Brett Whiteley, interviewed by Binny Lum (1964)
Brett Whiteley, Australian avant-garde artist, interviewed by Binny Lum in London, England in 1964.
Whiteley talks about his upcoming solo exhibition at Marlborough Galleries and the figurative works he's been doing. He shares his thoughts about art schools: 'I was subjected to this absolutely antiquated, old-fashioned idea of what art can be. The only way that a young painter can organise himself and find himself is to get himself into a studio and just shut the door and quietly work out as best he can what gestures and marks he makes on the canvas are different and distinguish him from all the other marks that have been made by other men...'
In spite of all the attractions of Australia, Whiteley says that he lives in London so that he can get an 11 penny bus ride over to the National Gallery to see Piero della Francesca's pictures which he says is 'the greatest work that man has ever produced'. He says he likes the beaches in Australia but that 'I am just basically more interested in art than I am in aquatic sports'.
At the end of the interview Binny Lum says that Whiteley is one of our great artists to which Whiteley makes a mocking 'la-la-la' sound in the background. She concludes saying that one day this is probably going to be quite historic tape.
The cover image for this interview is a frame from Don Featherstone's documentary Difficult Pleasure: A Portrait of Brett Whiteley (1989).