Beat Studio marks a year of art with Anniversary Christmas Show
By Trista di Genova
Photography by Joe Russo
The China Post
Next to Minchuan Park in leafy Sung Shan district, Taipei, press the buzzer at #14 Fujin Street at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, and The Beat Studio will welcome art lovers to a place of great creativity and inspiration.
Their mission is freedom of expression, their home is their studio, their studio is their gallery, and their gallery is their gift, “to help launch the creative paths of like-minded serious artists.”
One year ago, artists Timothy-Nathan Joel and Daniel Desjardins of Ottawa, Canada turned a spacious two-floor flat into The Beat Studio. Four major art shows have taken place at the lads’ home so far, highlighting the work of Caskey Miller, Neil King, Joel Charron, David “Stig” Hansen, Charles Haines, Kenbo Liao, and Tod “Hack” Hackwelder.
They named the artspace in honor of their inspirations, The Beatles and the Beat writers. “We listen to the lads all the time whilst painting in the studio, they’ve always been there; they’re like family. And the beat poets! Of course we love Bob Dylan, which, by the way, is not just the reason why we’re serving a great Cabernet Sauvignon at this show called Crazy Bob,” said Tim, a proper Englishman from Middlesex, who once toured the Scottish Highlands as Chief Wine Steward aboard the luxury train “The Queen of Scots.”
After traveling extensively, Tim began painting in Thailand — bold island scenes reminiscent of Impressionist Paul Gaugin. In February 2005, he accompanied images with poetry in the bilingual picture-book “Poet Painter,” and is currently completing “Part II: Formosa and The Americas.”
By the time Beat Studio “got born” last year, Tim had already exhibited paintings at 15 other venues throughout Taipei.
“I’m constantly inspired by the turn of every corner,” he said in an interview with The China Post this week. “I don’t think my work is really changing that much, but the subject matter is unlimited. I believe I’ve found my own style which is becoming very recognizable here in Taiwan.”
And over a glass of red wine, it’s better than Paris. All the walls are bustling with works from the past year. As Tim explains, “We are artists with a gallery more than we are gallerists with art.”
He is showing 13 new oil paintings and his latest black ink “spirit drawing,” as he calls it. “They’re black ink with mazes within. I do them as therapy, when I have painting blocks. It’s a form of searching through my subconscious, getting out the spirits and ghosts and things, somewhat like ghost drawings. It clears my head, then I can paint.”
“My work has always been about my observations, surroundings and immediate experiences,” he adds. “I love warmth. One will always feel a sense of warmth within my paintings. It’s who I am.”
Daniel is showing about 50 pastel drawings and sketches. During a recent visit to the studio, he was painting what appeared to be his dog in the mountains, although Mimi, in fact, was chained outside on the porch.
“My work has an element of fantasy in it,” Daniel shrugged. “I paint because I’m a visual person.”
His brush inks are worked from memory, often drawing on the subject of family and memories associated with it.
“Mimi appears in many paintings and people can go meet her at the show – she’s completely nuts, completely untrained. Poor thing,” Tim said.
Both enjoy meeting and working with Chinese artists, notably their acquaintance, Taiwanese painter Dr. Joseph Yen.
“We really admire him, particularly his lilies. He really bridges a gap between East and West, but still remains predominantly Chinese,” says Tim.
“For the show we have a lot of guitar themes, portraits, still life. Sometimes we tackle same subjects. But for this show, the gallery space is designed in such a way to suggest that Christmas is near, no matter how far away we may feel from it here in Taiwan. Go and check out our Red Room whilst you’re here.
Besides wine, music and poetry, catering will be provided by La Rouge, and a raffle for the chance to win two framed original oil paintings.
“Portraits will be painted, conversations naturally animated, people get together and things happen,” says Tim.
The Beat Studio’s next show on Jan. 19, “The Wild East,” is expected to be “our biggest yet.” Featuring the work of a collective of artists, it’s a joint party with +886 Magazine, and sponsored by entrepreneur and art patron Ross Kenneger.
WHAT: Beat Studio’s First Anniversary Christmas Show, featuring the work of the studio’s founders Timothy Nathan Joel and Daniel DesJardins.
WHEN: Dec. 15 to Jan. 5, vernissage on Saturday, 7 p.m. to midnight
WHERE: #14, 4th floor, Fujin Street, Lane 359, Alley 2. Next to Minchuan Park in Song Shan district, Taipei.
If you cannot make the opening you can make an appointment for a private viewing.
Beat Studio, Number 14, 4/5th floor, Fujin Street, Lane 359, Alley 2, Taipei.
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