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English artist, pinhole photographer, poet, short story writer and musician, who has drummed in many bands, particularly with Billy Childish. Howard was one of the 13 original founder members of the Stuckists, a pro-figurative painting, anti-conceptual art group, co-founded by Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999. Howard exhibited in group shows, including The Stuckists Punk Victorian (2004) at the Walker Art Gallery for the Liverpool Biennial and Go West at Spectrum London (2006). He left the group in 2006 to pursue a solo career.
Howard avoided going to art college, as the thought the effect would be deleterious for his creativity. He has experienced long term unemployment, and this emerges as subject matter in his work. He has an affection for "old" things, whether customs, boots, furniture or typewriters. He draws considerably on life experiences in his art, including friends, household pets (sometimes with irritation after they have used his shoes instead of a litter tray) and often self-portraits in activities he engages in, like playing drums, or locations he has visited, including Venice and Tunisia. He learnt to paint by doing it, and his work is characterised by strong impasto. The resultant spontaneity belies a practice, which can often necessitate considerable scraping off and repainting to reach the end result. Some paintings have disappeared altogether, when they have been painted over.
He is a member of the Stuckism Photography group and takes pinhole photographs. He uses a light-proof wooden box 4" square with a fixed-size pinhole in the front. Photographic paper is placed at the back of the box. There is no lens and no viewfinder, so he estimates the aim of the camera. A wooden slider allows light into the box for an exposure which is between 40 seconds and 5 minutes. The camera is placed inside a light-proof bag to replace the photographic paper. He develops a negative print (in his bathroom) and makes the final positive print by placing another sheet of photographic paper under the negative with a 5 second exposure under a light bulb. The whole process requires estimation throughout and he "faces many disappointments in his darkroom. The hard work will eventually pay off."
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