About the ‘Girl’ series of steel artworks
The latest pop artwork ‘Girl’ series is painted with high-end Amsterdam artist acrylics and dye coloured gloss varnish on 1mm sheet steel with 4cm x 2cm square steel tubing frames. The metal is sometimes put through the process of grinding and inducing rust with a blend of chemicals to give the piece a unique aged patina look. The metal is then sealed with semi-gloss lacquer to prevent any further rust occurring.
After deciding on an image the process will begin with sketching in before a basecoat of flat tone. Once the shape of the subject is correct then colour of similar tone is applied with brush and/or a credit card shape piece of plastic which is cut to size to determine the amount of paint to be applied in certain areas. This effect builds a burst of coloured layers and texture very quickly. The whole process from inception, including the construction of the metal canvas, creation and destruction before sealing can be as little as two weeks.
About the artist Ivan Chapman
Careful to define himself as a Pop Artist, Chapman begins by describing his frustration with the recent influx of generic mass produced prints which he sees as an assault on the true spirit of the pop art movement. "I see myself as a figurative design artist." He says, adding, "Some would say Pop Art painter, although the Pop Art movement has become blurred over the last few years with the introduction of computer generated prints being passed off as Pop Art.
I would say I am a Modernist Pop Art Illustrator" All too familiar with the paradox, that the recent influx of mass produced shop pop art has created. Chapman profoundly understands the difficulty in defining the real spirit of the movement and realigning its direction within the culture of the 21st century, and its readily available technology. As Pop artists in the 1950's and the 1960's focused on familiar images from popular culture and made fun of industry and mass production by mass producing their own art, Chapman's mission is to empower the progressive quality and creative vision of popular imagery and focus on the brilliance of the art and the image.
It is interesting to unravel Chapman's obsession with an art movement so defining of an era. The Pop Art movement was marked by a fascination with popular culture and reflected the affluence of post-war society. It offered visual artists an alternative means of communication to the abstract expressionist movement, which many young artists at the time found oppressive. The movement emerged slowly in the 1950's and 1960's, not with a bang or manifesto but through a number of artists working independently to each other, living as far afield as London, Paris, Milan, Düsseldorf, Rome and New York. Each of the artists began by challenging the notion of good taste and the inviolability of the work of art. The term, Pop Art, became an umbrella term to describe a collection of artists and approaches that engaged and reflected modern life and its culture.
In celebrating everyday objects such as soup cans, washing powder, comic strips and soda pop bottles, the movement turned the commonplace into icons and the art it's self into popular culture. It is a testament to the power of the Movement that Chapman an artist born in 1973 - when the movement was slowing down, still finds himself influenced by its fundamental obsessions. In the same way that Pop Art challenged the concept of low and high brow art, so too Chapman's work challenges the notion with an almost ferocious enthusiasm. His fervour for the movement is born out of a genuine fascination with the art - a passion for sixty's pop and design and a fondness for the era. "I am trying to continue what would have become of the Pop Art movement if it hadn't fizzled out during the eighties." says Chapman. "It's the colours that jump out at you when they are complementary or clashing…something that seems familiar but seen in a new way. I suppose Warhol and Lichtenstein did it first with the Marilyn's and Comic Book paintings. Taking a familiar image and changing it …either by colour or in size. I am trying to do the same, although adding free-flowing destruction in there." “The substrate in my mind is just as important as the final image. The metal is just the first in this new series focussing on the ‘canvas’ with new materials and substrates to follow in the ‘Girl’ series of works.”
Ivan Chapman's art work has been exhibited and sold globally - Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia.