Statement by Orlando Campbell:
When I start a painting I have a rough idea in my head about the shape and colours but nothing is tested, it is vaguely random, I have done it so often that I can visualise the finished painting whilst stretching the canvas. All I have to do is switch on the TV and close the curtains. I find a never-ending stream of construction, engineering and Trump news very relaxing. This approach is probably the opposite of most artists and who knows what a constant stream of TV garbage could have done to improve the Impressionists colour.
I was always drawn to the great American Color Field artists of the 1960’s, such as Kenneth Noland and Ellesworth Kelly.
Tricolour flags have often been an influence but if I catch myself merely mimicking subconsciously or purposefully the perfect Italian tricolour colours, I will stop and think again.
It's harder than you think.
There is nothing more perfect than the colours of the Swedish flag, perfect yellow and blue, perfection and hard to beat, though the Swiss have had a good go. I have caught myself painting less famous flags where the colour just works, like Romania’s blue, yellow and red or Luxembourg’s horizontal tricolour red, white and blue (light blue). Let's not even mention the impeccable Macedonian flag which was an influence on a series of paintings I made called the colour wheels.
Logos are to be avoided too. They are so subconsciously entrenched in our minds it’s almost impossible not to spend a month, night and day working only to end up with the Google logo, but I have to say it is very pleasing, as are Chanel, McDonalds, Audi, London Underground, HTV, Mastercard, Adidas, Citroen, Olympics etc. and it’s virtually impossible to avoid the Target logo.
More recently I’ve revisited my fascination for the pointillists and in particular Seurat. Despite being categorized as a neo impressionist and my loathing of the dirty colours used by the impressionists, I love the way seemingly random, placed coloured marks on a canvas or paper can make a shape.
Let's not forget the Australian aboriginal dot paintings. This interest brings me to the paintings I am doing now ARE BATS REALLY BLIND.
Well, are they?
Who knows, who cares, they seem to be very prolific and when mixed with Pangolin, deadly.
About Orlando Campbell’s background:
Whilst living at Glebe Place in 1970, I photographed, with a bit of help from my father, a performance exhibition by Gilbert and George at the Nigel Greenwood Gallery (Glebe Place, Chelsea). I was amazed by what art was and my fascination began.
At school I studied Technical Drawing, I was astonished by geometry, being able to get a halfway mark without using maths by bisecting a line.
I grew up with Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Eduardo Paolozzi and Patrick Caulfield paintings, as my parents had collected these artists over the years. Their use of colour and symmetry were to become strong influences in my work over the years.
In 2001 I moved to France, here I started working with outside plumbing, underground pipework and general plumbing. I became fascinated with pipework and diagrams and tried to use them in my art.