Friday 31 July 2009

The Encyclopedia of Julian Dashper

We spent last night talking about Julian - him, his work, and the imitable way he narrated it. As well as doing great work, Julian did great artist. His floortalks were priceless, and when he was in the zone you could sit back and let the well-honed commentary wash over you for hours.

In a post on the Te Papa blog yesterday William scooped a number of my favourite Dashperisms, including the terrific "People say my paintings are deep in the way they say that fat people are heavy". But he missed this one, which I think sums up beautifully the delight Julian took in setting up then subverting easy assumptions about painting:

Someone asked me once at a party 'What sort of artist are you?', and I said, 'I’m a super realist painter' and they said, 'Well that sounds good, what do you paint?' and I said, 'Abstract art'.

-- Interview with Mark Kirby, Luxus, The Hague, 1997, reprinted in The Twist, Waikato Museum of Art and History, 1998.

Julian Dashper, Untitled (1991), 1991. Printed industrial canvas over stretcher, 860 x 860 mm. Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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