesting to paint. Perhaps I'm trying to find out if there is something really there. I pick the most glamorous image I can find and try to make it more human, to try to make something that is beautiful and has depth, not just in a decorative way. There's very few people I would feel nervous about meeting. I've met people like Mick Jagger - I think what he does is great, but I felt nothing when I met him. For the last ten years the only people I've admired have been painters - most of them dead - and it's not really the artists I admire: it's the paintings. I love the purity of the experience when it's done in the right way. Thats why I will always love Vermeer, van Gogh, etc. above Mucha and Warhol. It's something I can aspire to. I started painting in an art nouveau style because it seemed the most derided of art forms, and I found it interesting that people resented it so much. Later there was a resurgence of interest in it.

Madonna (notes on the painting): If I was to tell the truth, I would say that I painted her because someone asked me to - it was a commission. It's in the same style as other ones. I look for images that will create a good composition, but that's a small part of it. With the art nouveau ones, I'm looking to give the person a kind of depth - what is essentially a shallow subject, and it's an interesting experiment. To me, the painting has a completely different feel to the one the original photograph had. I hope to take a very confident public image and make it into one that has more vulnerability in it. Some of the objects I pick are light-hearted, though I don't want to say. Sometimes I fall foul of irony, which I don't like either. I may have thought of them in an ironic way, but by the time I've painted them, they aren't any more. When the paintings work, they seem to transcend that light-hearted imput and they seem to take on a fuller, more-rounded significance, and contribute in a genuine way to the feel of the painting.The objects in Madonna are to do with working-out and being healthy - dumbells and apples.

Born: 7.5.60, Burton upon Trent
Education: Burton Grammar School, Burton on Trent; North Staffordshire Polytechnic (B.A. Hons.)
Television work: includes set design and live appearances for Tyne Tees Television, and features on his art.
Newcastle Arts Centre; Freuds Gallery, London; "Art Out" Gallery, Stoke on Trent; Pullit Gallery, Camden; Brain Gallery, London; Freuds Gallery, Oxford; The Arts Gallery, Brighton; The Playhouse, Newcastle upon Tyne; The Playhouse, Newcastle upon Tyne; The Head Of Steam, Newcastle upon Tyne. Other activities: guitarist in the recently-reformed punk group Penetration.

Interview with Paul Harvey here.
More paintings by Paul Harvey:
Artists Collections | new Paul Harvey site | old Paul Harvey site


Statement: As an artist from a working class background, I have always felt somewhat of an Outsider in the contemporary art world and this is reflected in my choice of image. I paint people on the edge of society, often struggling to fit in. I try to circumnavigate the usual art bullshit and create direct and passionate imagery which will connect with a wide audience.

For the past few years I have been painting urban tableaux derived from real street incidents and characters. These pictures have been a bit too strong for the usual commercial galleries and buyers, who seem to prefer their shocks to be intellectual rather than visceral.


Charity Shop (notes on the painting): It was a real incident. I was in a charity shop, when this bloke came in. He was screaming obscenities into a mobile and sweating. He was carrying cans of Tennents and sweating, and was obviously on something. He was very agitated. The words that are written on the painting are what he said to the woman behind the counter in the charity shop. After he'd left the shop, the woman behind the counter was quite shaken up, and I said I would paint it - it's the type of thing I paint. She looked at me as if I was mad. It just one of those sharp emotional urban moments that I paint.

Born: 10.4.58, Sheffield.
Education: Myers Grove Comprehensive, Sheffield; North East London Polytechnic (BA Fine Art).
Exhibitions: Open Space Gallery, London; Museum of London; ICA New Contemporaries;
Alternative Arts, London; Battersea Arts Centre, London; ACAVA Central Space, London; Candid Gallery, London; Dock Street Galleries, London; Cleveland Gallery; Wolsey Art Gallery, Ipswich; Philip Graham Gallery, London; West Soho Gallery, London; The Worx, London; William Jackson Gallery, London; Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester; Whitechapel Open, London; Air Gallery, London.
Publications: 'From the Street: paintings and drawings' (Editions Aubrey Walter); 'The Sexual Perspective' (Routledge); 'Damn Fine Art' (Cassell).
Collections: Museum of London, private collections.

More paintings by Mandy McCartin: Stuckism



Statement: I used to paint invented characters and situations, in a straightforward, 'transparent' manner; the pictures have been about my own experience of life, as an artist and as a member of contemporary society. Recently, though, I have begun to feel dissatisfied with my tonal, 'English' manner and wanted something more telling in the way I paint. This has led to a general reappraisal of composition, to the point where I am currently trying to make what my tutors at the Royal Academy would have called a 'bad' painting, whilst still retaining the narrative elements and the clarity of vision to which I aspire. It's not like suicide chess, where all values are subverted, but it's almost like it.


Home from the Abbatoir (notes on the painting): I was thinking about dying and the last moments of life - which are the most important. It shows the discomfort of life we walk through. It contains the cycle of birth-life-death, which we are all part of. The ideas are informed by a background of Buddhist reading. The top of the painting shows a field of sheep. We are all oblivious of the blood we're covered in.

Born: 1965, Evanston, Illinois
Education: Kent College, Maidstone College of Art (BA Fine Art) and Royal Academy Schools
Member: New English Art Club
Prizes: Countess Enid Driscoll Spaletti Watercolour Prize; Royal Overseas League Travel Scholarship; Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust Award
Exhibitions: Star Gallery, Lewes; Cadogan Contemporary Art, London; Sadlers Wells Gallery; KIAD Gallery, Maidstone; Coombs Contemporary, London; Royal Overseas League, Edinburgh; Royal Overseas League, London; RIWP and Winsor & Newton Young Artists Award; Bruton Street Gallery,London; RA Summer Exhibition; Mercury Gallery, London; Greenwich Theatre Art Gallery; Bankside Gallery, London; The Mall Galleries, London; Business Design Centre, London; BP Portrait Awards, National Portrait Gallery; 'The Discerning Eye'; Casa de la Boltura, Algvidan, Spain; Chevron Calendar Artists, ICA.

More paintings by Charles Williams: The Sheen Gallery | Artists Collections | Stuckism


Ella Guru - Paul Harvey - Mandy McCartin - Charles Williams

4 Dec 2002 - 31 Jan 2003
(closed 22 Dec - 7 Jan)
Wed-Sat 12-6pm

3 Charlotte Road London EC2A 3DH
(Old Street tube, exit 2, 4 mins walk)

Tel: 020 7613 0988

Plus a selection of work by Joe Machine, Bill Lewis, S.P. Howarth, Sexton Ming, Eamon Everall,
Gina Bold, Charles Thomson, Wolf Howard, Frances Castle and Rachel Jordan.

Read the TURNER PRIZE MANIFESTO | Glasgow University site on Tate clown demo |

Listen to the Stuckists Turner Prize song 'Art or Arse' | Read the lyrics

Clown Demos at Tate Britain 2000 and 2001 | The Real Turner Prize 2000 archive

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