Shown above is UK painter Paul Roberts’ Fickle Heart. Born to artist parents in 1948, Roberts grew up in Wales, studied art and started his fine arts career, then took a break from painting in the 1970’s while a member of the rock band Sniff ‘n The Tears.
From the mid-1970’s through the 1990’s or thereabouts, Roberts work was primarily figurative hyper-realism, often depicting quirky, provocative and often disturbing scenes, sometimes reminiscent of 1950’s/60’s crime films. Later work in the 90’s through 2000’s began to exhibit a more expressive brush, less reliance on photo-realistic representations, and sometimes puzzling subjects, though examples of work on the artist’s own website through 2008 show him returning to the realistic narrative approach.
I’ve read comparisons to such diverse painters as American neo-expressionist Eric Fischl and Scottish artist Jack Vettriano, neither of which I’d agree with at all, considering any similarities coincidental and only a perfunctory reaction to contemporary urban/suburban settings on one hand (Fischl), and men who may be gangsters in white dress shirts paired with women in vintage lingerie and stockings on the other (Vettriano). But then, a one-time fine arts major is not an art scholar or critic, so what the hell do I know? If anything, those earlier Roberts paintings, which are the ones that often reappear on pop art, pinup and noir culture sites and blogs (like this one, I suppose) seem to glean their imagery from edgy fashion editorials like those shot by Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth and others. But ultimately, who cares? They’re thought-provoking work, beautifully rendered, all of them.
Shown here are:
- Fickle Heart (above)
- The Bodyguard (above)
- Bodyguard 2
- The Operator
- Tied Up
More of Paul Roberts paintings follow in a subsequent post…