John Stark’s representation of beekeeping in “Apiculture”
One of our favorite artists, John Stark, will have an upcoming exhibition, Apiculture, opening on the 6th of October at Charlie Smith Gallery in London. We published a short blog post about his art back in August of 2010.
An interview with John Stark in Spoonfed sheds some light on beekeeping imagery that is woven through a number of his paintings:
These beehives form the narrative crux of the exhibition, and lend a new “conceptual cohesion” to John’s work. Under the title of Apiculture, the works trace the ritual undertakings of a series of strange figures, like a cult of bee-keepers, anonymous under brightly coloured hoods and black face-masks. These bees, for John, are “a really nice open metaphor, that can be read in so many different ways. All through the history of literature and art, the beehive has been cited as an example of utopian society, of a selfless existence. Do these hives represent the world? An idealised world? Art, even? Are the keepers the artists, producing the art, or the collectors harvesting the art?” Importantly, these possibilities are kept delicately open.
John Stark – Apiculture can be seen at the Charlie Smith London gallery from October 6 to November 12, 2011.