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Artist

Bex Massey

London Metropolitan University (BA Hons, Fine Art, 2007 / 2007)

Interview

What is your favourite film of all time?

‘Amelie’. I am sure that this seems like a generic response: But I just think that it is beautiful. Music, plot, stills, everything.

What music are you currently listening to and why?

Presently I am listening to Millie Jackson. I like varied artists and genres of music. It helps to have a wide range of music for inspiration and mood. Some favourites would be: The Readers, Antony and the Johnsons, Joni Mitchell, Regina Specktor, Grace Jones, Alison Moyet, Chopin. Anything from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s are all good in my books.

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

I have lots of love for David Hockney. I was introduced to him at an early age by my dad. I respect his unwavering belief in reinventing himself. It seems to me; that as soon as he is adept at any style or medium he changes tack and starts a new. I admire this very much as I am almost certain that when I get that great-I will invariably hang on for dear life.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Caravaggio. His use of light and dark is inspirational.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

‘Encounters-New art from old’, National Gallery, 2000. Not only did it have a David Hockney in it, but it also looked at creating new and inspirational art forms out of classical art history. I find this concept highly engaging, and maybe this meant so much to me at the time as it was what I was trying to create in my own professional practice.

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

Q: ‘Are you dark or is your work just dark?’ A: ‘I don’t think either are particularly ‘dark’. I tackle modern day issues, and if my work shocks and effects viewers I generally take it as a huge compliment. This would mean that I had probably done my job well.'

What / who inspired you to be an artist?

Francis Clarke (my first art teacher) and my folks.  All of which supported and nurtured my love for art; without which I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today. 

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

I make my art in my studio in east London. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the art, culture and people in this area.

What do you like most about being an artist?

Everything...it's what makes me tick

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

Being awarded an arts bursary whilst at University to become a research fellow. It gave me the opportunity to speak to many artists that I revere. For example: Stella Vine, Rebecca Horn and Olivia Plender.

What are your plans for the coming year?

This year I will be exhibiting in a minimum of 8group shows, as well as a duo and solo show towards the end of the year.

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Artist's statement

 

Bex Massey’s professional practice stems from an overtly figurative use of graphite and oils.  Her earlier work was centred on classical literature and constructing reinterpretations in modern day scenarios. Although she still touches upon historical references, the past four years have seen her further analyse modern day texts such as broadsheets, magazines and comic books

Massey’s work is based on current affairs, social issues and the way in which they are documented in the Media.  At present we are bombarded with so much unfiltered information that crucial issues are often overlooked. Likewise, we view such a plethora of depressing imagery and shock tactic headlines-we have become almost dehumanised to an individual’s tragedy. 

With such a volume of statistics and crude data being continuously thrown at us-is it just easier to overlook the harsh reality of the facts?  Too frequently are we told what to think, feel and do.  She therefore poses questions to viewers, and in so doing offers a platform for them to readdress modern day issues through the use of ambiguity, omission and satire.

Bex enjoys obscuring what the audience would ‘normally’ view as the salient part of a scenario or scene.  Likewise, she leaves areas unfinished, blurred or blank for the audience to fill in themselves.  This shift in structure and emphasis often leads to a sense of unrest within her pieces, and a distinct feeling that there are much more sinister undertones lurking beneath the surface.

Exhibitions

 

September 2013.  Chelsea school of art MA final show.
17-20 April 2013.  In two parts.  Cookhouse Gallery, London.
21 Feb-5 March 2013. ‘Yeastie Girls’, Cultivate gallery, vyner street, London. 
23 Feb 2013: 'Pixelkitchen', Kunst Bankett, Frankfurt. 
13 Dec-7 Jan 2013: 'Dreaming of a Black and White Christmas'. A-side B-side gallery, London.
4-14 October 2012: Solo show. A-Side B-Side Gallery.
17 June-17 July 2012: 'Dazed and Refused' exhibition, Arch Gallery, London.
17 May 2012: 'Woman! Know your place' exhibition, Bush Theatre, London. 
March-April 2012:  Residency at Central Foundation Girls' School, London.
March 2012:  'Smiling' artist book published by For Dem Bones
Jan 2012:  'Show; your face' curating and exhibiting in group show, Cultivate gallery, vyner street, London.
20 Dec-3 Jan 2012:  'Art is for life not just for Christmas', group show, Cultivate gallery, vyner street, London.
2011:  'London, Madrid, Berlin' documentary about artists published.  Selected London artist.
2011:  'Little Benefits', Group Show, Cultivate Gallery, vyner street, London
2011: 'Girls on top'. Duo Show. Dead Dolls Club, wells street, London.
2011: 'Le Corps'. Ladyfest Paris group show. Cafe de la Danse, Paris.
2011: 'Knot for Profit' auction for Japan appeal
2010:  'Grotto', Towner and Hoxton Gallery, London.
2010: Ladyfest Ten exhibition. Showcased artist, Ground Floor Left Gallery, wells street, London
2010: 'Our Common Humanity' auction for U-Turn Project.
2010: 'Have your cake and eat it', Group show, The George, London.
2009- 'The forgotten soldiers'. The Brick Lane Gallery, London
2008- 'Midsummer Night Dreams', Group exhibition, The Art Works Gallery, Newcastle
2007- 'Sink or Swim'. Graduate Showcase by CGCI. Royal Overseas League, Green Park, London
2007- Group Exhibition, with Sanctuary Arts. Greenwich Village, Stockwell street, London
2007- Final Degree Show, London Metropolitan University
2007- Pages Project; conversations and keepsake exhibition, Notice Gallery, London
2006-present- Drawings from Deviant Art presented to Trollhattans Konsthall, Trollhaten,Sweden
2006- The Deviant Art Festival, Pumphuset Gallery, Trolhatten, Sweden
2006- Deviant Art: Round Chapel, Clapton, Hackney, London
2005- Identity exhibition. Tate Modern. Mc Auley A.

Achievements & Awards

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