Debutantes: Josey Kidd Crowe - Art Collector

Issue 59, January - March 2012

This profile appeared in the Debutantes feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2012.

Born: 1987
First commercial gallery solo exhibition: April 2012, Neon Parc, Melbourne

It’s tough to describe someone as making outsider art when they have been picked up by one of Australia’s coolest commercial galleries Neon Parc at the age of 23. But that’s the label most often used to explain the idiosyncratic practice of Josey Kidd Crowe.

Kidd Crowe has a Bachelor of Fine Arts but his approach to painting suggests he hasn’t been too affected by whatever conceptual trends held sway at university. He builds his modest pictures with paint using a wet-on-wet technique. He works quickly in one sitting, moving onto the next work without labouring over the last one. The technique would be considered unsophisticated yet the results have a strikingly elusive quality, giving the work a weird sophistication. It’s unsurprising that one of Australia’s most respected collectors, Peter Fay, renowned for his love of outsider art, has been an early champion of Kidd Crowe’s work.

While the Melbourne artist’s technique appears intuitive, it would be a mistake to think of his work, or indeed the artist himself, as naive. Kidd Crowe’s parents were artists and he grew up immersed in art making. He also brings a serious knowledge of the history of painting to bear on his own practice and takes his work as an artist extremely seriously. This is key to understanding his practice. His works appear unstructured, rather than part of the conscious and considered process they are part of. They are what German artist Martin Kippenberger would have called no problem paintings.

Since 2006 Kidd Crowe has exhibited in artist run spaces in Melbourne, Sydney and Manilla and was a finalist in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Emerging Art Award in 2011.

Carrie Miller

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