Jonny Bell Photography | First Post

First Post

June 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello and thank you for visiting my site and I hope you are enjoying my work.

This is my first post, so to begin I'd like to start with some thoughts around other artists and their work, that has influenced me.


Image: Begur, Spain. Jonny Bell 2015.

Absorption is an interesting concept for me, often finding when absorbed in the process of making images, I am able to find my own stillness. Absorbed in an environment, a moment, hours pass, and concentration can be intense. It isn't any suprise that I am then drawn towards artists whose work, for me, epitomises absorbtion in both subject and process. 

Seeking to understand other artists' processes and motivations is fundamental to my own striving to represent and express a vision more clearly. In all things I am influenced, and so my practice absorbs influences and I struggle to make imagery that is responsive to these influences, but not slave to.

Without doubt Frank Auerbach is such an artist.

Since discovering Auerbach’s uncompromising approach and process it has particularly interested and inspired me.

I believe Auerbach is as brave an artist as I have ever seen. From his early drawings of the 60’s with his clawing, erasing, and patching of the subject in charcoal, chalk and ink, through his decades long revisions and revisions of paintings to extract some of the essence from his subject. I find the constant reworking, deletion, and at times seemingly frantic execution, makes all of his work utterly compelling, with such immediacy and vitality, they quite simply live.

A recent visit to the Tate Britain's retrospective was the first time I had seen such a body of his work, from all eras, in the flesh, an absorbing

Without doubt I wish positively to be influenced by Auerbach. To seek to employ an ethos, to strive to perfect, execute, erase, discard, to study subjects, and somehow absorb their essence, to interrogate and rework in such a manner that will hopefully one day enable my imagery to become more compelling and vital.




I do not see this influence as mimicry, adherence, or copy, but a conscious approach to work, a given perspective, which absorbs influence, learns, adapts, and progresses. In doing so I find more challenges are created, obstacles and barriers emerge to realising an expression of a vision, and I see my images improve, subjectively of course.

In conclusion it is ultimately an endless experimentation, I hope you enjoy the results, becuase I love doing it - and it may take some time.

Best Jonny.


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