Thick as thieves

Actor Gary Oldman and artist George Blacklock spotlight their fast friendship in a new art show
By Ray Kinsella | Art | 29 April 2016

George Blacklock, The Americans Have Taken My True Love Away_Stacks I, 2011, Oil on Canvas

Over the last quarter of a century, abstract painter George Blacklock and actor, filmmaker and photographer, Gary Oldman have engaged in a dialogue which has fed their creative imaginations.

Through sharing each other’s artistic vivacity over the course of twenty-five years, the pair crafted a body of work that mirrors this process. And now, for the first time in Britain, their imagery is being featured together in a unique London exhibition.

Following on from their exhibition at Museo De Las Artes, Guadalajara, Flowers Gallery in London presents George Blacklock and Gary Oldman: Slipping Glimpsers – an exhibition consisting of a series of photographs and paintings by the pair.



Addressing questions about narrative, originality, subjectivity and collaboration, Blacklock and Oldman’s work places a strong emphasis on invisibleness – the elements of the creative process that cannot be seen – but which are only revealed during the methods of production.

“People keep asking why we are showing together, the simple answer to this is that we have been friends for a long time and so we want to,” said Blacklock, who is also Dean at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. “The longer answer to this question is to similarly answer a further, more intimate, question – what has sustained this friendship over the last 25 years? In that time we have always talked a lot about what we do individually, in order to find out more about the creative process. It’s an underlying obsession we share.”

“People keep asking why we are showing together, the simple answer to this is that we have been friends for a long time and so we want to.” – George Blacklock

The abstract painter also revealed ideas around creative transparency, inclusiveness and alternative perceptions of reality: “The exhibition is just one stage of this ongoing discussion and focuses on our shared passion to try and understand the creative process – and make that process available to others. For example, you can follow my hand and the sequences of marks in my paintings, and similarly, the details that might seem inconsequential in Gary’s photographs such as the food wrapper on the set of The Book of Eli (in ‘Last Stand, New Mexico, 2009’) – these things undercut the cinematic truth and reveal another truth,” he said.

“The exhibition is an important stopping off point in our creative journeys, to extend the conversation with others, and to swap stories with friends; to collect supplies and support for the next trek; and to put into perspective the monsters in our path.”



‘Slipping Glimpsers: George Blacklock and Gary Oldman’ runs until 14th May at Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP London

Follow Ray Kinsella on Twitter @7RayK


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