ainting as a primary tool for expression has been the concern of many artists. Campbell displays the unique and diverse values of contemporary life. In the meanings and ideas behind his paintings are references to other areas of modern culture. In his art we find anxieties about electricity, wires clutter, germs, ageing etc..
Expression involves the artists own subjective illustration of his experience. In conceptual art artist's do not want to express feelings, but rather show ideas. The work of Gary J Campbell is an unlikely combination of the two. The Trans Avant Garde artists of the 1990's New York school concerned themselves with this. Their work was deeply embedded in human history. Campbell considers history in a jokey manner. The New York artists were also criticised for being emphatically decorative. Campbell concerns himself with decoration
as a building block for expression, not an end in itself. With this decoration by itself, we would see only commercial motives. It is true Campbell wants us to enjoy his work. The experience of joy has been a trademark in the work of major modern artists such as David Hockney.
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Conway Hall London 1980
Olde Bull Gallery Barnet 1981
Sutton Civic Centre Greater London 1982
Conway Hall 1986
Bloomsbury Theatre 1990
'Bleeding The Sunday Papers'
orn and bred in Greater London, Gary J Campbell comes from a family of artists. His father was a filmworker who had
constructed film sets for Hammer Horror films. His sister Brenda had worked in films and show business.The influence of monsters are often seen in some of his works; in particlular his fantasy and surreal images.
(left) The young Gary
in his studio c1983
The artist attracted interest in 1980 when he exhibited 30 paintings at the Conway Hall Gallery in London's Red Lion square...
...Commentators noted his extraordinary diversity and wide interests in numerous expressions of modernism and classicism; they noticed his sharp use of line; but there was a curious ' mix-n-match' of styles. This mix-n-match of styles was not popular with writers and critics at the time, although it has become much more commonplace since the influence of Picasso is now more universally familiar. Gary J Campbell became aquainted with Roy Tatham, an art teacher and potter who helped and guided him in his early formative years. At this time Gary received encouragement in the form of a first prize for his painting 'After The Festival' at the Barnet Art festival. Gary J Campbell was soon given a place at art school but decided against this because of a depressive condition that has bugged him all his life.
Self Portrait With Roy oil, 1980
....A Meaningful Use Of Line...
Gary J Campbell lived mostly in central London during the early 1980's. He produced some work for a company called Connexions Press and Public Relations. By the late 1980's and early 1990's his interest in
prophecy and Spiritualism began to emerge after reading a book on Nostradamus. He also began to move away from visual art into music and performance. He wrote a book called Ban The Image which showed radical prose using the 'stream of consciousness ' technique.
Campbell emerged as a Psychic Artist and medium in the 1990's. His performance work was in Spiritualists centres all over Britain. Travelling and demonstrating his ability to draw likeness' of spirit people who were known to members of the audience. The portraits were of people who had passed into the spirit world. His work in this field is well documented in Psychic News, as was the ability he later discovered as a Spiritual Healer
The artist appeared on TV shows demonstrating his 'Spirit Portraits' including The Michael Cole Show ;and worked with TV Psychic
Colin Fry on several occassions.
The artist abandoned his work in this field because of poor health.
EVENTUALLY RE-EMERGED AS A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
After flirting with music, performance, writing and the psychic arts Gary J Campbell returned to his first vocation as an artist.
PERFORMANCE ART PUBLICATIONS
Ban The Image 1990
Bleeding The Sunday Papers 1992