While the call for artists of the 5th edition of the Young Masters Art Prize is in full play, we want to remember our past editions and our amazing alumni. Today we have talked to Christopher Stacey, our shortlisted artist of the 3d edition of the Prize in 2014.
1. Why did you decide to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize?
As an artist for whom authenticity, expression and the visceral reality of human form and thought are paramount, the overwhelming impact of say, Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina is undeniable. Its rage, sensuality and above all, overwhelming sense of flesh are at once terrifying and beguiling. To be part of a prize that protects and promotes the core values of such practice anew is both exciting and an honour.
2. How did you choose the work you submitted, and what was is about?
The Physician is the largest, most ambitious of my recent ‘flower’ works. Although the arc of my work now rests on flowers, not as previously the human form, I find that I am seeking the same things, only from a somewhat different direction. It is still flesh, soul and violence. They are all still portraits.
I longed to transgress into abstract expressionism. I wanted something that lay somewhere between the lyricism of Waterhouse and the undiluted energy of de Kooning.
3. What did you get from the experience of participating in the Prize?
A sense that you are part of something new as well as part of something that spans ages.
4. How did your career change afterwards?
I began a family and now have a beautiful girl and boy. After a hiatus, I suppose it changed my practice. I began painting flowers rescued from my late parents’ garden and my work became more confident, focused and infinitely freer. Ironically, I began to receive requests for portrait commissions soon afterwards.
5. What advice would you give to artists applying to this year’s prize?
To trust yourself. To see what others do not, especially when it’s in plain sight.
Artists wishing to apply to the Young Masters Art Prize are encouraged to do so until 31 May 2019.