Original cover art to Nick Fury: Agent of Shield #10. The first image is all original art, but it was decided to rework it for the published cover, which is the second image… largely stats from the original artwork. The artwork was done by Frank Springer, with touch-ups by John Romita.
Cudahy’s paintings offer an array of associations, from the technical contexts
of photography and art history to the more emotional framework of desire, fear,
loss and identity. Drawing from a variety of disparate sources, such as
personal and found photographs, paintings, album covers and tapestries, the
same symbols begin to reoccur – daffodils, dogs, dark desert landscapes – and
images are likely to repeat themselves in a rhythm that can allow for multiple
entry points into one form. These works are defined by a state of flux, a
connection, whether visual or metaphysical, between places, times, ideas and
Conjuring notions of folk lore and forgotten histories, Cudahy interrogates the
currency of images, reworking and re-imagining figures and patterns to create an
entirely new dynamic.
You’ve talked before
about how you’re interested in the history of images, whether they’re degraded
or transformed. Does the source or context of an image influence the painting
or your process in any way?
Oh, definitely. There’s a push and pull between my painting
and its source that I like to work within. For example, I enjoy bringing
specific “non-painting” languages into a painting. This could be photographic
language, like a cast shadow, or digital language like a pixelated, crunchy
area. I’m not beholden necessarily to accurately representing these. The
painting dictates where it wants to go, and I try to follow that as much as
possible. Sometimes I think the source gives me only an initial structure. Sometimes,
though, it will give me a color idea that is the entire painting.
do you approach combining images, like in your recent paintings ‘mirrored’
(2016) or ‘desertshore’ (2016)? Is this a thematic/conceptual process, or
something more visual?
Often it’s an intuitive leap, but the images have to be on a
thematic wavelength to work. Sometimes I might not get that immediately, but
it’ll reveal its logic to me as I spend time painting and considering the
image. Certain sources become shorthand for me. In mirrored, the sides of the image are appropriated from the Unicorn
tapestries. Beyond a visual pull that related imagery has for me, I’m
interested in the mille-fleur tapestries as a sort of futile attempt to order
nature on the part of humans. I think there’s a lot of folly in those
tapestries. So I have that “symbol” in the back of my mind always as a way to
talk about an uncertainty or a crisis of existing. This particular painting is
part of a series that responds to Caravaggio’s Narcissus painting. The tapestry I used here has a woman showing a
unicorn its reflection, teaching the creature how to see— maybe teaching
knowledge of self. Visually, the image it’s paired with has a man who also
looks to the mirror, but he isn’t reflected there. That’s the crux of the
painting for me. As I work, I’m open to discovering happy accidents between the
images I’m pairing, where a line may meet or a compositional element might
give some insight to the process I go through pairing images. The cover of
Nico’s album had long been a resonant image in my mind. One that I would come
back to a lot, knowing it “meant” something to me, but not knowing how I’d use
it. As the Narcissus project continued, I started to think about solipsism. The
Caravaggio painting’s void led to that. I was trying to figure out why it was a
frightening image for me, and I think
it has to do a lot with the lack of setting. Yes, there’s a liquid surface
providing reflection, but it’s like the entire world has been vacuumed out of
that image. The intuitive leap came when I found the image that makes up the
larger, pink side of the painting. I thought about being alone in the world,
moving about in a degrading way— crawling on hands and knees. The Nico image
floating to my mind. Her son pulling the horse. The journey of her life, a
cyclical story. The child as parent circle. So these two disparate images
needed to be organized together. I don’t always expect a viewer to get most (or
any) of the references I use, but hopefully the feeling is transferred.
Your style has
developed over the last few years into something less photographic and with
more of a collaged feel? Was this something you deliberately moved towards to
create a specific atmosphere, or was it more of an instinctive change?
This was deliberate, and responds particularly to the way I
was organizing images within my zines. There was a freedom there and I started
to intentionally try to get that way of working into the paintings. I also
stopped being wary of symbols. I think for a while I was trying to assimilate
with some straight, male painters like Richter and Tuymans, where
impenetrability is a virtue. I was pushing back trying to not make emotive
work. I needed to tear this apart and become more vulnerable. I think allowing
myself to indulge a personal, intuitive symbolism was a way to break from that
You make a lot of
zines of your drawings. What role do these publications play in your practice?
Do they inform the paintings, are they informed by the paintings, or both, or
While this way of organizing images has influenced my newer
paintings, I still think of my zine work as a separate practice. One with
different rules and goals. When I get the opportunity to show a group of
paintings that I have truly considered as a grouping is as close as my painting
gets to my zine-making. Then the final layout of the show is the piece and the
paintings are elements of that. But more often a painting is a singular, solved
problem for me. Books allow me the chance to talk about ideas over a longer
period, and one that I have control of the pacing. Timing comes to the
forefront of my thinking. In the zines I make, there are often three or four
strains of thought that can be read by themselves or can interact with each
‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015) and ‘tendto’ (2016) are both drawn from Frans Snyder
paintings of a boar hunt, although they have a year between them. What makes
you return to a source image or subject, and did the similarities between the
two original Snyder paintings play a part in your attraction to them,
considering your interest in reusing images?
His paintings of dogs really resonate with me and are
shorthand in my practice for violence. tendto
is a dualism— the dog is violent, while the gesture is more tender. That word
in particular is one I think about a lot. The painter, Robin F. Williams,
brought it to my attention how it has two distinct and sometimes contradictory
meanings. It can refer to the kind closeness between people, or the lingering
sensation of a wound.
To better answer you question, when something like that
becomes shorthand for me, I feel free to reuse. This is to mix ideas and to
build and change them. Also, for the most part I never feel like I’ve said the thing. I could always come
closer or say it a different way. Rarely does anything feel done. And then
physically, returning to an image is interesting to me. I don’t have an exact
hand. I am not tied to the source so much that I try for accuracy. It will be entirely
different, and I’ll find out something new from the same source.
‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015)
The titles of your
paintings are often formatted in an interesting way, such as your series
‘Everyone at the Funeral’ in which every painting title is abbreviated to EatF
(or most recently EatF_3 which I assume indicates the third iteration of this
series). These titles are heavily reminiscent of file names on a computer,
particularly when they include underscores. Is this intentional and, if so,
what do you think it adds to the experience of the painting?
I really hated titling work! So at one point I decided to
get very methodical with it. I was working at a publishing house and really
liked, even visually, how files were named. I started to use acronyms that I’d
never tell anyone, and I even would forget.
I don’t know when it changed, but now titles come easier for me, and
they are more “This is what it must be called!” The EatF paintings are a
long-term, methodical project (I’m rendering an individual portrait of everyone
within a found photograph- well over 100 people) and so that kind of naming
feels more integral.
You’ve also mentioned
previously that you look to film first for inspiration. Do you intend to work
with film in the future, either in your paintings or as a medium itself?
A few years back, I went through a big film phase.
Particularly obsessing over the films of Fellini and, most important to me,
Tarkovsky. These artists had a profound influence on my thinking and
understanding of art, and the world (not to be hyperbolic). At the time I
thought, Oh I must be moving towards film.
It was how I felt about the first painters I obsessed over as a teenager. But I
never connected with any other film to that level, and realized I don’t have
any ideas specific to that medium. It was more how those two directors took
ideas and through a medium realized a vision. And that’s something I can apply
to my paintings and zines. One of (maybe) the central themes of Stalker is whether nature is inherently
good or evil. That question is one I cover pretty consistently in my paintings
(in tendto, which we spoke about
Right now, I’m reading and thinking about novels more than
I’m looking at painting, although I still look at painting a lot. Things just
go in cycles like that. I just finished reading all of Toni Morrison’s novels
and she’s unmatched genius.
Anthony Cudahy has a solo show coming up in Brooklyn at
Cooler Gallery from 1st-22nd November.
Jake and Dinos Chapman (British, b. 1966 & b. 1962)), Like a dog returns to its vomit (no. 28), 2005. Reworked etching from Francisco de Goya’s ‘Los Caprichos’, image: 19 x 12.7 cm.; sheet: 29.2 x 41.9 cm.
Superhero Super Bowl Bet: Captain America vs. Star-Lord
This week Chris Pratt (who plays Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy) challenged Chris Evans (Captain America in the Avengers franchise) to a Super Bowl bet to benefit charity, and since then Twitter has gone wild over it.
In just the last few days on Tumblr, 369 posts have been made about the bet, earning 106.6k notes so far for an average of 289 notes per post. The majority of the most popular posts were all recaps of the Twitter conversation.
I have gotten many comments and messages saying that I stole Candy The Cat’s design from The Return To Freddy’s. All I can do is to prove you wrong.
November 21st 2014 I posted the very first image of Candy The Cat, I had worked on it that day and decided to post it for everybody to see. At the time Candy was just a blue cat-head, and yet he was one of the very first 3D rendered fan-animatronics in the FNAF community.
November 22nd 2014 I posted two more images where Candy now had more realistic shading that also bared resemblance to the glossy shading on the original Toy Animatronics from FNAF 2.
November 23rd 2014 I posted another set of images, I had reworked Candy’s jaw-area to make him look more like the Toy Animatronics, I had also created the upper parts of his body. Later that day I also posted another image, I had added the “Toy signature” red cheeks to Candy’s face, I had even made “eye-scalers” for his eyes, so they could be re-sized with relative ease. In the end of the day I posted yet another image, I had also created a red segmental tie for Candy, as I figured a bow-tie would be a little bit un-original…
November 24th 2014 The last image of Candy’s development stage was posted. He now had a fully rigged body with hands and everything. Candy was finished.
That is the story of Candy The Cat. Later I wanted to give him a twin-sister, so I created Cindy The Cat. Eventually I wanted to create more animatronics, and so came Blank, Old Candy, the Penguin, and the others.
My point is; The Return To Freddy’s came out on christmas day (December 25th 2014), which used many of the images of Candy that I had created, calling him “Sugar The Cat”.
The Return To Freddy’s 2, featured a custom-built version of Candy The Cat, again re-titled “Sugar The Cat”, with all the features (blue and white fur, and red tie).
So obviously I created Candy The Cat first, the character, AND the design.
Scorpio- Graveyard witch.
According to a zodiac witch post by a user whose URL I can’t remember.
Scorpio’s ruling planets are Mars and Pluto. Scorpio’s power stone is topaz. Scorpio’s element is water.
I added an image of Loki because I work with him most of the time. I added an image of a solar system watch because I love space and actually center a good part of my philosophical beliefs around space.
I might rework this to include an image of Epona, the goddess I was dedicated to at birth.
None of the images are mine, credit to original sources.
I’ve never really liked any of the traditional Hierophant imagery. It’s too Christianity-based, with the Pope’s blessing (two fingers and thumb up, two fingers down), the mitre hat, the staff with the three bars representing the trinity.
And I never liked Aleister Crowley’s Thoth version because fuck Aleister Crowley.
There were certain elements Jen May and I wanted to highlight on the card, like how religions all build from and steal from each other. The traditional Pope hat, the mitre, is shaped like Dagon’s hat, the Babylonian sea god.
And isn’t he beautiful? So we felt it was important for Dagon to live on our card. The lineage has to be acknowledged.
So the top image is our reworked Hierophant, with Dagon hat, many different expressions of the number Five (H’s number in the tarot, and super important for our understanding of the card’s meaning), and a very secret but significant halo. We didn’t get him totally out of his Christian garb, but we managed to add in the bones of the religions that Christianity stands on.
Tulip Nebula V2 by Chris Grimmer Via Flickr: A rework of this image as wasn’t happy with the previous version.
This is a full Hubble Palette image, 3 hours in each Ha, Oiii & Sii
William optics GT81
SXVR H694 Mono
[Glenn] Ficarra and [John] Requa have ambitions; their scenaristic cleverness pervades the movie from beginning to end, with their bright and clattery dialogue and their exotic plotting. As directors, their images are inconsequential, uninspired, but undistracting; but directing isn’t only creating images. It’s also a matter of reworking and sometimes opposing a script; it’s an attitude toward the story and the characters, it’s a vision of the world. These directors, who have also written their unintentionally absurd script, don’t open it out when they direct it.