Painting by Paul Lemmon
Studio 263 Wimbledon Art Studios Riverside Yard, Riverside Road London SW17 0BB
m 07733015663

Artist statement

I work from my own photography, acquired whilst soaking up the culture and colour of city life, and consider this to be an indispensible part of my painting process. In fact, the way I take pictures is essential to achieving the overall seductive, cinematic dynamism that I'm looking for – shooting 'from the hip', utilising odd angles, severe cropping and incorrect exposures, often manipulating the images even further later on.

Once the composition has been established - which can often take longer than the actual painting stage - I work very rapidly with the paint, seeking to heighten the energy and spontaneity of the captured moment through vigorous brushwork and vivid colour and contrast. The surface of the painting is also very important to me: the marks themselves, the texture and existence of the paint in its own right. This drives my technique and my conviction is that the gestural painting draws attention to the human trace in the work, signifying both artist and viewer in the act of looking, which is central to the meaning of the paintings.

In addition to the many artists that inspire my technique, such as Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Howard Hodgkin, the influences on my subject matter are wide and various and include the work of photographer William Eggleston with his ‘snap-shot aesthetic’; 19th century French writer Charles Baudelaire with his descriptions of excursions through the Parisian bars and streets of his time; and the films of Wim Wenders, particularly the roving, Berlin angels in his 1987 movie, Wings of desire.

These influences have left a distinctive impression on me and brought a noticeably voyeuristic tone to my work, perhaps connecting with the contemporary obsession with the hidden camera and fly-on-the-wall observation. I explore this even further by ruthlessly omitting details of the location and identity of the subject in order to engage the viewer in an even more intimate, yet open-ended way.

My primary interest is in conveying mood and atmosphere rather than specifics. Ultimately, my aim is to immerse the viewer in my paintings, whilst allowing them to imagine their own characters and narratives in what they’re seeing.