Art In Uncertain Times: Adam Neate From His New Home in Brazil
"For the first two weeks, I would wake up and check the news for the morning dose of fear broadcasts," Adam Neate's reports for Art in Uncertain Times, sharing a familiar response as he recalls his personal pandemic story. "What to do, what not to do, death tolls, how to stay safe, etc. Once I had a good understanding of the safety measures needed I finally decided to take a break from looking at the news as I naturally suffer from anxiety anyway."
As we seek out artists on and off the beaten path, we found the renowned British artist at his new home in Brazil, where his schedule has a lot in common with other studio artists. "To be completely honest, the lockdown hasn’t affected my day to day routine too much. With schools being canceled, my son has been taking his classes online with teachers using Zoom. They start every morning at 7.30am, though he seems to have the teacher talking in one window, a YouTube video playing in another, and in another he manages to be playing an online game! Once I’ve checked in on him to make sure he’s paying attention to the teacher I can start my day."
Thankfully, the pandemic hasn’t cancelled a favorite part of his day. "This involves me and my dog going on a coffee mission to my local paderia (bakery), where before the lockdown, you could enjoy a nice coffee and sit outside at one of their tables. The tables have been removed. There is just a hand-over coffee in a polystyrene cup now. We take it to my local park, or as I like to call it my local jungle, where I sit, face mask pulled under my chin, sipping the bitter, hot life-giving liquid, smoking cigarettes, sipping, smoking, sipping, smoking, throwing the occasional stick for my dog until the coffee has finished. Putting the mask back on again we head home. Luckily my studio is located under my house so I’ve been able to carry on working during this time."
"Time for ritual number two: switching on the studio lights! Once the lights are on, the work begins! Or should. I usually use this time to procrastinate, check Instagram, smoke another cigarette, and think about what I’m doing. Then, hopefully, I start. I find that a good coffee buzz helps with this, kind of like nervous energy that you can surf on."
Despite his self-deprecation, we’re sure that Neate is being productive, as we know he’s working on an upcoming solo show at New York’s Allouche gallery. The chosen routine of simultaneously working on numerous canvases seems to help provide an overview of the whole body of work. "I’m naturally a tortured soul when it comes to my work. A painting that looked okay last night may look terrible the next morning. Destroying work I’m not happy with to reuse the stretcher is, also, in a way. a ritual. My dog hates the sound of the staple gun though; it drives her crazy!"
Text compiled by Sasha Bogojev