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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

John Smyth

"I am a painter working mainly in oils. The main subject of my work is the human form and my approach to this is naturalistic or realistic. To complement the figures I use Abstract elements varying from simple sheets of colour to textured impasto and decorative pattern. These abstract elements may work simply as a background or may encrouch over the figure creating a more dynamic interplay between the abstract and the real. I feel that the contrast between the highly disciplined pursuit of naturalistic figurative painting and the freedom of working with abstraction provides balance in my work on both a visual and conceptual level."

John Smyth

''I was born and raised in Fort William, on the West Coast of Scotland. In 1996 I moved to Aberdeen to study painting at Grays School of Art. I now currently reside and paint in Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland.''

John Smyth

"John Smyth paints nudes and semi-nudes, both female and male, and he does it to a photographic standard. Sometimes he brings flat shapes or pattern into his pictures and allows them to disturb or enhance his startlingly realistic subjects.

In his first show at the rendezvous Gallery in Aberdeen, Smyth - a graduate of Gray's - demonstrates how the human body can be used as a decorative object. His sublime figures have no faces and no personality or character beyond their role as life models, so we learn nothing about them.

The figures appear as untroubled as classical gods and nymphs. Yet they have a strong presence and an atmosphere that is at times vaguely erotic in a very Victorian sort of way. Essentially Smyth seems to be working in this 19th century tradition. However, the artist has stripped away the pastoral or boudoir settings to update his nudes."

Press and Journal, Saturday July 1 2006


1996-2000 Grays School of Art, Aberdeen,
BA Hons Fine Art, Painting.
2000, David Gordon Memorial trust award

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