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Gerald Foltete - Runner up

Posted on September 21, 2017

Gerald Foltete

"The Waves" Virginia Woolf

The artwork is a handwritten full version of Virginia Woolf's "the waves"

Oil and indian ink on canvas



First of all, congratulations on being a runner up in this year’s Secret Art Prize! 

Can you tell us a little bit more about your practice? How did you come to start producing these pieces? 


I initially started by writing my own biography on canvas and was pleased with the therapy effect it produced on me. I was also pleased and interested with the graphical aspect of a full text (or book) on a single canvas.


It occurred to me that it would be interesting to lay down some major written works (sensible to me!) 


I have spent time re-reading and studying great artists such as Victor Hugo, Dostoyevsky, Virginia Woolf, Richard Brautigan, Van Gogh, etc., rewriting some of their work to penetrate more deeply into their solitude and tormented soul. At the same time, I also discovered an interesting therapeutic experience while reading / re-writing these texts.

My work lays on experimentation, research and finding ways to understand and transcript the melancholy contained in these books (in the sense defined by Victor Hugo: melancholy, is the happiness of being sad)


The piece you entered into the art prize is the written text of ‘The Waves’ by Virginia Woolf, what relevance does the text have to the artwork itself? 


I think the answer is contained in the answer above.



The work you have created draws our attention to time, how long did this take you and what effect did it have on you physically and mentally?


I don’t usually calculate the time I spend on my artwork but for sure it takes quite some! This time is important because it allows me to think deeply about what I read / write, which I guess, throws me deeply into the author’s state of mind, his feelings, etc.

Time also allows introspection.


What has been your most memorable moment of your artistic career to date? 


Every creative moment is memorable.


What would consider the biggest hurdle for an artist nowadays? 


Finding the right gallery and curator. 


Lastly – what is your biggest realistic or unrealistic artistic dream?



To write my own book on my wife’s body.