Jasper Joffe

Jasper Joffe 2010

Jasper Joffe 2010

 

Jasper Joffe

"I am a painter, curator, and writer. I studied at the Ruskin, Oxford, The Royal College of Art, and was a scholar at The British School of Rome. In terms of my own practice, my shows have always challenged the limits of painting. In 1999 I painted "24 paintings in 24 hours" at The Chisenhale Gallery, which I also performed in Laura Pecci Gallery, Milan and culminated with 72 Paintings in 72 hours in Brno's House of Arts in 2003.

Recent shows include "Beauty Show" at V22 London and "Do the Royal Family like Poornography (sic)" at Sartorial Contemporary Art, London, in 2008. Both shows dealt with aesthetics, status, and the male gaze. At "Beauty Show" I asked people at the private view to define themselves as ugly or beautiful and stand in one of the two galleries accordingly.

In terms of writing I set up an open forum for art and culture reviews in 1999, worldwidereview.com, to make use of the internet as a useful space for widening the scope and participation in criticism. My first novel "Water" was published in 2006, and describes the rise and fall of a contemporary British artist, with competing first and third person voices.

In 2007 I set up the first Free Art Fair with the participation of 25 artists all giving their art away for free. I had become tired of the relentless commercialism of The Frieze and other art fairs, with their focus on price and status. I felt this was alienating not just to artists but also to viewers, and that art as a creative and social object was being lost. In simple terms we wanted to say art was worth more than money. The Free Art Fair was a great success. It was entirely put on for free with everything being given in kind including the gallery space, the catalogue, and even the insurance. Viewers seemed to really engage with the concept and the individual artworks, and in a wider sense it resonated with many artists, including those showing at the large commercial art fairs, who felt that the art world had been hijacked by big money.

In response to great demand I again organised a free art fair in 2008 with double the artists, and including a performance art strand, and a more substantial catalogue with essays by writers including Lewis Hyde. This time the fair seemed to be even more apt with the global economic crisis asking more questions of the overheated art market. We had a mix of very established artists and emerging ones, and more site specific pieces.  In 2008 The Free Art Fair really seemed to become a major part of the debate about the value of art, with global tv and press coverage helping spread the message, and people queued for up to three nights in the rain and cold in order to become a free collector. "