Tony Beaver began his painting career with a remarkable series of Potato Portraits. The humble potato, in Tony’s hands, looms out of the dark, like a planet in Space. Each potato is like a little portrait, each with its own personality presented in a style reminiscent of the Dutch Masters with the chiaroscuro qualities of Caravaggio. Painting potatoes is a practice Tony still returns to, a subject that still sustains and inspires after twenty years of the closest scrutiny.
Free-floating, beyond the reach of words, Tony’s paintings materialise profound sensations of ‘the real’ which touch on death, loss and longing but feel ultimately life-affirming.
A consistent theme in Tony’s work is his exploration of forgotten treasures. His subjects, be they dusty old museum exhibits, deceased family pets or national treasures are all liberated from their histories and memorials and coaxed into a new life through Tony’s tender portraits.
There is the mysterious sense that all of these subjects and objects, once tangible and touched, lost and found, are reborn, freshly tactile with hints of a magical pulse.
Tony Beaver went to Goldsmiths’ College in the mid-Eighties, just before Damien Hirst and his contemporaries where he was taught by Brit-art mentor Michael Craig Martin. He completed his MA in Barcelona and has been shortlisted for the Garrick Milne Prize, The Celeste Prize and The Discerning Eye.
Read our interview with Tony Beaver here
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