I am an artist that believes that art should be shared and funding should be earned, and earned not through the art-killing process of ticking boxes to distort a vision into an Olympic crucifixion of community art.
For the past five years I have been self-financing large scale exhibitions of my painted portraits of the up-and-coming London scene, and those that infiltrate and inspire its continual flux of animated activity. The project is called before encore. Each exhibition is made up of 36 new faces for the audience to discover.
The exhibitions also act as a performance platform where all those depicted are invited to grace the stage in celebration. Musicians, painters, writers and performance artists all share the same stage without ego.
The audience is made up of EVERYONE. All ages welcome, as there really is something for everybody.
I live as a full-time artist and sales of my work not only have to pay my bills but also fund these events (with a lot of help from my Visa card) and this year (as a way of paying for venue hire, staging costs – including lighting, sound equipment and engineers etc) I have decided to throw open the doors of my studio and sell off artworks instead. By doing so would provide me with a much more stable platform to continue with the project.
On average each year’s event has cost £10,000 in staging costs alone…and I’m a thrifty penny-pinching number cruncher!
Every penny or pound counts, and with the amount of work I produce I am aiming to achieve this target and possibly more so I can pay performers for their time – or at least taxi fares for them and their equipment.
Each of the beloved portraits listed on the attached page are of outstanding artists. Artists who I believe everyone will love.
Each painting measures 5.5 by 3.5 feet (165 by 102cm) and is painted in acrylic and emulsion on canvas.
….and instead of simply begging for a wad of your hard earned cash I’m hoping that you could donate by way of purchasing a painting. The paintings are bold, joyful and inspirational, celebrating the new.
My aim is to raise £500 per painting… but, if you want to donate more then I’m not going to stop you!
– every purchase includes free delivery within London and a heartfelt thank you in the exhibition catalogue/handout along with guest of honour invitations to the private view on Thursday May 6th.
before encore 4 will be held at 10 Gales, Bethnal Green, London, from May6th – June 2nd 2010.
The venue is booked for the entire month; a newly opened gallery in Bethnal Green, just under the railway arches by Bethnal Green Tube. New gallery/new artist/new friends, working together to make something special that I hope you will be a part of.
Sincerest thanks from the bottom of my ‘art,
and thank you for reaching the end of this plea.
John Lee Bird
Tel: 0208 5034534 / 07931 380325
– Please see all the available paintings in the post below…