Saturday, June 29, 2013

When life gives you Clemens...

Hey pal, on Monday night I went to the Discipline lecture series at Gertrude Contemporary Gallery to see a talk by the Australian writer Justin Clemens.

The talk was packed, if you arrived 15 minutes before it started you probably wouldn't have gotten in. I got there 25 minutes early and just managed to squeeze in up the back.
As you can see in the above image, it was really dark where I was standing, and Clemens head was blocked by a TV, but even still, during the talk I made this drawing.

Clemens talked about the current state of art criticism and the varying degrees of censorship within contemporary art. 

Before the talk it felt like I was the only one there who didn't know who Justin Clemens is, but it didn't take long before he'd won me over. 

It wasn't just that Clemens is clearly a smart guy and that I'm really interested in what he was talking about, but also he spoke in a passionate and direct way that you don't always hear in public lectures.

After the talk I mustered up the courage to show Clemens the drawing. He was really great, and when I asked if he'd maybe sign it for me he said he'd be happy to.
Clemens was amazingly generous with me, and wrote "Dear Kenny Pittock With adoration Justin Clemens". It was pretty awesome.
After the talk I went out for dinner with two friends as a kind of goodbye thing for a friend who's moving overseas. 

The dinner is irrelevant to the Justin Clemens lecture but I really wanted to mention it because I never go out for dinner. We went to a Japanese place, and for dessert I had green tea flavoured ice-cream and Nutella dumplings. 

The same way I didn't really know about Justin Clemens before that night, I also didn't know that either of these foods existed. They were so yummy.

I didn't think to take a photo of my dessert but here's a quick painting I just did of what it looked like, (I made the spoon out of clay).
Justin Clemens seems like he can potentially be pretty brutal with his art criticism, and it's entirely possible that one day he may write something about my art that'll get me really upset, but I think the guy's brilliant and at least I'll always have this drawing.


  1. "....with adoration" Well then Kenny another adoring fan to the collection. Can't wait to read his critique if he ever does one on your work. p.s. spelling of Justin Clemens needs fixing in Labels--you have it as 'Justine'. That will get you a very bad review.

    1. Hey Tina, thanks for reading and thanks for the comment! Ha, I don't think it would be very accurate to say he's a fan, he was just being a really nice guy. Also, thanks for letting me the know about the spelling mistake in the label, I just fixed it then, Justine case he ever see's it.