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Tinth – Happy Christmas One And All

Celebrating Tinth and Christmas at one and the same time.

In 2016  the Counties of Cornwall and Devon staged some fabulous events to celebrate Tinth.   Marking the tenth anniversary of Cornish Mining and mining sites in Cornwall and Devon achieving World Heritage Site status in 2006.

An appropriate time for me to re-visit tin mining as a subject to paint, one which I have not really covered much since my 2009 Cornwall Mines and Monuments, Cornwall Heritage Exhibition.    Tinth  has a special resonance with me given my own personal family mining heritage.   Not only Tin Mining as a motif to paint, I am also privileged to have worked in two of the last operating Cornish Tin Mines, Wheal Jane – the subject of the painting – and Mt Wellington Mine.   Furthermore because my mother was one of 3 girls and born at a time when women no longer worked in the industry,  hers is the only generation in my family going back to before the English Civil War that was not employed in the tin mining industry.

For at least 400 years, and probably much further back, every single generation on my mothers side, with the exception of her and her two sisters, worked in the Cornish Mines right up to and including me.

As the year comes to an end and in yet another break from my usual tradition of sending out ‘Cosmic Christmas’ cards I have used my  recently completed Tinth painting ‘Tinth ~ Wheal Jane Mine’ as the basis for my 2016 Christmas Card

Tinth - Wheal Jane Mine, 2016 acrylic on canvas 30x36in - Modern Art by British Artist Chris Billington

Tinth – Wheal Jane Mine, 2016 acrylic on canvas 30x36in

‘Tinth – Whean Jane Mine’ is my celebration of the tenth anniversary of World Heritage Stutus for our tin mining industry.   It is also a celebration of the blood , sweat and hard work of an exceptional breed of men who have gone before.   It is a celebration of an industry that created great wealth for Cornwall and Cornish folk but sadly took the lives of many.

Furthermore “Tinth – Wheal Jane Mine” is especially dedicated to my late grandfather Edward Henry “Eddie” Date who worked East Pool and South Crofty Mines.   It is also an homage to my Great, Great Uncle Nicholas Date who carried his 25 yo pal Thomas Kessell back to the surface after a mining accident involving a chain breaking on a kibble at 220 fathoms in Dolcoath Mine in March 1863.   This was in the Wheal Harriett part of the mine but during the accident Thomas fell a further 10 fathoms and Nicholas went  down to get him and tried to save his life and carried him back up to the top with as much speed as he could .  Thomas never recovered consciousness and died minutes after he had been brought back above ground.   Finally the painting is also for my Great, Great, Great Uncle Nicholas Date Junior who blew himself up in a dynamite accident underground at Wheal Vor in November 1838.

Eddie Date and fellow miners 1600ft underground East Pool Mine 1934 - Chris Billington

Eddie Date, front row left side, and fellow miners 1600ft underground East Pool Mine 1934

An apt reminder of the power and glory of a bygone industry and the bold and fearless men and women behind it.

Wheal Jane Mine and tailings dam c1988 - Chris Billington 2016

Wheal Jane Mine and tailings dam c1988 – Chris Billington 2016

I am proud to share “Tinth – Wheal Jane Mine” as my Christmas Card for 2016, and as usual it goes out to my loyal patrons, friends, and supporters of my art both here in the UK and the rest of the world.

Happy Christmas One And All.




The Spice Boys Christmas Single

The Spice Boys Christmas single is just the tonic for a proper punk style Christmas,  and yes it is very explicit!

The Spice Boys Christmas single - Chris Billington Artwork 2016

The Spice Boys Christmas single

 

I am delighted to have been commissioned for the artwork on the new Christmas single by The Spice Boys.

Featuring Pete Griffiths (Spitfire Boys) on vocals this is definitely no soft Happy Holidays offering.

Buy it now and spice up your Christmas, you know you want to.

 

 

Available now on Amazon at an almost giveaway Christmas price!

The Spice Boys on Amazon

And news on Pete Griffiths and the Spitfire Boys can be found on the Spitfire Boys facebook page.




Anthem for Leonard Cohen

Anthem for Leonard Cohen – There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

An homage to the words, music, art and life of the late Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934–November 7, 2016).

There are no words that I can add to the many glowing tributes to Leonard Cohen that have been published these past few weeks.

His precisely crafted poems and songs were light bringers, cloaked in darkness, resonating with millions across the generations.   He had the skill to make the complex seem effortless but the poems and lyrics of Leonard Cohen often took many agonising years to perfect.   The song Anthem took Leonard Cohen a decade to complete.   My small gesture of appreciation of the same name is a piece of digital art.   In contrast to Leonard my Anthem has only taken a mere 100 or so hours to create but it is a conduit of my feelings of love for the man and his work.

Thank you for your beautiful life Leonard Cohen.

The thumbnail links to a larger image which has also been added to my Computer Art | Digital Art | Machine Art Gallery.

Anthem for Leonard Cohen, 2016, 14 x 14in Computer Art | Digital Art | Machine Art by Chris Billington

Anthem for Leonard Cohen, 2016, 14 x 14in




On Koons @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Koons at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery – the glamour of it all

Jeff Koons, master of the giant inflatable balloon sculpture and maker of the multicolour Play-Dough mountain, was toying with us in London again.  Taking centre stage at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery Koons was a triumph for Hirst and a visual feast for all.    Undoubtedly the duo have put on the shiniest show in town this year.

Jeff Koons Now @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Now @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Sparkling with glitz and glamour Jeff Koons ‘NOW’ is a representative sample of an almost complete retrospective.   Charting Koons career from the early illustrious Hoovers through the giant blurry porn pieces to his celebrated balloon works.    The opening in May coincided with my birthday weekend which was reason enough for me to take a trip up to London for a viewing.

Jeff Koons Play-Dough @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Play-Dough @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Now @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Now @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Imagine my surprise when en route I dropped into Koenig, my favourite London bookshop,  and when discussing my reason for my current visit the shop assistant told me that although he was a huge admirer of the work of Koons he probably couldn’t be bothered to take a trip across the city to see the show in person.   He went on to say that he was happy enough seeing the content online.   In disregarding this exhibition he has missed seeing an important body of work by one of the most important living contemporary artists of today and if he never did get around to making the effort I am sure will be forever regretting it, such is the modern world.

With almost all of the pieces on show coming from Damien Hirst’s own private collection, some never seen in public before and spanning several decades ‘NOW’ is as glamorous as art gets.   From the selection of 1980 Hoovers, through mid eighties period  ‘Equilibrium’ series noted for the sculptures of basketballs suspended in tanks of salt water and on to the later inflatable and balloon art there was plenty on show.    Including some works from the series of explicit large scale images featuring the ex wife (and porn actress) of Koons,  Ilona Staller, aka La Cicciolina, which they made together, sensibly exhibited in their own space in a separate gallery.

 

 

 

Jeff Koons Boy With Pony @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Boy With Pony @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Jeff Koons uses multidisciplinary methods to produce his art.   Aided by his studio staff of more than 100 technicians, and in a similar vein to Andy Warhol, he explores the themes of consumerism and mass production.   Although he does not see his output as being influenced by Warhol, and notwithstanding the similarities with Warhol’s Factory setup, there is obviously more than a cursory connection between the work of the two artists.   Not least of which is Koons’ preoccupation with the superficiality of the common object.    Also his blatant exploitation of sexual fetishism.   It could also be argued that few artists have manufactured and managed Warhol’s contradictory characteristics of public persona as convincingly as Jeff Koons.

Throughout his career he has been masterful in harnessing the space around his art to give it energy and the Newport Street Gallery adds power and emotion.

Jeff Koons Inflatable Flowers (Short White, Tall Purple) @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Inflatable Flowers (Short White, Tall Purple) @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Kiepenkerl @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Kiepenkerl @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons New Rooomy Toyota Family Camry @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons New Rooomy Toyota Family Camry @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Seal Walrus (Chairs) @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Seal Walrus (Chairs) @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Acrobat @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Acrobat @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Hoovers @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Hoovers @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

 

Jeff Koons Balloon Monkey @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Balloon Monkey @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

 

 

Centrepiece of the show, cute and innocent yet seductively provocative with its ultra-shiny smooth curves immortalised in mirror polished and colour coated stainless steel, is the giant magenta Balloon Monkey.    One of a series of five produced, each finished in a different colour.

Jeff Koons Elephant @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Elephant @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Jeff Koons Basketballs @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Basketballs @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

The Art Glitterati

Newport Street Gallery is the new jewel in London’s glitterati art crown.   It joins the select ranks of the city’s growing fine independent gallery spaces alongside the likes of the Saatchi and the most excellent White Cube in Bermondsey with its 58,000 sq ft of internal space (being one of  Jay Jopling’s trio of galleries – two of which are located in London and one in Hong Kong) .   These are compelling art spaces where you just want to spend time, regardless of the art on offer.

Whilst I am a huge fan of The Tate Modern these three are now a world away from the Tate with its stuffy archaic attitude towards the public and also their own members.    Indeed their hostility towards the photographing of displayed artworks was why I did not renew my Tate Membership last year.   I will remain a non member until they adopt a more sensible policy on the use of casual photography in their galleries.   A policy which is more in tune with the 21st century would be more appropriate.   Apparently back in 2012 The Tate Modern didn’t even allow Damien to drink a coffee in the gallery when he was installing the artwork for his own exhibition there.

Everything about Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery is a complete contrast.   The staff that I met were all courteous and helpful and a real credit to his organisation.  The gallery itself is a striking conversion of three listed Victorian warehouse buildings in the most unlikely location in Vauxhall.  Set opposite and at the end of a road full of under the arches lock ups and units the gallery is a work of art in itself.   Designed by architects Caruso St John and clad in beautiful tones of pale brickwork.    This is a perfect space for art.   Complete with fabulous feature winding staircases and  topped with an imaginative saw-tooth roof.    It’s also a most worthy winner of the highly coveted RIBA 2016 Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building.

Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

Kudos to Damien for giving something quite magnificent back to the community which is a positive contribution to the arts and architecture.

Staircase @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington

Staircase @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Jeff Koons Hoover @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery - Chris Billington 2016

Jeff Koons Hoover @ Damien Hirst Newport Street Gallery

 

Entry to the gallery is free and the taking of photographs is allowed.

 

 

 

Jeff Koons’ work is beautifully aesthetic and synthetic in equal measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘NOW’ is in the final days but is still running until the weekend, full details here




A Selection Of Recently Sold Modern Art

An update featuring some recently sold modern art.

 

1977 (2014) - 40in X 32in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

1977 (2014) – 40in X 32in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Art

 

A selection of paintings that have sold recently including several from the 2014 ‘Punk – The Transatlantic Paintings’ Exhibition  held in Liverpool and ‘Snow On The Tracks Southend Pier’, a painting that was exhibited at The Blake Gallery in Gravesend, Kent in my 2012 winter exhibition.

Rather appropriately 1977 was sold to a client who was born in the same year but who also has a keen love of punk music from the same era.

 

Red & Black (2014) - 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

Red & Black (2014) – 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Art

 

Heart Of Glass (2014) - 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

Heart Of Glass (2014) – 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Art

 

Teenage Kicks (2014) - 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

Teenage Kicks (2014) – 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Art

 

Seventeen (2014) - 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

Seventeen (2014) – 12in X 12in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Modern Art

 

Snow On The Tracks Southend Pier (2012) - 50cm X 50cm - Chris Billington - Sold Modern Art

Snow On The Tracks Southend Pier (2012) – 50cm X 50cm – Chris Billington – Sold Art

 

Also I am most pleased that ‘Pink Flag’ is now living with a member of Wire in Sweden where it rightfully belongs.

 

Pink Flag (2014) - 32in X 40in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings - Chris-Billington - Sold Modern Art

Pink Flag (2014) – 32in X 40in -Punk The Transatlantic Paintings – Chris-Billington – Sold Art




Love Machine ~ Computer Art

Love Machine has been generated entirely from code and computer software.

This is the release of my first exclusively machine art for quite some time.    Since  ‘The 29th Day’ back in 2012 in fact and it heralds the start of  a new direction in my digital art processing.

I see this as an aspect of my work which will become more prevalent in 2016.   My experiments with digital technology  and Electronic Art will run parallel with my traditional painting.   However I  envisage that the two areas  will at times mesh more closely, and also along with other strands of my art practice.

This stronger emphasis on creative experimental work in the digital domain will compliment and not replace my painting.

Love Machine was created to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

 

Love Machine (2016) ~ Computer Art ~ Chris Billington

Love Machine (2016) ~ Computer Art ~ Chris Billington

Computer art generated by Grey Matter and Deep Blue in my ArtLab in Cornwall.






Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016 to one and all from the Cornwall and France studios of Chris Billington.

May your year sparkle with light and be brimful of colour and wonder.

2015 Has been another very busy year for me  with various projects progressing well in the UK and France. In fact much of my time was spent in France and travelling between the two countries during the past year which has meant that I have not been able to dedicate as much time to my website.   A situation which I will try to improve on in the coming months.   Some of the art that I am currently working on I hope will be ready to be made public during 2016.

In a break with my tradition of keeping my immediate family private and off the internet I have to mention the birth of my beautiful granddaughter, Aria Pearl in my New Year message.

Happy New Year 2016 ~ Chris Billington with Aria Pearl

Happy New Year 2016 ~ Chris Billington with Aria Pearl

Born to my eldest daughter Jessica and her husband Jake a few weeks before Christmas, Aria Pearl is my fourth grandchild, each one adorable,  and she already seems to be captivated by the colours in my paintings in a similar way to my creative and eldest delightful granddaughter Abigail.  Aria is a beautiful reminder that there is nothing more precious or amazing than life itself and that each of us is an awesome shining star in the velvet black cosmos.

Also a big thank you for the overwhelming response to my 2015 Christmas Card, Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem.    As one or two of you know, I almost didn’t create one this year because I thought that you may have had enough of them by now, how wrong could I be!

As this New Year of 2016 is stretching out ahead like a roll of blank canvas, waiting for us to paint in the details of our lives, I would like to once again thank all of my friends family and supporters of my art from around the world, you are each and every one of you intrinsic to my creativity.

 




Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem

Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem continues my annual cosmic themed Christmas Card, after a break for my slightly more traditional  Nadelik – A Cornish Christmas card of last winter.

Star of wonder, star of night – The Star Of Bethlehem features on my Christmas card for the second time in the eight years since I started sending out annual cards.   It follows on from my 2011 card and painting “O Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem”, the original of which was sold to a collector in New York in early 2012, and it is taken from my final completed work of 2015 which can be seen below ~ The Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem ~ shining forth from the cosmos to illuminate the way for the Three Magi.

 

Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem (2015) - 42cm X 58cm - Chris Billington

Cosmic Star Of Bethlehem (2015) – 42cm X 58cm – Chris Billington

 

To my friends, followers and supporters of my work from around the world  I once more take the opportunity to wish you all a Christmas that sparkles with love and happiness and a peaceful and magical year to come.

 




We’ll Always Have Paris

Liberté Egalité Fraternité

As the civilised world stands shoulder to shoulder with France and her people,  and as a mark of solidarity with a nation that I love,  I have renamed my 2013 painting  “We’ll Always Have Delaunay”, which currently hangs in France,  to ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’,  the painting’s original working title.

'We'll Always Have Paris' - liberté égalité fraternité - November 13 - Chris Billington

‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ – liberté égalité fraternité – November 13




Modern Art Sales UK | USA

Recent modern art sales in the UK and USA.

Sales of paintings in the past few months include work sold to collectors in Los Angeles, London and Cornwall, all paintings from my 2014   ‘Punk – The Transatlantic Paintings’ exhibition, once again a huge thank you to all who continue to support my art.

Here are some of the paintings sold.

Anarchy In The UK (2014) - Chris Billington - Modern Art Sales UK | USA

Anarchy In The UK (2014) ~ 20in x 20in acrylic on wood panel ~ Chris Billington

 

Mittageisen (2014) - Chris Billington - Modern Art Sales UK | USA

Mittageisen (2014) ~ 36in X 24in mixed media on wood panel ~ Chris Billington

 

Pills (2014) - Chris Billington - Modern Art Sales UK | USA

Pills (2014) ~ 12in X 12in acrylic on wood panel ~ Chris Billington

 

And I am truly delighted that Praying Hands is now hanging in Devo HQ in Akron, Ohio, USA

Praying Hands (2014) - Chris Billington - Modern Art Sales UK | USA

Praying Hands (2014) ~ 40in X 32in acrylic on canvas ~ Chris Billington




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