27 June – 14 August 2011
Pallant House Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of the work of Outsider artist Nick Blinko in the De’Longhi Print Room (27 June to 14 August 2011). A visual artist, musician and writer, who has experienced depression throughout his life, Blinko’s work marks him out as an idiosyncratic creator steeped in his inner self. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see a body of his intense, intricate works of art.
Blinko's creative career began in the early 1980s as a musician in anarcho-punk band Rudimentary Peni with who he has written music for the best part of 20 years. He has created art throughout his whole life and designed the album cover art for Rudimentary Peni and other bands such as Coil, Icons of Filth and Part 1.
Blinko's artwork falls into three distinct styles; the hyper-detailed abstract pieces as seen in his work from the 1980s, the more formally composed pieces, such as London Asylum and the written works such as Numbskull. This exhibition includes examples of all three.
Macabre and intense; Blinko's images depict microscopically detailed interconnecting worlds and figures such as skulls, broken dolls, imps, foetuses and precisely handwritten notes. Full of personal iconography, his art has often been compared to the works of Beardsley, Bosch and the later works of Goya for their haunting honesty, intense imagination and belief in the artist's vision. The artist himself cites Samuel Palmer, L.S. Lowry and David Lynch's film Eraserhead as sources of inspiration.
Intensity is an important element of Blinko's works. Not only in terms of the depth and attention to detail that weaves throughout but also with regards to the creation of his works. From the mid-1980s Blinko would work for four to eight hours a day for months at a time, sitting in a hypnotic state of concentration. Of this state Blinko has said, ‘I got into it as a viewer as well as a producer. As the paper fills up, you, the artist, are intrigued.'The process of ink drawing provides Blinko with some relief from his depression and clearly shows the therapeutic benefits of creativity not only in giving voice to the subconscious but also through the physical act of creating, ‘When I found you could use crosshatching, making such marks being commonplace, I felt less depressed', he said.
Curator Marc Steene says: ‘Nick Blinko is clearly an extremely talented artist. Using an intoxicating mixture of inspiration and personal experience he has created a completely unique and new world in which process and vision walk hand in hand. This exhibition at Pallant House Gallery, his first solo show, provides for the first time a unique opportunity to see a body of his work and to closely observe the troubled inner workings of an original mind.'