April 2016_by Federica Tattoli
Neil Raitt was born in Leicester in 1986 and currently lives and works in London. He received a Ba in Fine Art from Norwich University College of the Arts in 2009 before completing his MA in Painting at The Royal College of Art in 2013. He occasionally organizes exhibitions at westminsterwaste.biz, a project space located in South Bermondsey, London. His paintings are compositions of endlessly repeated cabins, mountains, ponds, trees and other natural motifs. Exploring the idea of repetition itself as a form of abstraction; His labyrinthine patterning and ceaseless repetition suggest the imagery upon the canvas as a limitless flat patchwork that stretches into infinity.
How would you present your work?
Any environment that has good feng shui.
Repetition, pattern, landscape are part of your works, in which way and which is the meaning for you?
I think of repetition in my work as a self-imposed limitation that inevitably shows cracks in its process, I try to focus on those cracks. They’re all points of reference for me that have their own meanings and I like to chop them up and combine them to try to find new ones.
What is painting for you?
Repeating a word until it loses it’s meaning.
Digital vs analogical… what do you think about it?
Have you ever tried a marmite and peanut butter sandwich?
Where do you make your works?
30% studio, 20% wherever my laptop is, 15% lying in bed at night, 15% fabricated, 10% doesn’t get made, 10% other.
What can’t be missing from your worktable?
Everything that’s on it is pretty essential to me, but if theoretically I couldn’t replace something and carried on without it as though it was never missing, probably the most notable absence would be Titanium White. This is the most sociable tube of paint that I use. And my laptop and phone on my desk, as I would have to start hand writing letters to people. But, thinking about it, that could be a fun experiment although I might not have an exhibition again for a while...
A collection you wish at least one work of yours was part of?
A museum where you’d like to have an exhibition?
The Museum of Drake’s mind.
The market or your need to express?
Lightness or depth?
Neither and both.
Day or night?
Day ’N’ Night.
A question you’ve never been asked but one you’ve always wanted to answer? Answer that question…
“Yes, Bob Ross is my real father.”
Could you briefly describe one of your latest works?
A cactus on a treadmill.
What are you reading?
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child (audiobook). One in a series of Jack Reacher books that was later adapted into a film starring Tom Cruise.
Dumb and Dumber.
Where would you like to live?
Do you have reference artists? Artists you’d like to work with?
A project, related to art, that you’d like to do?
I read a story the other day in The Huffington Post that a friend sent to me. The story was about a woman who is painting all 403 landscapes from The Joy Of Painting TV episodes in chronological order. That sounds like fun.
If you weren’t an artist, what job would you like?
Let’s imagine a group show. Who would you like to exhibit with?
Henri Matisse, Rosemarie Trockel, James Turrell...
Yes or no to curators? If yes, who would you choose?
Yes, Roger Fry.
A dream of yours?
Leicester City wins the Premier League...
Cabin Falls (Lake Edit), 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 100 x 70cm
Cabinectomy, Goss-Michael Foundation, 2014 (installation view)
Emerald Waters (Suprova), 2016, detail, oil and acrylic on canvas, 240 x 180cm.
Happy Painting, Anat Ebgi Gallery, 2015, installation view
Magic Tree (Green), 2014, scented oil and pigment on foam with rope, 180 x 120 x 5cm
Untitled, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 100x 70cm
Mountain Waterfall (Cactus Black and White Edit), 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 240x180cm
Untitled, 2016. Collaboration with Joshua Sex, oil on canvas with hand weaved wicker basket, 80 x 40 x 30cm
Mountain Waterfall (Cactus re-edit), 2016. oil and acrylic on canvas, 140 x 100cm
Windy Waves (Bodhi), 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 140 x 100cm