Monday, 23 August 2010

Artist of the Week - Andy Beck

Andy Beck is a contemporary portrait painter and figurative artist, specialising in paintings of figures and portrait commissions. Andy will be exhibiting his work at the Brighton Art Fair in september.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I learned a few things regarding perspective while I was at school but as a painter I'm self taught. At school we were encouraged to do our own thing but I wish art classes had involved some formal training perhaps in anatomy and colour theory.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
I've been interested in drawing and painting ever since I can remember, all through school I wanted to be either an architect or an artist.

One favourite living artist?
I couldn't choose a single favourite living artist. There are quite a few who's work I really admire, Alex Kanevsky is currently among them. His paintings have a very loose and casual feel while at the same time being technically very accurate.

One favourite historical artist?
Edgar Degas. A master in the depiction of movement but equally adept at capturing the subtle details of people at work or in quiet contemplation.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
I'm mostly interested in painting people, if a situation catches my attention or gives me an idea I'll immediately start thinking about how to turn it into a painting.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
I worked in the games industry for a little while, there's a crossover in some of the technology used in games production with some of my graphic design skills. I met some funny and talented people while working there.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
So far I've not done any collaborative work.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
Back then I was still probably very influenced by the ideas, if not the style of Rene Magritte - who was my favourite artist while at school.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
I'm still at an early stage in my career but so far my work seems to appeal to quite a wide range of people, so hopefully I can just keep painting subjects that interest me and not worry about it.

Who would you say buys your work?
My work has sold to collectors in Canada, I've also had buyers from America and Hong Kong. I'd like to get more established in the UK.

Where and what is your studio?
Currently my studio is a corner of our living room, not ideal - but its got very good light and it's handy.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I think so, I get very absorbed while I'm painting but having a break from it gives you a useful fresh perspective.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Definitely something to do with dogs. I don't think I could face all the exams to be a vet, so maybe a Shepherd?

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
The Royal Academy of Arts

Any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
Paintings of Boxers at The Foragers in Hove.

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