UK artist Richard Blunt hails from West Midlands, studied 3D design, then found himself homeless during his 20’s, gigging with various bands before rediscovering his visually creative side and taking up painting in earnest. His particular interest: the depiction of dramatic light in realistic images, so it’s no surprise that he’d name artists like Michelangelo Caravaggio (almost synonymous with chiaroscuro to many) as an inspiration. Some will see echoes of Scottish painter Jack Vettriano in Blunt’s work, but then some see Vettriano’s influence every time they see a painting of a vaguely retro fellow in a white shirt, suspenders and a brimmed hat.
Myself, I’m seeing Hamish Blakely, Rachel Bess and Fabian Perez as just a few of the diverse crop of contemporary painters currently juxtaposing retro iconography taken from Golden Age Hollywood films and even postwar vintage illustration with edgier or ironic modern themes and treatments. The result? Often not unlike Neo-Noir in film and literature.
But as always, I’ll leave all that stuff to the professors and art critics and just enjoy the work. More of Richard Blunt’s paintings follow in a subsequent post.