ONCE upon a time, the sky was the limit for tax exemptions for artists and the likes of Bono and the boys enjoyed tax-free incomes to beat the band. There was no ceiling on the exemptions prior to 2011 when, like everything else, the limit came crashing down to €40,000p.a. Since 2014 the tax exemption has been capped at €50,000pa which nevertheless is better than nothing to the younger writer, composer, playwright, sculptor or artists who can produce ‘original and creative work which is generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit.’ And it was good to see from the latest Revenue list of individuals who received a favourable ‘determination’ since 1 January 2017, that there were no less than eighty painters included in the total 222 approved in all the five categories. So who are these young artists who are now availing of the modest exemption on offer through Section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997?
Philip Anderson, Laurent Baheux, Louise Barrett, Martin Becket, Joanne Bolger, Tatiana Bondarea, Joanne Cartwright and Eoin Cassidy are the top ten names of painters in alphabetical order. Not all very familiar names but down the line the name of Damien Flood jumps out.
It was good to see from the latest Revenue list of individuals who received a favourable ‘determination’ since 1 January 2017, that there were no less than eighty painters
Flood is an interesting NCAD graduate (2008) whose work is grounded in early writings on philosophy, theology, alchemy and the natural sciences. Over the last few years he has produced three publications (in effect exhibition catalogues) with different art writers including James Merrigan, Saskia Vermeulen and Mary Conlon. In Dublin he is represented by the Green on Red gallery but he has also managed to get his work exhibited in the US, Berlin, Paris and London and until 12 September this year has a solo show at Stephane Simoens Gallery at 8300 Knokke-Zout, in Belgium. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Travel Bursary administered by the RHA. Obviously young Damien knows how to get around.
He is also a fan of Francis Bacon but an unusual influence quoted is that of the late Norbert Schwontkowski. ‘He has been a big influence on my earlier works and is always lurking in my brush strokes’ Flood says. Looks like Damien will need to get that tax limit raised again in the near future.
John Mulcahy, Editor of the Irish Arts Review