More layered Oil Paintings Visualize Motion and Time Passing in Busy Cities

Highly inspired artwork done by the British artist Clive Head, shows the often dizzying urban environment in his more-perspective oil paintings. From all facet of the hurried commuters on public transport to busy coffee shops, each painting features fractured layers that suggest movements through space and time.

Throughout Head’s lengthy career, his style has evolved from traditional realist works to that of his current large-scale, math-inspired compositions. Like a cross between multiple-exposure photography and Cubism, Head’s most recent paintings feature complex shapes and various vantage points to depict multi-dimensional scenes. He explains, “I reject modernist fragmentation and instead seek a seamless surface, so the viewer can move around a unified space.”

Although Head’s paintings depict moments from everyday life, the results are anything but ordinary. Viewers could spend hours studying every corner of Head’s canvases, finding new pieces of information each time. “I’m not trying to tell stories, but make a painting that generates all kinds of narratives,” he reveals. “When every part of the painting can be read in a multiplicity of ways, after all, there are always multiple images; the possibility for different meanings becomes infinite.”

Stylistically Head is almost unique in contemporary British art in the way he has developed a highly personal language of art that is focused very specifically on painting. Arguably this makes him one of the leading British painters of his generation as most of his contemporaries have chosen to explor other art forms and materials. Very early on Head developed a realist style of painting, often mistaken for Photorealism, but his most recent work has moved firmly away from this. In part this is a consequence of an increasing interest in recent years in the work of modernist painters such as Henri Matisse and Georges Braque, but it also stems from a natural evolution of his basic painting process. Even when producing ostensibly realist paintings Head always maintained that his work was not concerned with the visual appearance of the world, but with the full sensual experience of being in a particular place over a period of time. In recent work this has led to overtly composite or layered images, in which time and movement play a more significant role than the creation of something that can be mistaken for a photographic snap shot.

British artist Clive Head captures the often dizzying urban environment in his multi-perspective oil paintings.

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