Oil on canvas, 2017
A figurative painter, 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 figurative paintings materialise profound sensations of ‘the real’ which touch on death, loss and longing but feel ultimately life-affirming.
These themes can be seen in his Guinea Pig series. These small creatures with their cute, shiny eyes, endear themselves to the many families whose homes they inhabit during their short lives. As pets, love runs deep and the animals play a significant role in introducing children to the rich circle of life. It is the transience and depth of this relationship that really interests Tony, as affections are swiftly transferred to the next small creature once death has played its part. Tony uses scale, light and dark to effectively communicate these themes, often painting a tiny guinea pig with bright eyes set within a large dark void.
Read more about Tony Beaver, his background, awards and previous exhibitions.
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