Offshoot Arts are delighted to present recent paintings by British artist David Surman.
Imbued with Surman’s signature playfulness and humour, the artist’s practice is widely focused on the natural world and animals. His dogs, birds and cows (amongst others) are anthropomorphic in style and instantly convey a sense of character and charm. Painted in broad, sweeping brushstrokes there is a sense of immediacy and the impression of simplicity in its execution. Originally a film maker, Surman frames his subjects in particular scenes and compositions that hint at a narrative, harking back to a sense of nostalgia for childhood storytelling and innocence. Often painted in large-scale, the animals take on a monumental stance, reminiscent of old master paintings, and further teasing the fun and absurdity of the subject on this scale. The artist deliberately questions and pokes fun at the hierarchies of taste and value that are inherent paradigms of the art world. At once encouraging a deeper exploration into our own emotions and the psychology of the human condition, the works also provoke a debate on the definition of ‘Art’ and the tension between cultural highs and lows.
David Surman (b. 1981) is an artist based in London. He studied animation film at Newport Film School (2002) and film studies at the University of Warwick (2004). Working primarily in painting and drawing, he has established an international reputation for his figurative works that feature striking kinetic compositions of animal, plant and human forms. Surman's work celebrates the vitality of its subjects and painting as a medium. Recent solo exhibitions include: Portraits of a Wild Family, SENS Gallery, Hong Kong (2022), Carousel, Tinimini Room, Dordrecht (2022), Fairy Painting, Sim Smith, London (2021).