EAST Magazine Editorial

Q - Please tell us what appeals about your home surroundings in Suffolk (how this influences your work)

A - Much of my inspiration is drawn from my previous travels and surroundings. From the gentle landscapes of our current home in Suffolk to the striking juxtaposition of technology and nature that is particularly prevalent in Asia, where I lived for 8 years. It is these experiences that give rise to the coexistence of colour and shape in my work. Having lived in Hong Kong, a city that never sleeps, to now living in Suffolk, the two places are almost opposites. However, I find the peace of Suffolk and the slower pace helps me to relax which in turn allows me to be creative. I have to be in the right mood to create art, its not something I can just bash out, I have to plug in, be inspired, get in the zone and all those other cliche’s.

Suffolk is a lovely county, the nicest Ive lived in so far, but its not the art capital of the world, although it’s home to some famous artist past and present, it’s not got the same cutting edge vibe that perhaps some of the major cities have, but this works for me because it’s the rock and stability I need to be able to create and do what I do. Perhaps if I were in London my eyes and brain might be subjected to more diverse influences but Im not sure I would be able to switch off my brain enough to create my art. For me, being able to “switch off” is key, I can get inspired by a lot of things and don’t need to be surrounded by the hip and trendy, its more important for me to feel I have a stable base where I can relax and be creative and then go on reconnaissance trips to get inspired if needed.

Q - You also say that living in Asia for 8 years has had a strong influence, please tell us about this.

A- Living in Hong Kong from the age of 20- 29 (92 – 2000) was an amazing experience! This transient city has a vibe like no other Ive felt, its electric. I was exposed to so much and lucky enough to have met some wacky, intelligent and interesting people, each with a story and to be able to mix in circles I wouldn’t normally. As a young guy finding his feet this city was ideal for exploring as it was vibrant and energetic – a melting pot of cultures and people from different backgrounds who enriched my experience . Although at this time I was a qualified hairdressing instructor working for the largest hairdressing academy in Asia as the creative director, I knew I wasn’t going to be in hair for my whole life. Sure, being on stage every day giving demos to international hairdressers was fun and glamorous but I could see through it and wanted to do something else, I just didn’t know what. At that time I had no idea I was going to be doing what I do now – digital art, but I can see how it all links together and how each experience has helped me get where I am today, even when it was crappy, it’s all experience.

I was always amazed at the speed in which the Chinese can knock up a building. You can walk past a building on your way to work and see noticeable changes to it on your return home in the afternoon. They use bamboo scaffolding which always scared the B-jesus out of me, but I guess they know what they’re doing. The speed and energy put in to the architecture impressed me – the skyline can change from month to month, it evolves.
Hong Kong has a lot of good and bad areas, like any city I suppose, I was drawn to both. I was fascinated as an onlooker by the slums and drug areas of HK because although it was scary and dark, sinister, it was also exciting and had the most “life” in some ways. I think some of my work reflects this. Some pieces seem to be quite dark but there’s a lot of layers, elements and things going on, maybe its manifested this way. I am a firm believer that all of our experiences, good and bad have a way of coming to the surface. This can be expressed in a multitude of ways and quite possibly different for every individual. For me, I express myself with my art and try not to constrict myself to what I think is “nice” or appealing, I just create what works for me, how I feel at the time, its quite cathartic in some ways, even if it gives the viewer a completely different feeling to my own.

Q- How has your work evolved ­ what media were you using before digital?

A – I suppose the first creative medium was hair. I don’t mean in a conventional salon setting where you’re doing perms and blow dries but being a hairdressing instructor giving demos to other hairdressers on “the latest techniques” and fashion allowed me to treat hair as a creative 3d medium in which to play and explore.
On a digital front, my work is always evolving. When I look back at some of my earlier work it makes me cringe a little. Not that it’s bad per se, its just Ive moved on. Im learning new techniques to add to my pallet. Im getting more interested with digital photography. In fact, my recent work has been derived from digital photography which I have manipulated. I find this medium very exciting because the possibilities are endless, not just of what I can take a pic of, but all the different camera settings I can use to alter the reality of the picture. Some of my best pieces, in my opinion, have been “happy accidents”. For example, Ive stuck my camera out the window over a bridge and not even looked through the lens and got a creative, almost abstract shot which I can use with other images and layers to create the final piece. Sometimes if things are too contrived they lose their magic. It’s the almost accidental images that more often that not work out to be the best images to start with.

When I first started out, I had no idea about stock photography or the art world, I was a complete noob. I just got back from HK and was staying in rented accommodation. I was wondering what I wanted to do next. I was sent a freebie promotional magazine from a stock image agency which had the most amazing stock imagery. I was blown away by the creativity and colour, the abstraction but sense of purpose. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I began playing around with PhotoShop for a while until someone I was showing my computer to saw a few pieces and thought they were good. I thought they were just being polite but after a few more people made similar comments I decided to look in to how to become a stock illustrator, a digital artist. I sent a few pieces to the top 5 international stock image companies and was blown away when I got accepted and signed by the best of the bunch. From then on I began exploring what was possible and learning about my new career I had just fallen in to.

Q - What makes a successful piece of work?

A – Well, that depends on if you mean financially or otherwise. I have pieces that have been signed to Prime Arts as art or Brand X (Jupiter images) as stock imagery which make me a living from royalties so I guess you can say they are successful pieces. I need to make a living and pay the bills like the next person but a successful piece of work is one I would categories as representing my mood, feeling expression at the time I created it – it successfully works for me.

Q - Please tell us about having your work on the Saatchi Gallery webspace

A- Recently I was very surprised to receive a great email from the Saatchi gallery inviting me to join their web space. I wondered if they got the right email address at first.
“…We at the Saatchi Gallery are pleased to showcase your talented work. Your digital art is quite stunning.

We encourage all Saatchi artists to proudly show off their body of work. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. Once again, we're thrilled to feature you and your work on our site…”

I signed and sent a few images and then received this: “I am thrilled that the standard is so high from such a variety of artists and hope it will be interesting to gallery owners, exhibition curators and collectors to see such diverse work.

All my best,
Charles Saatchi
Saatchi Gallery

Naturally I feel very privileged to even be found and noticed by the Saatchi Gallery let alone invited to join their web space. Im finding as the years go by and the recognition increases it affords me to be freer in my approach which then in return helps me to let go and really create what I want to create without fear which normally results in better work. And so the loop goes round, the better pieces then get more recognition etc, that’s how it seems anyway. Being self employed means you have to keep an eye on your finances and there can be a trade-off between what works for me and whats commercially successful as stock imagery, art is different in that I always create for myself. I think an artist should always create for love, passion and not out of fear or pressure to create something commercial. That’s not always easy in the real world but Ive realised that I cant create art any other way.

Q - Looking at your work, each gives me a particular sense of sound energy, movement and space; it¹s easy to see why they would be of interest to those with a keen sense of interior design. Who are your own interior design heroes?

A - My aunt, Tracy Kendall (http://www.tracykendall.com/) is a well known designer and the authority on silk screen printing. I have listened to her experiences and come to my own conclusions about the way forward for me and my style of work. Tracy has taught at the Royal London Collage of Art along with having a long list of other accolades to add to her belt. I have heard anecdotes of Madonna owning a piece of her bespoke wall paper which apparently she made Madonna change their entire room design to suit. I also know she is always being asked to have editorials written about her by Elle Décor and the other top prestigious interior design magazines, she’s even been on the Lawrence Louwelin Bowen program on TV which I hope is working for her and not against J I suppose my ego would love to have this kind of recognition, and that’s really all it is, my ego. I would hope that my art would continue to be from me and not because I felt a magazine, TV program or celebrity would prefer it another way. Selling out to money or fame is something that I can only dream of having the choice to make at this point. I would like to think that if I got “in with the media” that I would remain true to myself, this was a literal lesson I learnt in HK, you see how what I said before makes more sense now. It can be a challenge not to let your ego have the better of you when you do art and get recognition for what you do, its only human nature after all but fortunately I have people around me who keep me firmly rooted to reality.

I do think its important if not vital to have aspirations, to be positive and think the best is going to happen, not just to get through the funny game called life but to keep dreaming. Dreaming is one of my favorite past times, I can easily sit for a few hours at my desk just thinking stuff up while listening to some sounds or musing over some thoughts. More often than not they can be seen making an appearance in my art somewhere, albeit sometimes from a more abstract point of view but quite often figuratively –native American Indians, angels, animals, people and sci-fi worlds appear a lot. Not always consciously created, Ive turned a piece upside down or to the side and people have seen these things appear like they were purposefully drawn. Wacky!

Im not sure I have any “heroes” as such for anything, other than being big on Jim Morrison and The Doors when I was younger Ive never really idolized anyone or anything. Nowadays the interior design world has been brought closer to the public by TV and magazines which I suppose is a good thing (there’s a debate in itself). There’s a lot of people on these shows that do have good ideas and an eye for design – presumably this is why they’re hired, I like Lawrences thoughts on art and design. The art and design world is quite pretentious and its very easy to get sucked in to that way of thinking. I think TV designers are polished for the viewing public to suit the masses. My initial design influences and aspirations were from a guy called Nathan Flood who lives in New York and is a digital artist - http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/nathan-flood.html He helped create a book called “Geometry and Chaos” and was one of the featured artists in the first stock magazine I saw which inspired me to become a digital artist. His approach to art really got me ticking, the randomness and sense of belonging all rolled in to a single image – something chaotic unyet balanced and ordered. Allowing your mind to create its own picture is one of the reasons why abstract art is so appealing as it allows the viewer to explore their own creativity!
I recently visited the Istanbul Modern which was an eye opener, I came across Gungor Taner’s work whos style of art and design I like a great deal.

Q - Do you work with a sense of the space in which each piece will be seen?

A – I have no idea at the time of creating a piece who will buy one of the limited editions or which space it will occupy or even if it will be seen at all. I rarely get commissions as its not what I do best. To be constricted to creating a piece to suit someone elses living area or gallery doesn’t work well for me, that’s the job of a designer. An artist is different to a designer in my opinion. A designer normally gets a brief in which to work to and must meet their clients criteria. An artist creates what he or she feels or thinks, its an expression of themselves and cant be told how to feel or express themselves. My best pieces have been happy accidents as I said before and therefore I cant be given tight guidelines. Sure Im happy to do work to a certain style perhaps or colour but nothing too specific, its too restrictive and would be compromising. The client wouldn’t be getting my best work. It works best for the client to simply give examples of my pieces they like or perhaps broad topics with a colour pallet. Most of my art work is abstract anyway.

Q - What would you say is your own Œhome style¹? Please tell us about a few favorite home pieces/furniture/items of interest that you own.

A – Our current house is a 15th century listed barn conversion. Its got a lot of character and is quite charming I suppose. The Americans would like it, put it that way. I do like period homes and furniture and enjoy walking around English heritage stately homes if only to goggle at size of these places. My own taste though is more modern and high-tech. If money were no object I would have a place built which was big enough to have different mood rooms. Perhaps a few rooms designed in the traditional English/French, Italian style while others ultra modern, clean and minimalist. I cant predict how Im going to feel from day to day so why live in a house with just one mood or style. Id like to be able to walk from room to room soaking up the energy of each space.

I don’t own much stuff in the way of expensive furniture. However Ive recently bought a villa in Turkey – (www.villacooklin.com) which Ive furnished with a few choice pieces, mostly practical, clean looking furniture and designed to suit a rental market. My most recent purchase was a huge round copper hand carved Turkish table top which Im using as art above the fireplace. Its too good to put your coffee on.

Saatchi Gallery Features Cooklin's Art

Cooklin is Invited to Join the Saatchi Gallery Web Space

"Very happy to see your work on the gallery site.I am thrilled that the standard is so high from such a variety of artists and hope it will be interesting to gallery owners, exhibition curators and collectors to see such diverse work."

All my best,
Charles Saatchi
Saatchi Gallery

"We at the Saatchi Gallery are pleased to showcase your talented work. Your digital art is quite stunning. We encourage all Saatchi artists to proudly show off their body of work. Once again, we're thrilled to feature you and your work on our site."

Rebecca Kelley
Saatchi Gallery

An Introduction to The Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery has always aimed to provide an innovative forum for contemporary art, presenting work by largely unseen young artists or by established international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK.

The audience for exhibitions of contemporary art has increased widely during the last ten years as general awareness and interest in contemporary art has developed in Britain.

When The Saatchi Gallery first opened twenty years ago it was only those people who had a dedicated interest in contemporary art who sought out the gallery to see work by new artists. The audience, however, built steadily over the years and the gallery now receives over 600,000 visitors a year, and over 1,000 schools have organised student visits. The Saatchi Gallery has worked with media sponsors on a number of shows including The Observer, The Sunday Times, Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday and Time Out.

Many artists showing at The Saatchi Gallery are unknown when first exhibited, not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world. Many of these artists are subsequently offered shows by galleries and museums internationally. In this effect, the gallery also operates as a springboard for young artists to launch their careers.

"We at the Saatchi Gallery are pleased to showcase your talented work. Your digital art is quite stunning.
We encourage all Saatchi artists to proudly show off their body of work, so we would greatly appreciate it if you would link to your gallery (http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/artist/details.php?id=3216) from your personal website. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. Once again, we're thrilled to feature you and your work on our site."

An Interview with Charles Saatchi


On the eve of his gallery's 20th anniversary and its complete reinstalment with paintings, Charles Saatchi answers questions on the record for the first time ever.
You have been described both as a 'supercollector' and as 'the most successful art dealer of our times'. Looking back on the past 20 years, how would you characterise your activities?
Charles Saatchi: Who cares what I'm described as? Art collectors are pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. What matters and survives is the art. I buy art that I like. I buy it to show it off in exhibitions. Then, if I feel like it, I sell it and buy more art. As I have been doing this for 30 years, I think most people in the art world get the idea by now. It doesn't mean I've changed my mind about the art that I end up selling. It just means that I don't want to hoard everything forever.

Your practice of buying emerging artists work has proved highly contagious and is arguably the single greatest influence on the current market because so many others, both veteran collectors and new investors, are following your lead, vying to snap up the work of young, relatively unknown, artists. Do you accept that you are responsible for much of the speculative nature of the contemporary art market?
CS: I hope so. Artists need a lot of collectors, all kinds of collectors, buying their art.

Do you think this speculation has inflated prices for contemporary art over the last decade? Do you expect the bubble to burst soon?
CS: Yes. No.

Do you feel a sense of personal responsibility towards the artists whose work you collect? Artists who benefited from your patronage in the late 70s and early 80s, such as Sean Scully and Sandro Chia, felt an acute sense of betrayal when you offloaded their work in bulk onto the market. In the case of Chia, you have been accused of having destroyed his career. Do you regret how you handled these artists' works?
CS: I don't buy art to ingratiate myself with artists, or as an entrée to a social circle. Of course, some artists get upset if you sell their work. But it doesn't help them whimpering about it, and telling anyone who will listen. Sandro Chia, for example, is most famous for being dumped. At last count I read that I had flooded the market with 23 of his paintings. In fact, I only ever owned seven paintings by Chia. One morning I offered three of them back to Angela Westwater, his New York dealer where I had originally bought them, and four back to Bruno Bischofberger his European dealer where, again, I had bought those. Chia's work was tremendously desirable at the time and all seven went to big-shot collectors or museums by close of day. If Sandro Chia hadn't had a psychological need to be rejected in public, this issue would never have been considered of much interest. If an artist is producing good work, someone selling a group of strong ones does an artist no harm at all, and in fact can stimulate their market.

What do you look for when buying a work of art?
CS: There are no rules I know of.

Whom, if anyone, do you listen to for advice when buying art?
CS: Nobody can give you advice after you've been collecting for a while. If you don't enjoy making your own decisions, you're never going to be much of a collector anyway. But that hasn't stopped the growing army of art advisers building "portfolio" collections for their clients.

When you express interest in an artist, the art world takes immediate notice. The result is a rise in prices. Do you ever try to buy works anonymously to prevent this from happening?
CS: No.

Are you ever concerned about your influence on taste, when it comes to contemporary British art? Does it worry you that your purchases (or sales) have an impact on the market? Or is this something you enjoy?
CS: I never think too much about the market. I don't mind paying three or four times the market value of a work that I really want. Just ask the auction houses. As far as taste is concerned, as I stated earlier, I primarily buy art in order to show it off. So it's important for me that the public respond to it and contemporary art in general.

Which do you enjoy more: the hunt involved in collecting or the pleasure of owning major works of art?
CS: Both are good.

How do you decide what to sell and when to sell it?
CS: There is no logic or pattern I can rely on. I don't have a romantic attachment to what could have been. If I had kept all the work I had ever bought it would feel like Kane sitting in Xanadu surrounded by his loot. It's enough to know that I have owned and shown so many masterpieces of modern times.

Do you believe in philanthropy? Do you believe that people who are rich and successful have a responsibility towards society?
CS: The rich will always be with us.

You are a generous lender to exhibitions. However, some of your donations to art schools and colleges are arguably just a way of purging your collection of second-rate art that will be hard to sell. Is this a fair judgement?
CS: The artists whose work I have given to the national collections probably wouldn't thank you for your judgement of their work. And, for example, a large four-panelled Glenn Brown work I gave to the Arts Council would be easy to sell, and for about $500,000. I obviously like the work I give away, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. But would I be a nicer person if I gave away all the most popular works in my gallery?

What made you decide to open a gallery to the public? Did you feel it was some sort of public duty or were there more pragmatic reasons?
CS: I like to show off art I like.

Have you ever fallen in love with the work of an artist whose work was not sellable, for example, a performance artist or someone who creates massive public installations?
CS: Lots of ambitious work by young artists ends up in a dumpster after its warehouse debut. So an unknown artist's big glass vitrine holding a rotting cow's head covered by maggots and swarms of buzzing flies may be pretty unsellable. Until the artist becomes a star. Then he can sell anything he touches. But mostly, the answer is that installation art like Richard Wilson's oil room [purchased by Saatchi in 1990] is only buyable if you've got somewhere to exhibit it. I was always in awe of Dia for making so many earthworks and site-specific installations possible; that is the exception- a collector whose significance survives. In short, sometimes you have to buy art that will have no value to anyone but you, because you like it and believe in it. The collector I have always admired most, Count Panza Di Biumo, was commissioning large installations by Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin at a time when nobody but a few other oddballs were interested.

Which artists do you display in your own home? Are you constantly changing the works you have there? Is there a core of favourites which stay there?
CS: My house is a mess, but any day now we'll get round to hanging some of the stacks of pictures sitting on the floor.

Excluding shows in your own gallery, what have been your favourite three exhibitions, either in a museum or commercial gallery, in the last 20 years?
CS: I'm restricting myself to non-blockbusters, so no Picasso at MoMA or El Greco at the National Gallery or the dozen other spectaculars I gratefully lapped up: 1. Clyfford Still at the Metropolitan Museum New York (1980); 2. Jeff Koons at International with Monument Gallery, New York (December 1985); 3.Goldsmiths College MA degree show (1997).

Why don't you attend your own openings?
CS: I don't go to other people's openings, so I extend the same courtesy to my own.

Do you think the UK press treats you unfairly?
CS: No. If you can't take a good kicking, you shouldn't parade how much luckier you are than other people.

Were you surprised that the National Gallery of Australia chose to opt out of taking the "Sensation" exhibition in 2000? How do you respond to the chief reason given for the cancellation, which was a serious concern about "museum ethics" in the blurring of lines between public and private interests? The then-director, Brian Kennedy, even wrote an essay about museum ethics, to which he directed the attention of the media. Do you feel there was any question of ethics involved?
CS: The National Gallery pulled out of "Sensation" because it was causing a kerfuffle in New York at the time, and some of your fine local politicians decided to jump on the bandwagon. Brian Kennedy rolled over and who can blame him. Life's hard enough without looking to be a hero. But "museum ethics" was just a feeble attempt to build a smoke screen. The central issue was the power of religious groups who it was feared would be enraged by a Black Madonna "covered" in elephant dung.

Did you personally burn, or did you contract with a professional arsonist to burn, your warehouse filled with your art?
CS: It wasn't terrifically amusing the first time dull people came up with this. Now it's the 100th time.

The concerns of an advertising executive centre upon novelty, immediacy of impact, and relevance to the target market. Many would say that these are the qualities that have characterised your collection. The concerns of the serious collector centre upon quality, the capacity to transcend time, high levels of skill and historical significance. To what degree do you feel these apparently divergent criteria to be in conflict?
CS: The "adman" theory is very appealing, very popular with commentators. But the snobbery of those who think an interest in art is the province of gentle souls of rarefied sensibility never fails to amuse. Heaven forfend that anyone in "trade" should enter the hallowed portals of the aesthete. I liked working in advertising, but don't believe my taste in art, such as it is, was entirely formed by TV commercials. And I don't feel especially conflicted enjoying a Mantegna one day, a Carl Andre the next day and a student work the next.

What do you think about the great transition in the external aesthetics of museum architecture? Is it detracting from the art within or is it now necessary to attract a bigger audience? Do you think we are now seeing the end of the white cube as a gallery space, because of the nature of modern art?
CS: If art can't look good except in the antiseptic gallery spaces dictated by museum fashion of the last 25 years, then it condemns itself to a somewhat limited vocabulary. In any event it is often more interesting to see art in appropriated buildings like the Schaffhausen in Switzerland, or the Arsenale in Venice, or that remarkable edifice that hosted "Zeitgeist" in Berlin. Buildings like these are flexible enough to display virtually anything an artist wants to make, and sometimes to better effect than somewhere swankily of-the-moment. So although a Bilbao or two is thrilling, there seems little point in spending millions on creating identical, austere Modernist palaces in every world city, rather than using the money to actually buy some art. But if you're looking for a "destination" venue that will bring happy hordes to your city, Frank Gehry is probably pretty good value.

Blake Gopnik, the Chief Art Critic for the Washington Post has stated that "painting is dead and has been dead for 40 years. If you want to be considered a serious contemporary artist, the only thing that you should be doing is video or manipulated photography." Do you agree or disagree and why?
CS: It's true that contemporary painting responds to the work of video makers and photographers. But it's also true that contemporary painting is influenced by music, writing, MTV, Picasso, Hollywood, newspapers, Old Masters. But, unlike many of the art world heavy hitters and deep thinkers, I don't believe painting is middle-class and bourgeois, incapable of saying anything meaningful anymore, too impotent to hold much sway. For me, and for people with good eyes who actually enjoy looking at art, nothing is as uplifting as standing before a great painting whether it was painted in 1505 or last Tuesday.

With your painting show, do you think you are setting a trend or following one? Haven't we all been here before with the 1981 show "A New Spirit in Painting"?
CS: You point out that "A New Spirit in Painting" was nearly a quarter of a century ago. So I am tickled by your suggestion that another survey of painting now is over-egging it. I don't have a particularly lofty agenda with "The Triumph of Painting". People need to see some of the remarkable painting produced, and overlooked, in an age dominated by the attention given to video, installation and photographic art. Just flick through the catalogues of the mega shows, the Documentas, the Biennales, of the last 15 years. But, of course, much of the painting our exhibition will be highlighting has itself been profoundly affected by the work of video and photographic art. In any event, who's to say what will one day appear to have been trendsetting? Sometimes artists who receive breathless acclaim initially, seem to conk out. Other artists who don't register so keenly at the time, prove to be trailblazers.

Are paintings a better investment than sharks in formaldehyde? The Hirst shark looks much more shrivelled now than it used to, but a Peter Doig canvas will still look great in 10 years and will be much easier to restore.
CS: There are no rules about investment. Sharks can be good. Artist's dung can be good. Oil on canvas can be good. There's a squad of conservators out there to look after anything an artist decides is art.

At the top end of the art market, public and commercial spaces have become almost interchangeable. For example, at "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", a show of new work by Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, and Angus Fairhurst, at Tate Britain earlier this year, most of the work on display was for sale and it came from just two dealers: Jay Jopling of White Cube and Sadie Coles. Do you see a conflict of interest in a publicly funded museum being used as a sale room in this way?
CS: I like everything that helps contemporary art reach a wider audience. However, sometimes a show is so dismal it puts people off. Many curators, and even the odd Turner Prize jury, produce shows that lack much visual appeal, wearing their oh-so-deep impenetrability like a badge of honour. They undermine all efforts to encourage more people to respond to new art. So although I didn't adore "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", it was nice to see something in the Tate that was fresh from the artist's studio. It helped make the Tate more relevant to today's artists. Of course the work had to come direct from the artists' dealers - it was brand new. Anyway what's wrong with Jay Jopling getting just a little richer?

How would you assess the Tate's performance as a museum of contemporary art?
CS: Obviously the Tate Modern is a stupendous gift to Britain, and Nicholas Serota [director of Tate] is my hero to have pulled it off so masterfully. I like some of the exhibitions at the Tate, but many are disappointing. The curators should get out more and see more studios and grass-roots shows. They evidently lack an adventurous curatorial ambition. And as for having outside curators called in to pick work at the Frieze art fair for the Tate collection...It isn't enough to rely on the latest Turbine Hall installation and the Turner Prize to generate interest. The Tate seems sadly disengaged from the young British art community. It ought to have reflected the energy and diversity of British art over the last 15 years in both its exhibitions and collecting policy. Puzzlingly, museums in Europe and the US are far more interested in examining Britain's recent artistic achievements.

Why do overseas museums have better collections of Britart than the Tate?
CS: Because the Tate curators didn't know what they were looking at during the early 90s, when even the piddliest budget would have bought you many great works. But I'm no better. I regularly find myself waking up to art I passed by or simply ignored.

After your death, would you like to see the core of your collection kept together and remain on public view?
CS: I don't buy art in order to leave a mark or to be remembered; clutching at immortality is of zero interest to anyone sane. I did offer my collection to Nicholas Serota at the Tate last year. This was about the time I was struggling with the problems at County Hall-both the alarming behaviour of the Japanese landlords, and my failure to get a grip on how to use the space well. I remembered that at the time Tate Modern opened, Nick had told me that there were new extensions planned that would add half again to the gallery capacity. But by the time I offered the collection to Nick, the Tate already had commitments for the extension. So I lost my chance for a tastefully engraved plaque and a 21-gun salute. And now the mood has passed, and I'm happy not to have to visit Tate Modern, or its storage depot, to look at my art.

Looking ahead in 100 years time, how do you think British art of the early 21st century will be regarded? Who are the great artists who will pass the test of time?
CS: General art books dated 2105 will be as brutal about editing the late 20th century as they are about almost all other centuries. Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst will be a footnote.

Perhaps your greatest legacy will be that you, more than any other, have been responsible for pitching modern and contemporary art into the UK's cultural mainstream. Contemporary art is now discussed in taxis and government think tanks. Did you set out to achieve this from the start?
CS: Yes.

What do you think of the art world?
CS: David Sylvester [the late critic] and I used to play a silly little game. We used to ask ourselves, which of the following - artist, curator, dealer, collector or critic - we would least like to be stranded with on a desert island for a few years. Of course, we could easily bring to mind a repellent example in each category, and it made the selection ever-changing, depending on who we ran into that bored us most the previous week. Anyway, we pretty much agreed on the following:
An occupational hazard of some of my art collector friends' infatuation with art is their encounters with a certain type of art dealer. Pompous, power-hungry and patronising, these doyens of good taste would seem to be better suited to manning the door of a night-club, approving who will be allowed through the velvet ropes. Their behaviour alienates many fledgling collectors from any real involvement with the artist's vision. These dealers like to feel that they "control" the market. But, of course, by definition, once an artist has a vibrant market, it can't be controlled. For example, one prominent New York dealer recently said that he disapproved of the strong auction market, because it allowed collectors to jump the queue of his "waiting list". So instead of celebrating an artist's economic success, they feel castrated by any loss to their power base.And then there are visionary dealers, without whom many great artists of our century would have slipped by unheralded.
The art critics on some of Britain's newspapers could as easily have been assigned gardening or travel, and been cheerfully employed for life. This is because many newspaper editors don't themselves have much time to study their "Review" section, or have much interest in art. So we now enjoy the spectacle of critics swooning with delight about an artist's work when its respectability has been confirmed by consensus and a top-drawer show - the same artist's work that 10 years earlier they ignored or ridiculed. They must live in dread of some mean sod bringing out their old cuttings. And when Matthew Collings, pin-up boy of TV art commentary, states that the loss of contemporary art in the Momart fire didn't matter all that much - "these young artists can always produce more"- he tells you all you need to know about the perverse nature of some of those who mug a living as art critics. However, when a critic knows what she or he is looking at and writes revealingly about it, it's sublime.
With very few exceptions, the big-name globetrotting international mega-event curators are too prone to curate clutching their PC guidebook in one hand and their Bluffers Notes on art theory in the other. They seem to deliver the same type of Groundhog Day show, for the approval of 50 or so like-minded devotees. These dead-eyed, soulless, rent-a-curator exhibitions dominate the art landscape with their socio-political pretensions. The familiar grind of 70's conceptualist retreads, the dry as dust photo and text panels, the production line of banal and impenetrable installations, the hushed and darkened rooms with their interchangeable flickering videos are the hallmarks of a decade of numbing right-on curatordom. The fact that in the last 10 years only five of the 40 Turner Prize nominees have been painters tells you more about curators than about the state of painting today. But when you see something special, something inspired, you realise the debt we owe great curators and their unforgettable shows-literally unforgettable because you remember every picture, every wall and every juxtaposition.
However suspect their motivation, however social-climbing their agenda, however vacuous their interest in decorating their walls, I am beguiled by the fact that rich folk everywhere now choose to collect contemporary art rather than racehorses, vintage cars, jewellery or yachts. Without them, the art world would be run by the State, in a utopian world of apparatchik-approved, Culture-Ministry-sanctioned art. So if I had to choose between Mr and Mrs Goldfarb's choice of art or some bureaucrat who would otherwise be producing VAT forms, I'll take the Goldfarbs. Anyway, some collectors I've met are just plain delightful, bounding with enough energy and enthusiasm to brighten your day.
If you study a great work of art, you'll probably find the artist was a kind of genius. And geniuses are different to you and me. So let's have no talk of temperamental, self-absorbed and petulant babies. Being a good artist is the toughest job you could pick, and you have to be a little nuts to take it on. I love them all.

Inspirations: Gungor Taner

Born in Istanbul, 1941. Graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts-Nurullah Berk
Studio, Istanbul. Worked with Corneille at the International Salzburg Summer Academy,
1971. Had a number of one person exhibitions and won 8 awards. Presently an Instructor at the Mimar Sinan University.

Güngör Taner, Festival , 1997

Güngör Taner, Su Kuşu ,1997

Güngor Taner 115x120 t.ü.a

1941'de İstanbul'da doğdu. 1968'de İstanbul Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Akademisi-Nurullah Berk
Atölyesi'nden mezun oldu. 1971'de Salzburg Yaz Akademisi'nde Corneille ile çalıştı. Mimar
Sinan Üniversitesi'ndeki öğretim üyeliği görevine devam eden sanatçının birçok kişisel sergisi vardır.
1967 Jala Yasan Portre Konkuru 2. Ödülü
1968 İDGSA Nurullah Berk Atölyesi'nden mezun oldu.
1971 Salzburg Yaz Akademisi, Avusturya
1974 Devlet Resim ve Heykel Sergisi Başarı Ödülü
1976 Devlet Resim ve Heykel Sergisi Başarı Ödülü
1981 Günümüz Sanatçıları 2. İstanbul Sergisi Başarı Ödülü

İstanbul’da yaşıyor.

Kişisel Sergiler

1981 Kile Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1990 AKM, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, İstanbul
1994 Cemal Reşit Rey Sergi Salonu, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, İstanbul
1996 AKSANAT, Akbank Kültür Eğitim Merkezi,Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, İstanbul

Grup Sergileri

1967 Evrensel Barış Şenliği, Şehir Galerisi, İstanbul
1967 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1969 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1969 DGSA Öğretim Üyeleri Sergisi, İstanbul
1970 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1971 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1972 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1972 Er Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1973 DGSA Öğretim Üyeleri Sergisi, İstanbul
1974 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1976 Devlet Resim Heykel Sergisi, Ankara
1977 Balkan Ülkeleri Plastik Sanat Sergisi, Bükreş
1977 DGSA Öğretim Üyeleri Sergisi, İzmir
1977 Çağdaş İstanbul Resim Sergisi, Ankara
1978 1923’ten bu yana Türk Resim Sanatı Sergisi, AKM, İstanbul
1981 Kile Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1981 Resim ve Heykel Müzesi Açılış Sergisi, İstanbul
1981 Günümüz Sanatçıları İstanbul Açıkhava Sergisi, Resim ve Heykel Müzesi, İstanbul
1981 1881-1981 Türk Resim Sanatı Sergisi, Resim ve Heykel Müzesi, İstanbul
1982 Günümüz Sanatçıları İstanbul Açıkhava Sergisi, Resim ve Heykel Müzesi, İstanbul
1982 Nurullah Berk’i Anma Sergisi, Şehir Galerisi, İstanbul
1983 Türk Resminde Soyut Dışavurumculuk
1983 La Peinture En Turquie, Fransız Büyükelçiliği, Ankara
1983 Avrupa Konseyi Onyedinci Avrupa Sanat Sergisi, Çağdaş Türk Resmi Sergisi, İstanbul
1984 Yeni Figüratif Resim-Soyut Resim-Kavramsal Sanat, Maçka Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1984 1950’den Günümüze Türk Resminden Bir Kesit, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Alarko Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1985 Günümüz Sanatçıları Sergisi, AKM, İstanbul
1986 Işık ve Derinlik, Tem Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1986 Çağdaş Boyutlar, Galeri Art-Net, İstanbul
1986 Çağdaş Boyutlar, Galeri Art-Net, İstanbul
1986 Çağdaş Türk Plastik Sanatları Sergisi, Hacettepe Üniversitesi- TBMM, Ankara
1987 "Türk Resminde Modernleşme Süreci", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, AKM, İstanbul
1987 "Güncel Boyutları ile Resim Sanatımız", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, AKM, İstanbul
1987 Yahşi Baraz Koleksiyonundan Bir Kesit, Beymen, Ankara
1988 Çağdaş Türk Resminden I, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu,Yıldız Üniversitesi, İstanbul
1988 Galeri Baraz, İstanbul
1988 "Çağdaş Sanat I", Resim ve Heykel Müzesi, İstanbul
1989 "Büyük Sergi", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, Ankara
1989 "Büyük Sergi", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Eskişehir Üniversitesi Sergi Salonu, Eskişehir
1990 Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi Öğretim Üyeleri ve Öğrencileri Sergisi, Kassel, Almanya
1990 "Etkinlikler Sürecinde 15. Yıl",Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, AKM, İstanbul
1991 "Çağdaş Türk Resminden II", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Yıldız Üniversitesi Sabancı Sanat Merkezi
1991 I. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı, TÜYAP, İstanbul
1992 II. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı, TÜYAP, İstanbul
1992 New York-İstanbul, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, AKM İstanbul
1993 III. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı, TÜYAP, İstanbul
1993 Resim-Heykel, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1993 20. Yüzyıl Sonuna Doğru, Galeri B, İstanbul
1993 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 6, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1994 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 7, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1995 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 8, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1995 Modern Türk Resim ve Heykel Sanatından Bir Kesit, Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Kaş Galeri, İstanbul
1995 Çağdaş Türk Sanatında Resim ve Kavramsal Eğilimler,Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Koç Üniversitesi, İstanbul
1995 V. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı, TÜYAP, İstanbul
1996 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 9, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1996 "Çağdaş Türk Ressamları", Galeri Baraz, İstanbul
1996 VI. İstanbul Sanat Fuarı, TÜYAP, İstanbul
1996 "Çağdaş Türk Resminde Özgün Üslüplar",Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, CRR, İstanbul
1997 "Çağdaş Türk Ressamları", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Lütfü Kırdar Kongre Salonu, İstanbul
1997 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 10, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1997 "Çağdaş Türk Resminden III", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi,Yüksel Sabancı Sanat Merkezi, İstanbul
1997 "Çağdaş Türk Resminde Estetik Dinamikler", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, Koç Üniversitesi, İstanbul
1998 "41. Yıl – 41 Sanatçı – 41 Yapıt", Marmara Üniversitesi Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesi
1998 Çağdaş Sanat Yaz Sergisi 11, Mine Sanat Galerisi, İstanbul
1998 "Yaşayan Türk Plastik Sanatlar Sergisi", Bilim Sanat Galerisi Organizasyonu, Çağdaş Sanatlar Merkezi, Ankara
1998 "Türk Resminde Soyut Eğilimler", Galeri Baraz Organizasyonu, AKM, İstanbul

London Art Schools

London Art Schools

Blake College 162 New Cavendish Street Westminster London, W1W 6YS
Tel. 020 7636 0658 Fax: 020 7436 0049
Website: www.blake.ac.uk

Carshalton College
Nightingale Road Carshalton Surrey, London, SM5 2EJ
Tel. 0208 770 6800 Fax: 0208 770 6899
Website: www.carshalton.ac.uk

Central Saint Martins Collage of Art and Design 2 Elthorne Road Islington London, N19 4AG
Tel. 020 7281 4111 Fax: 020 7281 1632
Website: www.csm.arts.ac.uk/

Chelsea College of Art and Design University of Arts London 16 John Islip Street London, SW1P 4JU
Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7751 Fax: +44 (0)20 7514 7777
Website: www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk

Christie's Education 5 King Street St James'S WestminsterLondon SW1Y 6QS
Tel. 020 7747 6800 Fax: 020 7747 6801

City and Guilds of London Art School 124 Kennington Park Road London, SE11 4DJ
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7735 2306 Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 5361Website: www.cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk

Courtauld Institute of ArtSomerset House, Strand London, WC2R ORN
Tel: 020 7848 2777 Fax: 020 7848 2410 Website: www.courtauld.ac.uk

Ealing Institute of Media The Green, Ealing London, W5 5EW
Tel: 08000 344 044
Website: www.wlc.ac.uk

Goldsmiths College University of LondonNew Cross London SE14 6NW
Tel: 020 7919 7282 Fax: 020 7919 7509
Website: www.goldsmiths.ac.uk

Heatherley School of Fine Art 80 Upcerne Road, ChelseaLondon, SW10 0SH
Tel: (0044) 020 73514190Fax: (0044) 020 7351 6945
Website: www.heatherleys.org

Huron University Usa In London 46/47 Russell Square London, WC1B 4JP
Tel: 020 7636 5667 (UK) Tel: +44 20 7636 5667 (International) Fax: 020 7636 5662 (UK) Website: www.huron.ac.uk

Kingston University Cooper House 40-46 Surbiton Road Kingston-Upon-Thames, London, KT1 2HX
Tel. 020 8547 2000 Fax: 0208 547 7080
Wesite: www.kingston.ac.uk

Lewisham College Lewisham Way London, SE4 1UT
Tel: 020 8692 0353 Fax: 020 8694 3322
Website: www.lewisham.ac.uk

University of the Arts LondonThe 65 Davies Street London, W1Y 5DA
Tel: +44 020 7514 6000Fax: +44 020 7514 6131
Website: www.arts.ac.uk

Middlesex University White Hart Lane London, N17 8HR
Tel: 020 8411 5898 Fax: 020 8411 5649
Website: www.mdx.ac.uk

Roehampton University of Surrey Whitelands College West Hill London, SW15 3SNDirections: view mapTel: 020 8392 3232 Fax: 020 8392 3470
Website: www.roehampton.ac.uk

Royal College of Art Kensington Gore London, SW7 2EUDirections: view mapTel: +44(0) 171 590 4444 Fax: +44 (0) 171 590 4500
Website: www.rca.ac.uk

The Slade School of Fine Art Gower Street London, WC1E 6BTDirections: view mapTel. +44 (020) 7679 2313 Fax +44 (020) 7679 7801
Website: www.ucl.ac.uk

The Warburg Institute Woburn SquareLondon, WC1H 0ABDirections: view mapTel. (020) 7862 8949 Fax. (020) 7862 8955
Website: www.sas.ac.uk

University College London(University of London) UCL Gower Street London, WC1E 6BTDirections: view mapTel: 020 7679 3000 Fax: 020 7679 3001
Website: www.ucl.ac.uk

University of East London Barking Campus Longbridge Road Dagenham London RM8 2ASDirections: view mapTel: 020 8223 2835 Fax: 020 8223 2978
Website: www.uel.ac.uk

University of North London 166-220 Holloway Road London, N7 8DB
Tel: 020 7753 3355 Fax: 020 7753 3272
Website: www.unl.ac.uk

University of Westminster Metford House 115New Cavendish Street London, W1M 8JS
Tel: 020 7911 5000 Fax: 020 7911 5858
Website: www.wmin.ac.uk

West Thames College London Road Isleworth MiddlesexLondon, TW7 4HS
Tel: 020 8326 2000 Fax: 020 8569 7787
Website: www.west-thames.ac.uk

Wimbledon School of Art Main BuildingMerton Hall Road London, SW19 3QA
Tel: + 44 (0)20 8408 5000Fax: + 44 (0)20 8408 5050
Website: www.wimbledon.ac.uk