My painting and drawing practice focuses on editing ‘reality’, specifically moments of the ‘everyday’ where a feeling of disconnect appears. Alienation within the familiar is something insidious and universal yet unspoken, I express this through figurative art and portraiture.
Initially, the process involves documenting and collecting images of the people and the spaces that are close to me. In the process of painting and drawing, I edit elements. I have discovered that emphasizing elements within the composition, a certain colour or an attribute that the figure possesses will produce a ‘jarring’ factor. An awkwardness in its reading or a feeling of heaviness and this intervention can distance the subject from the viewer. This visual interference introduces a tension, a feeling of separation, and alienation from the faces and places that are familiar. The distorted figures reflect the discomfort of the viewer, as they appear unsettled within the overall composition, disconcerted.
Painters such as Caroline Walker and Dan Witz influence my work in how they create a new perceived ‘reality’ within their paintings. Cinema impacts how I compose my paintings and alter ‘reality’ to create narrative. In his film, Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos creates an altered sense of ‘reality’, a state of being that makes his work unsettling, something I try to do in my own works. How we depict people comes from an interest in being connected to them, empathizing whilst remaining detached as the artist. The arbiter of what to portray and how to portray the subject.
I want the viewer to empathize with the scene of the painting while feeling alienated from the subjects. Ultimately, the viewer intrudes in this perceived ‘reality’ and may find comfort in the fact that others feel the same.
‘Traces‘ – Central Saint Martins – November 2018
‘Penultimatum‘ Copeland Gallery – Peckham, London – March 2020
UAL Wimbledon College of Art – BA Fine Art: Painting – 2017 – present.
International School of Geneva – International Baccalaureate (40/45) – 2016/2017
Artist’s Assistant – Bernard Garo’s Atelier – Geneva, Switzerland – August – September 2018
Gallery Intern – 18 Davies Gallery – Mayfair, London – November – December 2018
Artit Magazine – Issue 11 – Portraits & Figures – 08/2020 – Featured my work alongside established and emerging artists.
SadGrads 2020 Zine Vol. 1 – 07/2020 – Featured three of my works alongside 50 other graduates from all over the UK.
Portraits for NHS heroes – 01/2021 – Featured my painting Owen Williams. Author: Tom Croft.