Bathers 2000 - 2020
150 ⨯ 150 cm
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- About the artist
Graeme Wilcox graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1993 and has continued to practise as a figurative painter. His subject matter has always been the human figure usually engaged in an action or an emotional state. Subjects have included figures underwater, men falling and running and portraits of anonymous commuters. These paintings are an attempt to represent the strangeness and poignancy of people and everyday life.
Graeme has exhibited throughout the UK and internationally. His paintings have featured in the BP Portrait Award and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters where he won the Prince of Wales Drawing Award. In 2013, he was awarded the Painting Prize at the National Open Art Competition in London.
His recent work has been influenced by the life of the city around him. Over the past few years he has observed an increase in the number of people using the civic spaces for various reasons: demonstrations, commemorations, sport, to relax and to sleep. He is interested in how groups of people behave together and how they interact with these spaces. He also wishes to depict people in the margins: spectators, bystanders, commuters and the homeless.
Most paintings are part of a series drawing on experiences and memories gathered as I travel through the centre of town. He takes photographs, make notes and sketches of occurrences in the streets and the people who regularly appear there. These aides-memoires often become the starting point for my paintings. He rarely works directly from images taken with his phone, preferring to use models to recreate the action and protagonists of these scenes.
A recent development in his work is an interest in the notion that the action is occurring outside of the painting combined with the use of figures viewed from the back. They are often observing or reacting to something unseen or beyond the canvas. This mechanism works to simultaneously include the viewer as part of the crowd and also to exclude them.
His interest is in the ongoing life of the city and how the everyday and commonplace can suddenly appear strange or poignant and he hopes to make paintings that capture some of this atmosphere. He attempts to remake and examine the passing moment when a scene or person seems to possess a heightened reality. He uses his own staged photographs, drawings and other found images as source material to construct my paintings. He feels that photography and our memories constantly overlap and there can be confusion between personal memory and the photographic images. I like to include the idiosyncrasies of photography in the paintings; slight blurring, distortions etc. I want the paintings to evoke the slight uneasiness of a half-remembered scene.