johnnie valentine

Graduates 2017: Johnnie Valantine

“My work discusses the current issues of mental and sexual health within the LGBT+ community – particularity gay men – whilst alluding to the fashionable aesthetic of art today.”

Hi Johnnie – tell is about your work

“My work is concerned with the technical, formal, conceptual and aesthetic aspects of painting. The subject matter addresses current social and political conversations within the LGBT+ community. It discusses the current issues of mental and sexual health within the LGBT+ community – particularity gay men – whilst alluding to the fashionable aesthetic of art today.”

The phallus takes full ownership within the visual dialogue, and represents homosexuality in the abstraction. The phallic symbols express the contemporary iconography of sex and gender to confront the dominant position of heterosexuality in art.”

johnnie valentine painting

Who inspires you?

“The artists Ross Bleckner and Keith Haring have inspired my practice in the political domain of abstraction, dealing with the notions of morality, ethics and society in relation to the sexual and mental health of the LGBT+ community. The work investigates the value and complexity between signs, symbols and mark making. The iconography borrows from symbols within culture and then represents the image through the instinctive gesture of sign. The phallic motif represents the new homosexual value within contemporary painting.”

johnnie valentine painting

Have you enjoyed the Fine Art Painting BA(Hons) at Brighton?

“I started my undergraduate degree in Fashion at UAL. After completing the first year I decided that the course didn’t fulfill my needs as a student or as a visual practitioner.”

In response to this I applied for the BA Fine Art Painting at Brighton, I didn’t look back. The course at Brighton has provided a strong foundation for the critical engagement with the language of painting; this has been delivered through 1-1 tutorials, visiting artist talks and discussions around the practice of painting. The tutors have provided a supportive yet stimulating environment for studio work to take place.

There is a high-level of academic engagement and support throughout the whole teaching program on the course. Overall the course has enabled my practice to flourish around talented fellow students. There is a real sense of moral and community on the course and within the university. I have never regretted transferring to Brighton and thank all of the tutors and my fellow colleagues for making my university experience unforgettable.”

johnnie valentine painting

What are your plans after graduation?

“My plans for next year are to gain curatorial experience in contemporary galleries whilst also organising my own exhibitions in and around Brighton. I will also be applying to the Royal College of Art for the MA Curating Contemporary Art for the academic year 2018.”

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