Saturday, January 18, 2014

How Can a Catholic Artist Succeed in a Secular Art World with Faith Intact?

English Catholic Artist James Gillick Speaking in Boston Area: January 21st, Merrimack, NH

Jim Gillick is one of the UK's most successful artists. He paints in the traditional baroque style, both sacred art and non-sacred; and sells to both the Catholic and non-Catholic markets, selling through the top galleries in London. He is unusual in being able to paint well and to understand the art business - he sells his work through the top galleries in London and sells to both secular and Catholic markets, religious and non-religious subjects. He will give a talk, which is open to the public, is at the Thomas More College campus in Merrimack, NH on Tuesday 21st at 7pm in the library building and will talk about the practicalities of making it as an artist and how a Catholic can engage with the secular art world successfully. This is something that should be taken seriously - art schools (even some that teach naturalistic styles) are, its seems almost by design, dens of iniquity that aggressively propagate an anti-Christian, atheist materialist worldview. He paints sacred art, portraits, landscapes and still lives and even horses; past commissions include John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher.

New Liturgical Movement readers may remember Jim as the artist who has set up an apprenticeship scheme at his studio in Lincolnshire. Profoundly suspicious of art schools and their capacity for forming successful working artists capable of painting beautifully (Jim is self taught), he decided to offer apprenticeships to young Catholic artists. He takes on four each year and even built an extension to his studio containing dorm space. This scheme is now up and running and soon his first trainees will emerge from his highly intensive training in all that an artist needs to know to succeed - from painting technique to marketing and book-keeping.

His work is evidence that when well painted those styles that point to and are derived from the liturgical forms (in his case the baroque) will sell well and at a premium. For a longer discussion on how his work conforms to the Christian worldview and is distinct from other naturalistic styles - the 'realism' of the 19th century atelier for example, I have written an article on my blog here.

Here is a video of him talking about his art in his studio, demonstrating how he became and artist and makes his materials

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