He had a genuine air of authority though that you had to respect. I remember after talking at length with him about a large painting I had just made, he got up to leave and then turned and said, ‘It’s a good painting, though’, and nothing made me feel like I had gotten somewhere as these words. It just seemed to mean something more to me on a deeper level than anything else I had been told that year.
Anyway, here is a link to a video that accompanied his recent exhibition at Flowers East. He is seen in his studio, discussing his practice and painting.
Interestingly, he talked about how traditional his methods of depiction are, but not his subjects, and when he was younger the debate in studios and galleries was always about how you painted not what you painted. Style was everything. Not so for Hepher, who was always much more lead by his subject matter. As someone who for the last ten or so years has been more interested in style over subject, I found this resonated with my own current thinking. As the new year approaches I’m trying to get to grips with working with more particular subject matter again and try to move my painting practice away from concerns preoccupied with style on to newer territories…to the edgelands.