conceptual art

A Special Auction for the Terrence Higgins Trust
Hope (2021, Readymade) Alix de Bretagne

A Special Auction for the Terrence Higgins Trust

I am delighted to announce my participation in the Terrence Higgins Trust Live Auction, part of The Auction Collective. I am auctioning a readymade entitled “Hope” (2021).

This readymade is incredibly touching, to say the least. It is my reflection on the struggles of people affected by the HIV global pandemic. Anything I would have to say about the pandemic or about the struggle would be futile – I cannot fathom the implications of this deadly virus, the impact it has had over the decades and more importantly, all the great talent we have lost to it. In my contemplation on the affects of the pandemic, I have noticed a common thread – the hope people have for a cure – and that’s what this readymade is all about, hope.

More details here. You can join the live event via Eventbrite.

And as always, long live the King: Freddie Mercury.

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Conceptual Art Explained

Conceptual Art might be a very abstract notion for one to understand. My audience rarely has a good understanding of Conceptual Art, so don’t worry if you’ve landed on this page! This page is for you. Let’s spend a few minutes understanding Conceptual Art.

If you have 12 minutes or so, this video from PBS’s Art Assignment: The Case for Conceptual Art is the best quick crash course in Conceptual Art. If you have less than 12 minutes to spare for this, here’s a quick summary: 

Conceptual Art is a movement started in the early 20th century by several artists, like Duchamp, Kosuth,  Huebler, LeWitt and many others. Here’s what LeWitt had to say about Conceptual Art and I think this defines the movement quite nicely:

“In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. (…) It means that all planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.”

Sol LeWitt in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, Artforum, 1967

If this explanation makes you ask yourself “why do away with the aesthetic”, I have an answer for you from Huebler. When I create my art, my thinking on the “why” is very similar to his:

“The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more. I prefer, simply, to state the existence of things in terms of time and/or place”.

Of course, I’m not advocating that the way to go is to stop making art pieces. Simply put, I am looking at what relevance the object has in communicating the concept – that’s it. Creating the space where the art consumer comes to understand my ideas is my only goal.

Conceptual art makes it possible for artists to express themselves in different mediums, not putting the emphasis on the execution, but rather on the suitability of the material. If you solely look at art for the execution and think that’s all art is, beautifully executed objects, I would strongly encourage you to explore a different perspective. Next time you are faced with conceptual art, explore how it makes you feel: Conceptual Art liberates not just artists, but art consumers as well. It is a protest against the status quo, a signal to say “we care about what we think, rather than how we say it”. If you still find Conceptual Art very elusive, I will leave you with this quote (from the video) that I feel is a good motto for Conceptual Art:

Marble crumbles, paintings fade, but ideas last forever.

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Ai Weiwei – Modern Genius

Ai Weiwei is quite possibly one of the best Conceptual Artists of our time and a genius by my standards. His take on ready-mades, his activism and his resilience make him very much worthy of our admiration.

My blog is all about education. If you’d like to learn more about Ai Weiwei and his activism and art, check out this brilliant video from The Art Assignment.


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DEBATE: The Scale (The Stuff Of Nightmares, Readymade, 2019)
The Stuff Of Nightmares - The Scale

DEBATE: The Scale (The Stuff Of Nightmares, Readymade, 2019)

Many of us struggle with our weight and the way we perceive it – I sure do. I was trying to imagine a way in which I could express the way that I feel about it and I created this piece entitled “The Scale”. Looking at the piece, I begin to think the way I view my body is wrong. But why then do I do it?


I want to reach out to people and see what they feel when they see this:

The Stuff Of Nightmares - The Scale

It’s a scale that no matter what you actually weight is, it will always tell you you’re fat. For as long as I can remember, this is the way I’ve felt, regardless if it was true or not.

So I put it to you. How does the scale make you feel? Is it funny, cruel or is it shocking or thought-provoking?
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“It’s our imagination and the ability to connect that makes art dance and sing, not the art itself – we breathe life into art by seeing a part of ourselves in it””

“It’s our imagination and the ability to connect that makes art dance and sing, not the art itself – we breathe life into art by seeing a part of ourselves in it””

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Art Review – Sid Burnard
Art Review - Sid Burnard

Art Review – Sid Burnard

“Not what I’ve done but what the sea has done” is what he states almost as a core belief, although he doesn’t confess to it directly. The artist Sid Burnard perpetuates a tradition that has fascinated humanity for millennia: the collection of driftwood (mainly) and the act of bringing it back to life through sculpture.

In the most philosophical way, the artist here is a vessel for artistic expression, the meaning of life discovering itself in the truest sense of eastern philosophy. Burnard is quite equivocally the son of conceptual art and of deep imagination that comes to life through his beach findings. As I noticed, it is not just finding pieces that fit together, his method is to find remanences of souls lost at sea.

His compassion makes the artist ponder over a set of bird skulls and what the eyes they once hosted have witnessed. Nonetheless, Burnard yet again contemplates not just on nature but life itself, reflecting and pondering itself. Wow-whey, how magnificent God has come on today! Burnard appreciates the core philosophy from the ancient east that proclaims life as being a celebration. He carefully observes other creatures and the life they lead contrasting to the one the artist does. Perhaps that fuels the creatures he creates, perhaps his fascination with birds is just a happy environmental accident – I’m not too sure. One thing is for certain, the artist is present through his sincerity and the devotion to his microcosm as a system within another: the grand universe itself.

I appreciate Burnard for being unlike Duchamp as possible – his work is far beyond ready-made. Although conceptual artists can’t escape the comparison or rather the contrast to the French sculptor, I see in Burnard’s work his authentic self. He sees everything a miracle – as Einstein would have said it. From burnt scraps, he extracts colour with his imagination to a degree that only the masterful can hope to understand. Although he is very strict in his practice, he plays with his findings beautifully.

All in all, a delightful trip to the coast. Merveilleux monsieur Burnard!

For more about the artist and his work, check out his page at

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