Tony McCorry: The Cent

Show: The Cent. Tony McCorry.

Tell: “This painting is based on a pub called The Centurion on the Chelmsley Wood estate near Birmingham.  Everyone local calls it as The Cent. It was originally a collage, but I changed my mind about what I was doing with it, so I ripped most of the card and paper off and painted the pub over the top. The surface of the picture is actually quite rough.

“Me and my friends used to hang around this place when we were kids – this is a view of the back door, the lounge entrance. A lot of the time I was there trying to get money off my dad as he was always in there after he left us and he never used to give our mom the money he was supposed to. Our mom used to keep going down there looking for him most nights, as he was with some woman with bleached white hair, so it’s quite a personal picture.

“It was about a mile from our house, down the hill. I used to be looking out the window a lot towards it, as I could see it from an upstairs window, while looking after my younger brothers and sisters, waiting for my mom to come back. This was when I was about 14.

“It was one of three paintings I stopped half way through. They were all collages originally, with book covers and photos stuck on them. It was done in the early stages of my MA, which I studied for because artists I was working with kept saying I was a sort of primitive, naïve artist – I thought an MA would make me cleverer!

“I went back to places I knew as a kid, photographed them, gridded up the canvases and drew them out quite accurately and then coloured them in basically. I was trying to get the colours to describe what the emotional content was for me in the buildings and locations. In real life this and the other places I make work about are quite grim colour wise.

“I really like Edward Hopper, LS Lowry and Francis Bacon generally but was really thinking about Perspective II: Manet’s Balcony by Rene Magritte when I was doing this picture. Someone at college gave me a book called The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh and this painting was on the cover. I ripped the book up and stuck it on this canvas in its early stages before scraping it off and painting the pub over the top. It was the shapes and tones and colours of Magritte’s picture I was interested in as much as the subject matter.

“Apparently it was Magritte’s version of Manet’s The Balcony, which was also basically about two women and a bloke – same as my one of The Cent.”

Info: Tony McCorry was born and brought up in Birmingham, UK and paints subjects based on memories associated with built environments. A solo exhibition, Accommodation is at Solihull Arts Complex from Tuesday 8 May to Saturday 30th June 2012.

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Tony McCorry: The Cent was posted on May 18th, 2012 at 7.32am and is filed under Show and Tell. This entry has no comments (yet). You can follow any responses through the RSS 2.0 Feed.

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