Questions from Stewart Semple in Tweet format
SS: There's a strong stylistic departure from your other work, what caused this leap, was it a breakthrough?
AG: Make map, take flight, jump...land in new territory, return, impact point, exit wound.
SS: Your new show is at Agnew's, the gallery had a rich history of showing more traditional art. How does this feel?
AG: Fine, I don't make the distinction between old and new in that way. Good work has vitality that bad doesn't and I like dusty old paintings.
SS: Critics often drew comparisons to Goya and Orpen, both total heroes of mine. What do you love about them?
AG: Goya was compelled to propel himself trough the door and onto the other side. Open is a different animal, more like next door's cat.
SS: Do you think that identifying with a contemporary human form makes it easier to consider these deeper spiritual concerns?
AG: Like to like, white canvas to white walk, object art piece, to my washing up.
SS: In the latest work, there's a sort of isolation or harshness to society, sort of individualised despondency?
AG: I didn't make that up, I just identified it.
SS: Do you feel like the UK is moving back to a similar place politically as the late 80's when you were a student?
AG: Then the wicked witch was just that. Today the lion's gone all Dorothy, everything's turned Toto and there is no road.
SS : I think what strikes me about the new stuff, is its embrace of ambiguity. There's something exciting about not leaving things too resolved. How deliberate is that?
AG: That is deliberate, how resolved, too things leaving. Not about, exciting something, there's ambiguity of embrace, it is stuff new. The about me, strikes what think I.
SS: Christmas is coming. I've got to ask you about the Bus Stop Nativity. Can you say something about the balancing spiritual/religious concerns with portraiture?
AG: For me these are human concerns, less t odo with portraiture than composition and expression.
SS: Did the media reaction to this traditional narrative suddenly depicted in a very urban light, change the way you felt about the work?
AG: To see the image in bus stops did, but not what people said.
SS: So what are you hoping Father Christmas is going to leave in your stocking?
AG: Chapter 11