There is a photograph by Cecil Beaton taken in New York in 1948 that shows Vogue models wearing Charles James gowns. To the right of the centre of the picture a woman glances into the mirror and adjusts her hair. It is this small vignette that to a large extent has occupied my practice since I first saw it reproduced on a large size in a newspaper. In this instant, in this fraction of a moment, the internally observed is confronted by their own self image.

The first series of work which grew out of this scene became the structural system for the show titled the Ego Is Stranded. On one hand the viewer is drawn into the artwork, yet on the other, the images - either highly varnished, or golden - reflect back the viewers' own face and as a result repel the observer from the surface. Included within this series is a painting called Self Portrait which combines an image of the artists' first photograph as a two-week-old child with a varnished area beneath that reflects the artists' contemporary face. This interaction makes the image a living and mobile painting that is not fixed within its own space and time.

It was during my second year at art school that I first started to formulate the concepts of making art that have informed my work up to the present day. There are three basic tenets that I try to adhere to: 1, that the end is the beginning; 2, that if it doesn't work, or seem to be working - it probably won't; and 3, to constantly try to re-assess and not to remain fixed upon a single idea. Further to these criteria, my work is nearly always either square, or in ratios of a square.

I have an ongoing series of works called Was. A combination of paintings, etchings and photographs based around an original photograph that used a slow shutter speed to blur the movement of my head while still retaining a clear, visible 'face'. It transforms the photograph, which by its very nature is a static image, into a three-dimensional movable image. This series has continued to be produced throughout my career.

Other recent work has relied on constantly evolving and renewing structures that have attempted to continually move my painting primarily away from its traditional two-dimensional static surface. Using either text to act as an intrusive layer upon the 'natural' painted surface, or a potentiality of movement giving the appearance of movement without resorting to 'painterly techniques'. Initially there is the formulation of the concept - whereby the work become 'finished' through imagining, experience, written observations and exploration. This is also a period of selection where ideas are discarded or taken on - a refinement of object without the presence of the object - enabling the work in effect to 'make' itself without the introduction of a series of subjective measures; nor reliant upon reference/reminder of physical presence. This series of 'attitudes' is without a limit of time, and is the period of formulation producing rules.

The next stage is when the object is 'made'. It is during this time that the reference shifts away from the abstract form of the concept and into the solid form of surface painting. Colour, size, material, etc. are predetermined. However, it is also during this time that events - whether subjective/subjective/environmental/physical will in some way determine the outcome. The 'finished' image has been achieved prior to the construction. The object/image is therefore a representative of ideas outside of painting, yet its nature and history are fundamentally those of painting.

Recently I have 'completed' two series, one titled Profile Pictures which deals with the arbitrary solipsistic attitude existing in contemporary, internet-based forms of self actualisation. The ready availability of digital imaging has allowed people to 'post' images that are representations of how they 'see' themselves. From these rules of selection, groupings - whether by interest, relationship, name etc. - are created.

Concurrently since 2009, I have also been working on the series called Proof Of Purchase which creates a surface painting yet at the same time reveals a reversed original underneath. Using discarded till receipts as its source, the work is a 'photographic' record of the single moment i.e. the printing of the receipt. The image retains its three-dimensional element on a two-dimensional surface. The work also references the artwork itself as commodity, not in a didactic fashion - where the artwork 'speaks', or acts as a written record but as a containing entity.

This website is an attempt to contextualise a body of my work, however, it is far from complete. I hope, in the future, to be able to expand the site to include elements from other series. I continue to exhibit, so please add your name to the list by sending me an email. I have also produced work for commission, so again email me should you require further information.


Many thanks, Carl






Twenty-five Gerhard Richters is the collected drawings from the Gerhard Richter graphics as part of the Profile Pictures series with an accompanying text. A limited edition of 100 signed copies, the book is 180mm x 180mm, has 56 full-colour pages and is available in soft-back at £15.00 (including postage and packaging). If you would like to place an order, or wish further information, please contact me via the link below.







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