I am a figurative artist working in oils and using gold and other leaves to illuminate my work. I am influenced by the icons of the Christian Church, the 15th century masters such as Fra Angelico and Filipe Lippi, the golden decadence of Gustav Klimt and the colours and passions of Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean where I first started to paint. I first exhibited at the Summer Exhibition in the Royal Academy in London in 1998, and again in 2004, and have shown at the Mall Galleries in London on a number of occasions, in Osaka Japan, Austin Texas and at many venues across England. At a recent exhibition at the Mall Galleries I won the Meynell Fenton Prize. I am largely self taught, having spent many years as a commercial lawyer. I have, though, taken a number of part time courses at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Heatherleys School of Art in London to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge, and have also studied mosaic in Ravenna. Some of my work simply reflects a vivid memory from a moment in time or from my travels. In other work I look behind the human mask at the crumbling layers that lay beneath. I look at the nature of duality: life and death: male and female: ego and alter ego: dark and light: and the parallel and spirit worlds about which some cultures turn. As one who suffers from bipolar disorder I find the concept of duality and of crossing into a parallel world fascinating.
Artist: Zak Collins