Andy Sylvester

I studied Fine Art Painting at Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1984 -87.  Since then, I have been working both within art education and as a practising painter. I  have recently taken early retirement from education and have had time to devote to my practice.

I work in acrylic paint on board or card building images over a period of time.  I use photographic sources, either taken at face-to-face sittings or sharing images.  Some of these images come from social media sources. 

My current work has focusses on the human form I am interested in the way a portrait conveys information about the status, power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning or other qualities of the sitter. I normally work to commission.
I use colour, line, composition and mark to evoke an emotion or develop the narrative within an image. My work often makes reference to art history, literature, classicism and symbolism to evoke an understanding of the personality or life experience of the sitter.

My work has made use of the medium of social media to source images and in particular the selfie as a way of the ‘sitter’ controlling their image through filters, colour and lighting to control he way they create an image of themselves they wish to convey to the world. 

As a gay man I am interested in redefining the idea of masculinity and the male form and have recently used social media images of gay men to explore the multiplicity of images and ideals we are presented with.

The images that draw my attention are those that that have a Punctum, creating an emotional response to the image.  I aim to build on this to provide a moment of emotion within the studium of the image whether I am painting a commission or personally developed work.