Wednesday, 28 July 2010

New Tony Ogle Print - Breakaway Bay

It's always exciting to unwrap a new print from the art studio of leading NZ printmaker Tony Ogle.  The smell of fresh ink is still strong when we take the new prints out of the carefully packed layers of tissue and this sensory treat is followed by the immediate visceral emotional response to Tony's incredibly evocative pictures of NZ coastal scenes that brings on a strangely nostalgic yearning to be out of our inner city gallery to be at one with nature at the beach.  Tony's prints could be a secret weapon to reverse the exodus of kiwis moving overseas - they should be given as gifts to lure home expatriates by the NZ government because they create such a sense of longing for Aotearoa!

Prominent New Zealand writer Graeme Lay encapsulates well the allure of the artwork of the person who is his favourite NZ artist when he writes "Tony Ogle is one of New Zealand's most talented and original landscape artists. His prints, in particular his coastal scenes, are notable for their vibrancy and captivating composition. No other New Zealand artist captures the unique allure and beauty of this country's coastal scenes so distinctively."

Tony says his new print, called simply "Breakaway Bay",  (and pictured here at right) had a very long gestation "this one started off as a pencil sketch some 10 years ago" he says, "[it's] great to get it completed".  Bearing in mind that Ogle has released this new print in New Zealand's mid-winter the artist is quick to add that this is a "vision of the coast in 6 months' time, roll on summer…"  Breakaway Bay is printed by hand, signed and then numbered the artist - this handmade edition is limited to just 200 prints.

NB: On the same day we have listed this new Tony Ogle print we are a wee bit sad to have co-incidentally found a buyer for the last print in the edition of "Crimson Ridge - Te Henga" this morning.  This was a beautiful example of print-making that really captured the essence of Auckland's West Coast which was one of our favourites.

Friday, 23 July 2010

First New Zealand Print?

Recently we came across an Art New Zealand article by R.P. Hargreaves that challenged the place of surveyor Robert Park's "Village of Richmond" as being the first print to be lithographed in New Zealand.  The assertion that "Village of Richmond" was the first NZ print was originally promulgated in the groundbreaking 1978 work "Early Prints of New Zealand" by E.M. and D.G. Ellis. In the article Hargreaves mounts a convincing case for William Mein Smith's "Lambton Harbour & Mount Victoria from the Tinakore" being the first NZ print instead.

We spoke to the authors of "Early Prints of New Zealand" about this discovery.  They said that they were excited to learn about Hagreave's research as the N.Z. Gazette and Wellington Spectator (used as a source by Hargreaves) was not available to them when they were researching the book in the mid-1970s.  They were reluctant to say however that this would be the last word on the issue of the first New Zealand lithograph printed in New Zealand because earlier lithographs could still possibly come to light - or prints could have been made in NZ pre-dating Mein Smith's Wellington view and simply lost to posterity some time over the last 170 years.

Shown here is the print "Lambton Harbour and Mount Victoria from the Tinakore [sic]" - this image is from the Hocken Library collection where the only known copy of this print resides.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Vintage New Zealand Posters from NZ Prints feature in new Flybuys TV Ads

Some of New Zealand Fine Prints' NZ vintage posters feature in the new Flybuys loyalty program television commercials.  All spots in the series start the same way - with an Oliver Twist character asking for more in an historically decorated New Zealand classroom dating from the early or perhaps mid-20th century.  On the walls are our prints of vintage travel and tourism posters featuring New Zealand destinations including Mount Egmont and Mount Cook.  [Screenshot shown here - we've favourited the full ad at NZ Prints Youtube channel if you want to check it out in its entirety].

NZ Prints regularly supply prints for NZ television production companies producing drama, comedy and current affairs as well as commercials (prints from our gallery have appeared most recently in episodes of Mercy Peak - a fine selection of pre-Raphaelite art, Outrageous Fortune and our print of Dick Frizzell's Mickey to Tiki was used to illustrate an item on copyright on Fair Go). Art is an important part of set design - the process that places actors in an historical time or contemporary setting with an appropriate backdrop.  We were particularly delighted to supply a house-worth of prints from an appropriate historical period for "The Lovely Bones" filmed in Wellington by Peter Jackson.  Because we have supplied prints to film and television for decades (we even had prints behind the reception desk back in the very early days of Shortland St) if you are a producer or set designer looking for images to use we are well versed in the copyright procedure to be followed for their use.  

Monday, 5 July 2010

Jason Kelly's Kiwiana art print series

We have just catalogued for sale the entire first series of art prints from contemporary kiwiana artist Jason Kelly. Trained as a sign-writer Kelly combines kiwiana icons such as jandals, Tip Top icecream and chocolate fish with humourous slogans showcasing the quirks of New Zealand culture. Kelly references the shared culture that kiwis recognise as being part of their collective identity and we are fairly certain this series will be popular as kiwiana gifts delivered to homesick NZers living overseas this Xmas.

Combining images with a message means, Kelly says, that commercial art often has to be more ingenious than fine art because the artist has to find a way of making the two parts of the artwork work together effectively and harmoniously.  The original paintings are on recycled wood done by hand using only paint brushes and mahl stick without the use of any stencils. The high quality prints using extremely lightfast inks capture this handmade retro feel with the details of the original picture's surface captured in superb detail.

Shown here is one of our favourite prints from Kelly's new series of kiwiana images - Sunday Drive.  This is Kelly's celebration of the great kiwi pastime of spending Sunday driving the family on a sightseeing journey by car with no particular destination in mind (perhaps visiting the rellies [relatives] along the way).  His complete range of new art prints is in the Jason Kelly collection and all of his contemporary kiwiana style artwork features in NZ Prints' ever expanding gallery of kiwiana art.