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Alvin Pankhurst

Location: Parnell, Auckland
Born: Masterton 16/11/1949
Joined Artfind: I met Andrew Ferguson when I had just opened "Spiral" Gallery in Queen Street in Jan 2000.
I was amongst the first artists to sign up. Went to the launch of Artfind at the newly opened Fishers Gallery in 2000.

Preferred Media:
Oil and acrylic on canvas

Style: Meditative Realism
Did you know?: I was the most expensive Artist in NZ's history after the Dunedin Art Gallery paid a record price for "Maybe Tomorrow", which had just won the 1974 Benson & Hedges biannual Art Award. They paid $5,000 and the prize was worth $3,000. It wasn't until 1984 when the Dunedin Art Gallery paid $5,500 for a Ralph Hotere painting that Collectors started seeing NZ Art as investments, and the prices rose dramatically.
More About Alvin:
Upcoming Events

Constantly changing paintings at our Gallery. As soon as the paintings dry they are on our walls for sale.

Representing Galleries

Pankhurst Studio Gallery, 305 Parnell Road, Parnell Auckland.

Public Art Galleries include Te papa, Dunedin Art Gallery, Southland Art Gallery.


Select an artwork from Alvin's profile on Artfind to contact him for more information.
[email protected]
Alvin's blog
facebook page to come!


What factors in your life do you believe played a significant part in you becoming an artist?
I didn't see TV until I was 11. I had my nose in books; the still image in the books took on a life of their own; I wanted to create those images.

What processes (physical and mental) do you tend to follow when creating a new piece of art?
I always work out my composition on a small scale, and then decide how big I need to paint it to get my feelings across.
I never sit in front of a blank canvas wondering what to paint.

Where do you seek inspiration for your art; what inspires you?
Nature and history. You have to find your own voice as an artist. If you are not excited by the painting you a re doing, nobody else will be..

What is your favourite colour and why?
Sorry I don't have a favourite colour.

What is your favourite creative tool?

Why is art an important part of our everyday lives?
Art is food for the soul. It stimulates your imagination, and makes your house your home.

What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area - any recommendations?
Snobbery is everywhere. "I only buy oil paintings"; "I only buy from XYZ Gallery"; "I only buy at auctions where people can see it was me who bought it; "I only buy emerging artists", "I only buy paintings that such and such an art critic said was good."

Investors treat the dealers as brokers who will guarantee them that the paintings they are selling them will make them money. Investors comb the art magazines for good dealers, not necessarily good artists.

To rent gallery space in Auckland will cost $80-100 thousand per year. Dealers have to recover that before they can pay themselves and any staff, so they have to be sure they can sell your paintings before you can exhibit with them. The larger established galleries won't exhibit your work until you have at least 10years exhibition and sales history backed up by critical reviews, but there are some brilliantly run smaller galleries with lower overheads which will give you the exposure.

My wife Ephra and son Matthew run our gallery here in Parnell, but as it's only my work on show, and even though I have new exhibitions once or twice a year, the "Art Critics" won't step inside because we are not a "Dealer Gallery". We all have opinions of art critics I believe the only critics qualified to give an opinion are those critics who are artists and understand the creative process.

All the other art critics have become cliched riddled plagarists, who shamelessly copy the rhythm and style of art writers; documentary makers from Australia, England and USA. You can compare the styles and presentation and it's identical, except inferior. But love them or not they have undeserved power as most are paid to put together the collections of major companies and public galleries. They also get a 30-50% share of the commission on any art work they sell to their clients from the walls of the dealer galleries.

My recommendation is to get to know where the critics are in your area. They are very "important" people. Having said that, I have only ever been approached by one art critic. You will notice that they only ever review art on display at certain galleries, so try to exhibit there.

What creative ideas and plans are in the pipeline for the next 12 months?
I have so many paintings I want to paint that I have to paint on a smaller scale to get them done. It is easy to make a painting impressive by its size, the real art is to make something small and impressive.

If you were not an artist, what would you be?
I only ever wanted to be an artist, as the saying goes "It's easy to be an artist if you are successful. The real artist does it regardless".

What makes you laugh out loud?
Modern art.

If you could make one rule for the world, what would it be?
Every room in every house must have an original painting on the wall and every painting must be by a different artist.

My idea of a perfect Sunday is... ?
Talking to all the art lovers in our gallery.

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