Art, Life, and Acting in the Gap 

Humour is a serious thing (1)

Taking his cue from Jasper Johns’ reference to “things we see but never look at”, Terry Bond has since 1981 trained his questioning eye on the paradoxically hidden realm of the commonplace – seeking out revelation within areas of experience where it is traditionally regarded as being least likely to be found. Often parodying the rhetoric of high art, his humorous works -“humour is like a definition of creativity”(2) –  display a ‘down to earthness’ rooted in daily rituals and routines, and attempt to transform our complacent relationship to them. He is a believer in the maxim ‘you couldn’t make it up’ and that good artists don’t – they observe and re-present. He fondly recalls Peter Kardia, his former tutor at the Royal College of Art, announcing in an ever so slightly pompous manner: “OBSERVATION… INCUBATION… EXECUTION!” (3) – “Sometimes observations seem to present themselves as almost fully formed works, but one is always thinking within the language of a medium (picturing a work as a photograph, for example).” (4). Playful and ironic, his works are frequently uncannily subversive.

David Batchelor

1. James Thurber.  2. Terry Bond, 1984. 3,4. Ibid, in conversation with the author, 2017.