When talking about revisiting Tommy Cooper as a source of inspiration in a recent interview Tony Beaver said, “I want the paintings to be about a way of being a man, that is unusual and admirable, and to do with not-obvious qualities. The paintings of Tommy Cooper came out of the fact that he died on stage. I find that a very rich, full of meaning moment that Tommy Cooper did the most serious thing that you could possibly do, in front of an audience of millions. The paintings imagine the moment just after he has gone to the other side. I want them to look as though he’s emptying. He’s like an astronaut going into the after-life, exploring on behalf of us all. Because he was so loved, he can take people with him”
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.
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