Gus Leunig in his Gardenvale studio, with his dear pal, Desmond the dog! Photo - Brooke Holm.
Studio details and works in progress. Photo - Brooke Holm.
You might recall this lovely guy called Gus Leunig
who I wrote a little post about many moons ago. Gus is a Melbourne artist, musician, and on-again-off-again film industry person. I first met him a long time ago, when I used to work in film, before TDF kind of took over my life!
Anyway, I bring Gus to your attention again today because I reckon he truly is one of Melbourne's best kept secrets! Aside from being a tremendously talented musician and artist, he is also quite honestly one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet. He's a bloke's bloke at heart, but is so thoughtful, softly spoken - and humble to the point of being completely unable to answer any questions about himself or his work at ALL! (Mildly frustrating when you're trying to interview someone!). He just can't bear the spotlight. So I can only apologise Gus, today we're shining our little light on you!
Gus has a new exhibition of paintings at Libby Edwards Galleries
in High st Armadale, which just opened on Saturday. The works are truly stunning, layered with intense colour and detail... they're inspired by nature, Gus' beloved dog Desmond (pictured above) and his new son, Caspar!
We asked Gus a few questions about his work and the new show -
Ok so you're a musician and a fine artist... how does that work!? And how long have you been painting for - forever?
Ahhh, yeah, been painting pretty much forever, I think! I studied fine art at Monash for one year, then went into music. It's like a cyclic thing with painting and music - I'm always doing one or the other.
What's the name of your current exhibition?
Ahhh... I don't think it's got a name! I have a newborn son.. and it's been so, ah, confusing having a child! If I could call the show a word I would probably call it 'Newborn'. With this show I've been finding new techniques - painting outside the studio, at the kitchen table, and making time to work around Caspar - he dictates my schedule these days.
Aside from Caspar, what influences do you have in your work at the moment?
Listen, I think it's pretty basic stuff. I often paint animals, inspired by Desmond, my dog. I've always had a dog, since I can remember. I love dogs and animals. I love making work that isn't quite perfect, I love the mistakes. I'm forever learning about painting.
When you start painting, do you have any idea where it's going to end up? Do you have set plan for each painting?
I have no idea! I don't draw charcoal or white lines, I just follow an abstract background and try to make sense of chaos. And I love that, I think that's the easiest way for me to work and move forward. Every painting is a learning process, and I take it as that... I think 'artist' is a big word, I tend to shy away from that. I don't really see myself as a 'dignified artist' in the old fashioned sense - I just love the notion of exploring.
If you're in Melbourne, do pop in and see Gus' work at Libby Edwards Galleries
, on display now until Dec 1st.
Also we are thrilled we have scored a selection of Gus' smaller paintings for The Design Files Open House, happening in Melbourne NEXT WEEK!