From 9 to 5, David Hardaker paints live — and it's all for a good cause
Art world insiders have never come this close to instant gratification: On Saturday, artist David Hardaker will open the doors to his warehouse district studio for visitors to simultaneously watch him paint a canvas and bid on the finished artwork. The entire painting will be completed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
"Right now I'm practicing with oils to see if I can do it all in one day," Hardaker told CultureMap Wednesday afternoon.
The British-born Hardaker has been live painting since his early bohemian days in Houston.
"Years ago, I used to stand at the top of the bar at M Bar downtown and paint live for people sitting at the bar," he recalls. "It was successful, although we were always drunk."
More than an act of showmanship, the Saturday event has a righteous appeal in that the proceeds from the winning bid will benefit the budding East Texas artist-in-residency non-profit, The Fodice Foundation. The brainchild of Hardaker's friends, artists Katy Anderson and Patrick Medrano, The Fodice Foundation aims to protect the historic Fodice School, provide studio space for artists and promote visual art in the local community. Think of it as a grass-roots Chinati for this side of Texas.
Can't make it to Hardaker's studio on Saturday? Just keep your smart phone tuned in to the artist's Facebook wall, where his wife Carrie will upload photos of the painting as it evolves throughout the day.
Hardaker isn't the first artist in Houston to engage audiences via social media. Artist Brian Piana has created a code that searches Twitter's public timeline for instances of the words "red," "green," "blue" and "yellow," which are then converted into compositions of vertical bars that appear on a Tumblr account, and occasionally in acrylic paintings on paper.
Also in the social media art vein is the work of Brooklyn-based artist Man Bartlett. For a recent performance piece, "#24hClerk," he camped out at the Norfolk StreetSkydive art collective, where he invited the Twitterverse to tweet their dreams — real and imagined — from which the artist would determine an equitable price, print out a price tag, and post it on a collage. The entire process was aired live on an Internet video feed, all while local artist Nancy Douthey documented the 24-hour event on a vintage typewriter.
Of course, you'll want to be at Hardaker's 300-square-foot studio (902 Hardy St.) on Saturday to see the artist at work, and sip a sample from the event's sponsor, Böner Hand-Crafted Brews. (Stop giggling — it's pronounced boerner.)
The open studio begins at 1 p.m., but if you wish to visit earlier, call 713-231-8967.
Expect Hardaker's live charity painting to become a monthly happening at the Hardy & Nance Street Studios. For April, he aims to add a live video component. To the greatest philanthropist go the spoils!