I have, since being a child, drawn, painted, mused and dreamed, and I guess these could be considered some of the constituent parts of being an artist. However, as a teenager I started to reflect more on the world and my analysis of world events that were taking place began to develop. The Vietnam War had a big impact on me and watching the horrendous carpet bombing left me numb.
Predominantly I paint in water colours which, I find, lends itself to a speed of thought which fits well with my work. People frequently consider my work to be either surrealist or expressionistic and I am indeed influenced by German expressionism, surrealism and Nordic noir. Key artists are German painters Otto Dix, Max Ernst and Max Beckmann, along with the writers Ibsen and Stringberg. Since being a young boy I looked at Otto Dix’s work and marvelled at his skill and composition.
Often I present politically driven events in order to provoke questions about the actions of those in power or those that have grabbed power. For many years I have been involved in social issues and I consider myself an activist. I have never tried to separate this from my art and, indeed, it clearly informs my work. I believe that the artist has an absolute duty and responsibility to represent what is happening in our world.
As Max Beckman once said: ‘Our justification of our role as artists, superfluous and egotistical though we are, is to confront people with the imagery of their destiny’.