We’re always on the look out for someone who does something new, or something a bit different. That’s why we are drawn to the work of artist Jack Ginno. Using found objects in his art, Jack tries to interrogate the roles between the artist and the viewer, as he finds himself on both sides of this scale. He toys with the idea of what an artist is and what they do to ‘create’ their work, and the results are both fascinating and confusing. This is why he is our March ‘Manc of the Month’.
Jack Ginno: ‘I try to keep my role in the artwork as confusing as possible in hope that the viewer will scrutinise or analyse the painting beyond their initial reaction. As they look for my involvement, each element becomes a game of did he or didn’t he? The person in front of a piece might now find themselves looking at a single mark questioning it’s finer details, how it occurred and how it sits with the rest of the composition, rather than taking in the painting as a whole. I edit each piece as much as I see fit, sometimes I pair a found object with a completely fabricated one, sometimes I deface it, sometimes I don’t touch it at all. If it works as a painting within my practice and does what I want it to, I’m happy.’
Cotton On MCR: You use found objects in your work, do you have a particular place you go to find these?
JG: ‘I’m generally always on the lookout for interesting pieces, skips, junk shops, salvage yards, studio off-cuts… Ikea’s bargain basement is a good place to browse. I recently brought back a hunk of wood from a trip to Amsterdam. It was lying in a skip outside a flat being renovated and has really nice gestural pencil lines across the top and bottom, I guess done by a workman. I’m waiting for the right opportunity but I like the idea of continuing these lines on across a gallery wall, as if it were a collaboration with a stranger; a drawing that started in Amsterdam and ended in a gallery in a different country. ‘
CO: That sounds amazing! Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
JG: ‘Two essays about the relationship between artist and viewer – Marcel Duchamp’s ’The Creative Act’ and Roland Barthes’ ’The Death of the Author’. They both suggest problems that I wanted to try to combat in an attempt to get the viewer experiencing art in a new way.’
CO: How do you think your work has developed over the years?
JG: ‘I’ve always been interested in the idea of ‘the artist’s hand’; At university I was making process art in an attempt to blur my involvement and avoid any definite decisions whilst painting. I was making big assemblages with these process painting samples, pairing them with found objects in an attempt to give them some breathing room. As this way of working progressed, they became more and more reduced, I was utilising the found objects to accentuate or contrast with my samples. I gradually became more interested with the relationship between the found objects and my own painting and began to question artistic integrity, authorship and intent, and where all of this lies within the creative act.’
CO: Sweet, we’ll check it out. What recent exhibitions have you been to?
JG: ‘John Stezaker at The Whitworth and Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty at Newport Street Gallery.’
(We recently reviewed the John Stezaker exhibition, you can read that here.)
CO: Who is your favourite artist?
JG: ‘I usually just say Duchamp but at the minute I really love Susan Collis, she also tries to exploit viewer’s assumptions and draw them in for a closer look, definitely worth checking out in person if possible.’
CO: What other artists would you recommend we check out?
JG: ‘Paul Merrick, Peter Mohall, Isaac Brest, Struan Teague, Jacob Kassay, David Ostrowski, Walead Beshty.’
CO: What do you think of Manchester’s art scene as a whole?
JG: ‘It’s a great mix of DIY art spaces, studios and established art galleries, the people are positive, friendly and engaging and I think it’s only going to get better and better.’
CO: If you were to have a dinner party where you could invite 5 guests, anyone from past and present, who would they be?
Marcel Duchamp, Alan Watts, Karl Pilkington, Mark Gonzales and Jamelia.
CO: Jamelia? Why?
JG: ‘Haha she’s a right laugh.’
CO: And to end with our staple Cotton On MCR question, if you could live in any painting/artwork, which would it be and why?
JG: ‘Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ would be good. As long as I can pop between all three sides when I like.’
For more information on Jack’s work, check out his site – http://www.jackginno.co.uk