| London Cityscapes 2020 |
It was after viewing the painting by David Bomberg titled An Evening in the City of London, painted in 1944 that made me first consider what a contemporary painting of London might look like. Bomberg's expressive work depicted a view of the bombed remnants of buildings after the Blitz with St Paul's Cathedral in the distance. It was a powerful painted document of the time, which led me to consider how an image of London could be explored and portrayed through painting today.
The first painting for this series was completed at the time of the November election of 2019 with the Brexit decision lingering. When I first posted the image, I had written in the description - The dawning of a new age or an apocalyptic vision? I could have never imagined that only a couple of months later the Brexit politics would be eclipsed by the threat of a new virus that would essentlially see the daily life of the world come to a halt.
In the confines of my London studio I chose to focus on two main compositional view points for the following paintings, looking down the river Thames towards Southbank or looking up back up the river towards Tower Bridge. Within these compositions I set to exploring new techniques and approaches with the paint itself as well as exploring new ideas. Many of the works attempt to capture the movement and energy of the city through slivering lines of colour (the rhythms of the movements of people and traffic but also the flow of the river), whilst other works explore the cycles of destruction and renewal though its architectural forms. The rhythms of the river and the relationship between the sky and the water are another key element.
One of the last paintings of the series depicts London as a locked down city, which nods back to the Bomberg painting by including a view of Saint Paul's Cathedral. Although the painting titled Regenesis evokes London's own history of great fires and bombed buildings, it could also allude to the cycles of any great civilisation or city, in constant states of transmutation and aspirations for a brighter future.
Jimmy. C March 2021
London Cityscape, Dec 2019
Spray paint on canvas, 125x165cm
London Cityscape, Fluidity
Spray paint on canvas, 165x200cm
London City Forms
Spray paint on canvas, 150x170cm
London Cityscape, Transmutation
Spray paint on canvas, 125x125cm
London Cityscape, Frequencies
Spray paint on canvas, 125x170cm
London Cityscape, Dusk
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 125x180cm
Gritty London Cityscape
Acrylic, spray paint, ink, tea, coffee, and red wine on canvas, 90x120cm
London Locked Down
Acrylic and spray paint on 48 face masks on canvas, 76x102cm
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 125x125cm
London Cityscape, Temporalities
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 150x170cm