I first encountered the Stedelijk museum on a college trip to Amsterdam in 1992. The museum has a wealth of modern and contemporary art. It was here that I first viewed many works of the Expressionist art movement. While at college I had only read about painters such as Kandinsky, Kirchner and Schiele. However, to witness their work in a museum made a big impact on me. At the time I was particularly interested in German and Austrian Artists especially the figurative work. I was fascinated by how figurative forms were almost caracturesque by appearance; features distorted and elongated. For me, this approach was exciting and visually engaging. By contrast, my drawings and paintings were still very much representational, photographic flat-looking . My approach in the early days was being over-concerned about ‘correctness’ and as a result, I was very tentative with drawing tools. The Amsterdam trip was inspirational. I began researching more into Expressionism. For instance, the Die Brucke artists and Austrian Secessionism. The Expressionism movement had an overwhelming effect on my figurative drawings. My drawings became very linear and outlines were much bolder than before. I was increasingly looking at ways to exaggerate forms with more intensity. When assembling work for entrance to university, the following series of self-portraits drawn in conte (below) were very much the spine of my portfolio.
Self-Portrait Series 1993 (Conte on paper)
Self-Portraits Mixed Media 1993-2008