Show: Green/Red Pistol. Leigh Mulley.
Tell: “This piece is a still life from my box of souvenir and seaside shop finds. All of my work tends to reflect my love for seaside paraphernalia or traditionally British fare. I love the experience of a tradition seaside town, or fairground/funfair. I’m excited by the lights, the colours, the sounds. You get hit with it all, and it’s thrilling. It’s also deliciously tacky. More often than not the paint is peeling, the stalls are tired, and the prizes are awful, but that makes it all the more appealing to me.
“I tend to seek out colour as a starting point and then start looking for detail. This means amusement arcades; souvenir shops and sweet shops often provide me with still life material. Ice cream vans, funfairs and general seaside scenes offer up landscape compositions. Scale plays an important role too. I like making small things big, and vice versa – it allows the viewer to remain reasonably familiar, but look all over again too.
“Once I’ve settled on an object or scene, then making a decision on scale is key for me. With this piece I wanted the moulded details to feature heavily, and the colour to really hit hard. Also, when you first play with pistols as a kid, you are intrigued by the mechanism, so I wanted that aspect to reveal itself too and help prompt the memory or visual impact to its greatest affect.
“Naturally, I take great inspiration from the photorealist movement, but equally renaissance, Dutch, Victorian and so on. I have a passion for detail, crispness, craftsmanship – so couture beading, architectural stonework or one of Richard Wilson’s oil filled rooms is just as likely to stimulate me. A runaway destination for me is drooling over the Berlin Iron at the V&A. I’m guessing that somewhere along the lines these things come together, and I hope, in some aspects, inform my work.”
Info: Leigh Mulley is a contemporary realist painter based in Folkestone, Kent.
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