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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Eamon Everall

The Marriage, Eamon Everall. Van Eyck would probably not be pleased.
Picasso would probably have a good laugh, though.
Stuckist Artist, Eamon Everall.
Though not "officially" listed at a self-
portrait, the likeness is unmistakable.
So is the likeness to Vincent van Gogh.
In today's art world, art movements come and go as fast as taxis in and out of SoHo (take your pick, London or New York...or even Miami's SoBe). But there is at least one group which, from what I've seen, has legs. Eamon Everall is one of the twelve original members of a London (now international) group calling themselves Stuckists. Everall's terms his work "Neo-Cubism." As such, it goes without saying he owes a great debt to Picasso, but there are also elements of Cezanne (below, an early Cubist influence) and Miro, with color by Matisse. Content is borrowed from Jan van Eyck, Jan Vermeer, Manet, de Chirico, and van Gogh (as seen in Everall's self-portrait, right). The in-your-face attitude is all his own (though the group shares it with one another on occasions). It's a startling indication of how far Modern art has come (or gone) that Cubism is now considered traditional and therefore ready for the "neo" prefix. I suppose that would officially make it Postmodern. Stuckism, and Everall's work in particular, might be deemed a reaction not too unlike that of the Pre-Raphaelites to the first stirrings of Modern art over a century ago.
Candy Stripes, Eamon Everall--Cezanne with a touch of Lichtenstein.
Millennium Temple, London,
2000, Eamon Everall.
Eamon Everall is a struggling young artist (well, not so young, anymore, he was born in 1948). He's highly educated, highly intelligent, highly motivated. Like many of his colleagues in the Stuckist movement, he's not yet made a name for himself. He's no Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili, or Mark Leckey, a comment he'd, no doubt, take as a compliment. The Tate is not eyeing his work for possible acquisition. In the "struggling young artist" mold, Everall has worked as a boatman, a postman, a dustman, also a repairer of musical instruments, a builder's assistant, an antique fair promoter, and now as an art lecturer and painting tutor. He's even tried his hand as a sculptor, commissioned by a local city council in London to create a millennial monument (left), as well as smaller pieces for Stuckist-friendly London galleries. Everall lives and works out of his East London studio, painting full time, practicing Buddhist meditation, and subtle self-promotion.

Mother and Child, Eamon Everall.
Neo-cubism does not attempt to out-paint Picasso, only reflect his insights.
Folkestone 1, Eamon Everall
--echoes of Cezanne's Cubism,
but also de Chirico's Surrealism.  
Everall's work is vivid, sometimes humorous, linear, with the total disregard for perspective and an emphasis on multiple viewpoints traditionally associated with Cubism (above). Everall's problem in gaining recognition for his work is that his style, his medium, his content, are far from the cutting edge art well-heeled collectors pursue today. Cubism is a hundred years old. Picasso has been dead now for more than forty years. Some, myself included, have now proclaimed painting as having died with him. And if not quite dead, then it has certainly become an antique art form. The Turner Prize shock/schlock art is all the rage. The Stuckists (and presumably Everall) are dead-set against this type of thing; thus they and their work struggle to compete, not just with the conceptual work in London's high-end art meccas, but with that art already enthroned amid minimalist splendor in the Tate's Bankside Modern Art mausoleum.

The Artist's Studio, Eamon Everall--if Vermeer had been a Cubist...and painted nudes...

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