Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Scott Redford!

There is not an artist in the world who knows more about Australia's
 Gold Coast than my friend of many years Scott Redford.  

Born in Broadbeach in 1962, Redford has since 1983, continued a prolific art practice which whilst coming from an art historical standpoint
 has encapsulated everything from local and international
 pop culture imagery, minimalism, queer art, conceptualism,
 documentation of local mid-century architecture, 
surf culture, and a vigorous fascination with
 memory, desire, nostalgia and place.

Catalogue cover Scott Redford Selected Works 1983-1992

The place being Australia's coastal tourism capital the Gold Coast
 Our version of Miami Florida, Santa Monica or Venice California,
 Palm Springs, Las Vegas or indeed Florida's own Gold Coast,
 or a mash up of all of the above. 
The Gold Coast being in Redford's words, 
'the most post modern and fastest growing city in Australia', 
has continued to be the backdrop to which
Redford has based almost 30 years of art practice.

Paradise Waters early 1970's

Mid-century beach bungalow, Broadbeach

Typically perceived as the cultural backwater with its co-existence of kitschy glitzy night life, tourist playground, beach culture, and property development, Redford has hailed the city

 'A work of art in itself!'

Surf Painting/Modernist House 2000 
decal, polyester resin, fibreglass and acrylic lacquer on foam

Surf Painting /House corner of Surf Parade and First Avenue, Broadbeach, Gold Coast 2001 (detail)
decal, resin fibreglass and acrylic on foam

Surf Painting/Black Palms 2000
 decal, resin fibreglass & synthetic polymer on foam

 He optimistically embraces his hometown and in typical Warholian fashion continues to be interested in the idea that pop culture is just as important as what is deemed to be 'high art' and that the lines are now permanently blurred!

Redford forever interested in the concept of 'otherness' 
has continued to ask the question:
  'Does locality fail?'

Why is anything which comes from outside the cultural epicentres of the world whether that be New York or Melbourne, regarded as less important?

And in fact similar comparisons can be made regarding the status of 
New York versus Los Angeles artists. Indeed California is currently celebrating its own history of
mass culture in many exhibitions such as the current
'California Art and Design - Living in a Modern Way' at LACMA .

Glazed Ceramic Skull for use in the proposed film Reinhardt Dammn 2008

During the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's  Redford has produced an impressive array of art comprising painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, and the ever popular surfboard paintings. 

Here We Are Now/Entertain Us 1999 custom made surfboard cross

He is one of the few Australian artists who has embraced the process of collaboration with countless craftsmen and technicians, to produce his art.  Something, 'internationally' so commonplace a'la Warhol and Koons.

Sculpture to Lean Against and Discuss Pictures  2004

Now the work which is emerging in the younger generation of artists
 both nationally and internationally, 
is so reminiscent of much of Redford's back catalogue

Floor piece detail 1962 2003

Detail from floor piece from exhibition 1962 2003

After Robert Rauschenberg enamel over paper on canvas 1991

 And in fact his construction of a fictional young artist Reinhardt Dammn, the cute surfie who makes art, serves to illustrate the point in Redford's more recent work showcased at the
 'Scott Redford introducing Reinhardt Dammn' in 2011.

Reinhardt Dammn Introducing Scott Redford QAG 2011

QAG gallery view Scott Redford introducing Reinhardt Dammn 2011

Polar bear in the Water Mall QAG 2011

Proposal for a Gold Coast public Sculpture to commemorate Nirvana
coming to the Gold Coast/Surf & Kurt 2008

The High/Perpetual Christmas No Abstractions 2008 outside GOMA Brisbane

A Proposal for a Gold Coast Sculpture/ A Place In the Sun 2005

Now, with the cultural entrenchment of what used to be called
 'the information super highway' and all that goes with the world of
 social network and instant gratification, where everyone can be famous for way more than 15 minutes, I think that
locality does not and should not fail.

Automatic For The People/Surf 1997 epoxy coated custom wood

Scott Redford gets a birthday wish from me. 
 To my friend of almost 40 years and to someone who always inspires me.....

 Happy birthday!

The Gold Coast now belongs to the global village

Surfers Paradise has just 'entered the building!'

'Our goal must be nothing less than the establishment
 of Surfers Paradise on earth!'

Scott Redford is currently working in Berlin.

Words J Watson-Evans

Images via

 '1962 Scott Redford Selected Works 1983-1992; Scott Redford and the Gold Coast 'The Content of these paintings is secret, known only to the people of Surfers Paradise Gold Coast City Art Gallery; Scott Redford Introducing Reinhardt Dammn QAG/GOMA 2011; J Watson-Evans; Brisbane


  1. Wow, now I have met Scott through yourself many years ago now Janelle, and have followed his works since that time. I love his resin fiberglass fabulous and colourful, wishing Mr. Redford a very happy birthday. A true artistic icon to the GC! Thank you for showing his works on your blog. It is appreciated.

    1. Yes Trent, a Gold Coast 'icon' he definitely is!!!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I hope everyone realizes that 50 is 146 in Gay Years. Thank you Janelle from cold Berlin where I also turned 40.

  3. Oh you old thing you!
    You are only as old as you feel or whoever you are feeling!!

    J x

  4. Hi, Janelle - interesting article on Scott - my first impressions of the coast, were the signs, so it's great to see he has tapped into that. My tendency would be to mock the coast, but Scott embraces the seminal aspects without reverting to cultural snobbery.

    1. HI David
      Yes I agree. But we must 'mock the coast' no more....the fastest growing region in Australia is finally coming of age.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      J x

    2. It's good to see that Lois Lane has a successful business and blog.

    3. Hi David

      Ha! Lois Lane!!?? Oh gosh are you an 'ex Miami High schooler'?!
      Were you in my year? Year 12 1980?

      J x

    4. I married Judith Ryan (still married) and finished Miami in '79. We both knew Scott for a couple of years and shared a house - I went to QCA.
      There are a few ex-Miami students on the Sunshine Coast that I see now and then - John Drake and Leonie Macleod.
      So - Hello.

    5. David I actually remembered the connection with Judy yesterday when trying to place your name and face.
      Hello after all these years!
      J x

  5. Great Story about our Scott!

    And it's all true!

    Love ya Scott x


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