Artbeat: Jock Mcfadyen

  • The List
  • 2 August 2012

This article is from 2012

Artbeat: Jock Mcfadyen

London-based artist at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2012

What was the first exhibition you went to see?
My grandfather used to take me to Kelvingrove when I was a boy and I remember red drapes as he showed me the Salvador Dali crucifixion and the blasphemy of the viewer looking down on the head of Christ. He explained Impressionism by placing me a few feet from a picture that appeared indistinct but miraculously sharpened to an image as I stepped forward.

What was your first paid job as an artist?
Artists don’t have jobs but the first proper painting I sold was to the pop artist Allen Jones in 1974 for £100. A couple of years before that I gave a picture to my girlfriend’s sister in exchange for two tickets to see David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars.

What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working?
My wife Susie has been in The Mekons since 1983 and has another band called Little Sparta. I usually start off with Little Sparta then work my way through Mekons, Purcell, early Dylan, Handel, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Bach cello, vintage rock and soul etc. etc.

What are the best things about opening nights?
Having dinner afterwards and gossiping about the other people.

Do you read reviews of your work?
Through fingers.

Which living artist should be better known than they currently are?
Boyle Family are hardly obscure but they form up as an artist of great consequence and I don’t believe their significance has been widely enough acknowledged.

What has been your career highlight to date?
Showing at Bourne Fine Art in the 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival of course.

What is your favorite work of art?
No artist can have a single favourite work of art or even love every centimetre of any work, but I am very fond of that Winifred Nicholson with the blue gate and I think Damien Hirsts ‘Let’s eat outdoors this evening’ is a world beater.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Five years ago my wife Susie and I started the nomadic Grey Gallery on a shoestring. Working with other artists is really exciting and I wish I had done it years ago.

Jock McFadyen: A Retrospective, Bourne Fine Art, 557 4050, until 1 Sep (not Sun), free.

Jock McFadyen: The Ability to Cling

  • 4 stars

A major retrospective of the gritty work of Jock McFadyen, from the figurative works of the 80s through the 90s' lovingly detailed pictures of grungy buildings to the more recent small-scale nudes. Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

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