Alan King's interest in the artists of the Surrealist movement, and his love of architecture, has led him to combine the qualities of computer software and traditional painting techniques to invent bizarre, uncanny environments.
Born in Greenwich, South East London in February 1952, Alan King began his artistic journey working as a commercial artist in London's highly competitive advertising industry. By his early twenties he was already producing his own 'private' art work, which he began exhibiting and selling across London during the early 1970's. King parted with the commercial advertising industry to pursue his own creative ambitions shortly afterwards.
Drawing on his knowledge of computer and commercial design techniques, over the years Alan has developed his own unique processes and working methods. "Ninety nine percent of my work is created solely on the computer - but layout and design elements are drawn rough on paper." Says Alan, adding, "I am usually surrounded by scraps of paper with strange squiggles or doodles on them which I pin to a board next to my desk…I usually have a smattering of an idea of what I need and I use a number of techniques depending on what atmosphere I am trying to create."
Fascinated by the Surrealist movement of the early twentieth century, King was introduced at a very early age to the great artists of the movement, Tanguy, de Chirico, Max Ernst, Magritte, Man Ray and later M C Escher and the architecture and design of Frank Lloyd Wright. Surrealism was possibly the defining art movement between the two world wars. It was started by Andre Breton in 1920 and was borne out of Dadaism. Dada was a form of anti-art that deliberately defied reason. Salvador Dali joined the Surrealist movement in 1930 and although he was only part of the movement for a short period of time proved to be the biggest artistic inspiration for Alan King.
Creating Alan Kings surreal landscapes takes a certain amount of time and forethought…"A particular "sky" or foreground I decide that I need is either hunted relentlessly with a digital camera until I get the one that I need, or created directly in PaintShopPro or Painter 5 using a stylus and drawing tablet. "He says. This pragmatic approach to technique seems to allow him to express and visualize his own sense of artistic vision. Supported by its structure Alan frees up his own sense of expression.
"My imagery comes from any number and combination of stimuli. I can visualize a picture while listening to music; an image can be triggered by a dream, or a snippet of an overheard conversation, a news piece on the TV, someone or something I see when walking the dog, a line in a book - a book title - good wine, strong cheese…" he adds.
Strong, bold, and rich with colour, these digital images are extremely well created. King's knowledge and technical skills combined with his own sense of creativity and talent enables him to freely express what is in his minds eye at the point of creation and results in some strong, vibrant and vividly surreal landscapes.
To view Alan Kings general exhibition pages please click here