It is hard to paint famous figures and there is always a danger of descending into pastiche but Tony Beaver's work is anything but. Through his unique vision, he delves beneath the persona and the work becomes more about the person than the celebrity. This is especially the case with Tony's Bowie series of paintings. As in a lot of Tony’s work, the figure appears to float in the abstract space around. He is not interested in making poster like representations of the people he paints, he seeks to look beyond the public image so we see something of the human being inside. Through Tony’s rendering of the the eyes, he forces us to look beyond the portrait and see the tenderness and vulnerability not often on show to the public. There is the mysterious sense that all of Tony's portrait subjects and objects, once tangible and touched, lost and found, are reborn, freshly tactile with hints of a magical pulse. 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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