Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sister's death spurs UK painter Andy Ostin to gather 27 artists for European cancer benefit show in Budapest

My Sister Returns To The Source by Andy Ostin
"My Sister Returns to the Source" by Andy Ostin, acrylic on canvas, 22 in. x 24 in. (2010)

His sister Diane Foster lay dying at age 51 in a Wakefield hospice last October 18.

Artist Andy Ostin, known legally and to friends as Andrew or Andy Austin, sketched his sister at her bedside.

Within four hours after Diane died, Ostin started painting a 22 in. x 24 in. acrylic on canvas, "My Sister Returns to the Source."

Diane's tragic and sudden death and Andy's painting of her morphed into a mission: "Gathering of Artists in Europe," a group show of international artists, each donating a work for cancer research.

"Cancer, like art, has no boundaries, and cancer is the art of death," Andy told me in a Budapest interview.

A Facebook energized Andy Ostin effort, it reflected his sense of geographic pragmatism.

He pointed to the dead center of Europe and hit Budapest.

Andy started linking with people he knew.

A gallery in Budapest run by an artist's collective, Kertesz 29 Gallery, offered its usual commision free support to host the show as well, providing media support for the show, including a television interview.

 Gathering of Artists in Europe generated donations from 27 international artists, from as far away as the USA and Turkey.

Twelve of the artists including Andy attended the Budapest opening, hosted by the artists' collective and managers Adrienn and Tomas Horvath, sister and brother.

The show ran two weeks at Kertesz 29, closing 24 June in Budapest's 7th District, Old Jewish Quarter.

Andy Ostin says his own work represents pointalism mixed with surrealism.

He calls himself an abstract portraitist.

A fewyears ago, when he bumpted into UV pigments in his favorite paint store where he acquires his acrylics, a new ultra violet life started for him.

This was only a new chapter.

Old Woman Of Budapest2 by Andy Ostin
"Old Budapest Woman" by Andy Ostin, acrylic on canvas, 76 cm x 126 cm 2011
Andy, the artist who sells his works, began making his mark at age 7, especially on his neighborhood mate, age 6, who bought Andy's drawing of Spiderman for less than a pound.

The same boy, however, was back at age 11 forking over paper money to the very encouraged artist Andy Ostin.

You can find Andy tucked away in a neat, artists' friendly website, www.paintingsilove.com.   But he's "Andy Ostin." remember.

His latest work, "Old Budapest Woman," an acrylic on canvas, 76 cm x 126 cm., emerges from his seeing a homeless, old woman in Budapest, huddled in a doorway opening.

Andy has a few parting bits of advice on how to succeed in art.

First, pricing. If you must put a number to your work, go for primary numbers. He likes 777 or 418 and few others.

But generally, ask what a person who likes the work thinks its worth. Let the buyer set the price.

I recall Andy saying "afford" or "reasonably afford," which sounds more like me, the lawyer speaking. One guy said of the portrait he was commissioned to make, that it was "priceless."

"OK," says Andy. "If it's priceless, it yours for free, here." Nearly speechless, the man paid 200 pounds for the gift.

Second, "Die and live forever."

Here's the scenario. Andy gets lost at sea, say off Australia in shark country.

Never seen again. Gone, missing, presumed drown.

A few years after his tragic service as a great White's lunch, an old mate of Andy's finds a couple of long, lost Ostin originals.

Of course, by now there is a magic secondary market for these and you, alias Andy Ostin, are alive and kicking somewhere.

And alas, as more Ostin originals magically emerge, and are sold off one here, another there, it's possible, says Andy Ostin, bringing a beer to his face, "to die and live forever."

The lower level of Kertesz 29 Gallery, Budapest, managed by Adrienn Horvath and Tomas Horvath
Photograph by Stefan van Drake 2011

Andy Ostin in Budapest Photograph by Stefan van Drake 2011

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

After living at the Hotel Queen Mary in Budapest (3.5 stars), I heartily recommend it: old on the outside, otherwise totally modern (23 rooms); 

The owner and staff are affable and speak English and German. Tel: 0036-1-413-3510; www.hotelqueenmary.hu; info@hotelqueenmary.hu.

Visit Andalusia for a walking holiday or week-long sculpture or mosaics workshop. 

"Spanish life stilled," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)

ArtTraveler´s video: an interview with Scottish illustrator and painter, Gordon Wilson, about his "I Love Fish" exhibition, inspired by a commissioned mural he did 13 years ago for a West Glasgow gangster, who loved supporting writers and artists as well as organized crime.

You may reach me at stefanvandrake@gmail.com or by calling (34) 915 067 703 or from the UK at BT landline rates, 0844 774 8349.

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