In the first episode of this new series of A brush with… Ben Luke talks to Matthew Krishanu about his influences—including writers, composers, film-makers and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work. (Ben Luke is also the author of an interview with the artist for Matthew Krishanu, a new monograph from Anomie Publishing.)
Krishanu, who was born in 1980 in Bradford, UK, is one of Britain’s most distinctive painters. He draws on specific photographic images, including those of his family and his childhood in Bangladesh, yet his paintings are richly ambiguous, as he complicates his source material through emotion, memory, geopolitics, references to art history and literature, and the poetics of paint itself.
He discusses the transformative experience of seeing Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, the ongoing influence of El Greco, his response to the work of Gwen John and the art in the caves of Ajanta in India, and his oeuvre’s intimate connection with literature, film and music. Plus, he gives insight into his studio life and answers our usual questions, including the ultimate: what is art for?
• Georgia Griffiths and Matt Price (editors), Matthew Krishanu, with an artist interview by Ben Luke. Anomie Publishing, 196pp, £30/€35/$40 (hb). Out now in the UK and Europe, published 20 April in the US.
• Matthew Krishanu, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, 13 July-19 August; Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles, 11 November-11 December (tbc).
Series 15 of A brush with… runs from 29 March-19 April, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here
This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects, the arts and culture app.
The free app offers access to a vast range of international cultural organisations through a single download, with new guides being added regularly. They include the UK galleries DCA in Dundee and Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. They join a host of other British public galleries and museums on Bloomberg Connects, including the Hayward Gallery in London, where Matthew Krishanu featured in the 2021 exhibition Mixing It Up, MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, and Fruitmarket in Edinburgh. If you download the Fruitmarket guide on Bloomberg Connects you’ll find an in-depth feature on its latest show, Poor Things, which has been curated by the artists Emma Hart and Dean Kenning, and focuses on discussions around class. A video gives a tour of the show and in audio interviews, artists in the exhibition discuss their work and its relation to the theme. Also on the guide are spotlights on Fruitmarket’s radical history and its permanent projects in Edinburgh.