Charlie's art lesson
DOLLAR Academy welcomed a former pupil and now successful street artist back into the classroom last week.
Charlie Anderson, who left in 2005, returned to the school's art department to speak to
current pupils about the remarkable career he has carved since leaving Dollar.
Gus Maclean, head of art at Dollar Academy, recalled that as a pupil Charlie's work had
individuality, a personal stamp, ambition, natural talent and sensitivity.
He said, "There was also restlessness in his approach, as if nothing was ever quite good enough."
Charlie discovered a passion for abstract
expressionism whilst studying at the Edinburgh College of Art.
He left with a 2:1 degree and seven email contacts of people who might - or might not - have been interested in buying his artwork.
A job as artist-in-residence at George Watson's College followed - where he was given the time and space to figure out "how to get an image onto a wall".
"I preoccupied myself with that", Charlie told his audience at the school. "I needed to define myself as an artist. No one's going to give you validation. You just have to take it."
Charlie's art is big and powerful-wall-sized rather than canvas-sized. You can't just walk past it - you have to look.
His videos (backed by a soundtrack of
thumping drums) provide a good impression of the kind of art he creates and the kind of artist he is. His latest exhibition - in glamorous Los Angeles - was very successful and he is about to return to the City of Angels for another show.
Charlie's passion for the 'open playing ground' of street art is indeed magnetic and charming.
His inspiring talk about the struggle of gaining recognition, the details of setting up an exhibition and how, ultimately, an artist needs to sell paintings had a powerful effect upon the young pupils, given how far the former student has gone within just a few years of leaving the school.
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 19 Sep 12
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