Charles Thomson is best known for co-founding the Stuckists - an international art movement which formed in 1999 to confront the more controversial aspects of British art. Striking out against what he sees as a Machiavellian and biased arts establishment, Thomson has become both the Stuckism movements flag-bearing public face, and its most vociferous advocate of figurative art as a viable alternative to conceptualism.
In “Crazy over you” Thomson turns the scornful scrutiny, which he has used so effectively to taunt the British art establishment, upon himself. By doing so he illuminates major issues in his own life and recounts each of them, openly, in bold lines and bursts of vibrant colour. From surreal portraits and metaphor filled landscapes to more melancholic and contemplative still life’s, each of these new works deploys a vast array of contrasting tones and brush marks which nervously distract us from compelling underlying narratives with a measured veneer of anxiety.
Like pieces of a broken mirror reflecting the life of the artist, every painting in the exhibition touches upon memories and emotions, symbolized in Thomson's own dazzling illustrative style. Brought together as an exhibition, these paintings form a billowing collage of colour that tell stories with their undulating metaphors and cartoonishly rendered introspections. Many of the paintings depict the sanguine shades of Thomson’s jolly persona, while others rollercoaster through the angular and agitated brushstrokes of the artists most challenging life experiences. As a whole the exhibition forms a vision of the artists mindscape, and compels the viewer to draw judgement on his character: at once reticent and volatile, naïve but calculated, amusing but deadly serious.
Charles Thomson (b.1953, Romford, Essex) is a figurative painter and co-founder of the worldwide Stuckism art movement (along with Billy Childish). His works have been show in several international Stuckist shows as well as at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Thomson has curated many exhibitions, and written articles on art for magazines including The Jackdaw, 3AM, The Oldie, Counterpunch, and The Salisbury Review. He is regularly quoted by the press on the subject of contemporary art, and has featured on BBC News, The One Show, Newsnight, and on Radio 4.