“My mother is my best friend and I love looking at the painting, it’s like she’s watching over me.”
Chris Silver: A Journey Through Color and Emotion
In the dynamic world of contemporary art, Chris Silver stands out as an artist whose work intertwines the vividness of painting with the authenticity of photography. Born and raised in Glasgow, Silver’s journey into the art world was influenced heavily by his surroundings and personal experiences. His formative years were spent in a Catholic high school in Glasgow, where his initial interest in art began to take shape. This interest evolved into a more profound engagement with photography during his college years. Silver’s early photographic projects were deeply rooted in his community, capturing the essence of Glasgow and its people. His journey then led him to The Glasgow School of Art, where he studied Painting & Printmaking. This period was marked by a significant transformation in his artistic approach, influenced in part by the stunning architecture of the Macintosh building where he studied.
Silver’s artistic development continued through his time at The Glasgow School of Art, albeit interrupted by the unfortunate fire that forced the school to relocate. Despite this setback, he fondly recalls the friendships and learning experiences from art school, expressing a wish to have experimented more and heeded the advice of his lecturers. Post-graduation, Silver embarked on a path of exploring different styles and mediums. This exploration was partly driven by a childhood fascination with kitsch novelty items, a theme evident in his degree show. The influence of his mother, a significant figure in his life and art, is palpable in his work. Her passing in May 2023 was a profound event for Silver, instigating a courageous continuation of his art in her memory.
Emotional Palette: The Artistic Style of Chris Silver
The artist’s style is a complex amalgamation of psychological insights and color theory. Silver meticulously considers his emotional state during the creation of each portrait, allowing his feelings to guide his mark making. If he’s feeling excitable, for instance, his strokes may become more erratic, adding a dynamic layer of emotional texture to his work. This approach is not just a stylistic choice; it reflects Silver’s interest in the psychological aspects of art, something he contemplates exploring further through a master’s in Art Psychotherapy. This interest in the psychological connotations of color sets Silver apart, enabling him to create works that are not just visually striking but emotionally resonant as well.
The artist’s workspace is a sanctuary of creativity, equipped with a variety of mediums including pastels, watercolors, and oil paints. It’s a place where inspiration from other artists merges with his own creativity. To maintain focus and keep his work fresh, Silver employs block scheduling and varies his subject matter and media throughout the day. This method helps him to manage distractions and maintain a high level of creativity and engagement in his work. His influences are diverse, ranging from the pop art of Andy Warhol to the expressionism of Henri Matisse and Robert Rauschenberg, and the realism and fauvism of artists like Jenny Saville. This eclectic mix of influences is reflected in his unique style, which combines elements of pop, expressionism, realism, and fauvism.
A Tribute in Color: Special Artworks by Chris Silver
Among Silver’s numerous works, one holds exceptional meaning: a portrait of his mother created in July 2023. This piece, crafted with oil and pastel, captures her essence from a 1990s photograph. It’s a tribute filled with love and admiration, where every stroke and color choice reflects his deep affection for her. For Silver, this painting is more than just an artistic creation; it’s a connection to his mother, embodying her personality and acting as a constant, comforting presence in his life. This personal and emotional connection to his subjects is a hallmark of Silver’s work, giving it a depth and sincerity that resonates with viewers.
Silver’s choice of medium has evolved over time, reflecting his artistic journey and experimentation. Initially drawn to watercolors and inks, he later discovered water mixable oil paints, which allowed him to create a unique blend of watercolor-like effects with the richness of oil. His recent work with oil pastels and water mixable pastels showcases his versatility and willingness to explore new techniques. This openness to experimenting with different mediums is a testament to Silver’s commitment to growth and evolution as an artist.
Future Horizons: Chris Silver’s Artistic Aspirations
Chris Silver’s artistic vision continues to evolve, driven by inspiration and a desire to push the boundaries of his craft. He aspires to create large-scale, figurative compositions that incorporate elements of collage and props, drawing inspiration from artists like Andrew Salgado. These ambitious projects, envisioned to be complex and intricate, represent the next step in Silver’s artistic journey. He admires the haunting, abstract realism of Justin Mortimer and Adrian Ghenie, whose works blend abstract elements with touches of realism. These inspirations are shaping Silver’s future projects, hinting at more complicated and layered scenes on canvas.
Despite the challenges and changes in his career, Silver remains hopeful and determined to realize his dream projects. His development as an artist is a continuous process, marked by a willingness to experiment and an eagerness to learn from both his experiences and his artistic influences. Chris Silver’s journey is a testament to the power of art to convey deep emotions and connect with audiences on a profound level. His future works are eagerly anticipated, as they promise to bring new dimensions to his already rich and emotive portfolio.