About the artist
Paul lives in Eltham and has been painting in oils for the past four years.
He previously worked within graphic design and, briefly, as a sculptor. Initially he began painting landscapes and portraits of musicians such as
Amy Winehouse and David Bowie. Currently he paints street scenes of
South London at night.
I am inspired by artists such as Edward Hopper, Bob Peake, Lynd Ward and Jeremy Mann. I also draw upon films such as Taxi Driver, Fallen Angels,
Blade Runner and Collateral.
What these artists and films have in common are their notable depiction of street scenes at night; from classic neo-noir to neon-noir. They capture the atmosphere and ambient light created by different sources, such as street lighting, neon shop frontages and car headlights. This atmosphere is employed to explore multiple themes, such as future shock, the frenetic energy of inner-city life, moral ambiguity and urban isolation.
Drawing upon these influences, I want to explore the relationship between London's increasingly modular and uniform landscape, and it's diverse and increasingly fluid, impermanent community.
Painting a building at night, reducing it to the light from its windows, or bright neon, brings the focus on its role and the nature of its inhabitants; as a social hub of the local community, a group of households that are individual and distinct in their own composition - and internal dynamics and struggles - within a rigid framework of an apartment block. Or it could be a commercial building, defined solely by its economic purpose, and not by the employees within it.
And it can place the viewer in the role of a participant, or as an outsider; looking in on a community, a household or a workplace that they either recognise, which they are part of, or which is outside their experience, from which they are estranged or excluded.
"It's a neon world. It's a garish, exuberant, possibly empty world if you're not careful"
Christopher Doyle, cinematographer, ˜Fallen Angels"