Oil on canvas, 66cm x 35.5cm each painting, 2018, unframed
NB Overall span of the Triptych is approx 2m
In a recent interview with the Dulwich Festival, Tony said “I’ve been painting Kenneth Williams for years. I’m interested in him because of the type of man he was. I’m interested in the notion of Britishness and what these men represent about Britain. Kenneth Williams represents a whole huge chunk of a type of Britain. He’s a national treasure. And yet he was a very brittle personality and misunderstood and difficult and like a hedgehog, very defensive. I’m trying to capture something of that.”
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.
Read more about Tony Beaver, his background, awards and previous exhibitions