I like to capture images of people, but to create my own story with them. When we pass a stranger in the street, and look them in the face for just a second before walking on, we are engaging in the same sort of dialogue as I hope my paintings are able to capture. By slowing down our perceptions we are able to draw so much from a passing face, and our indifference to it grants us an objectivity that is difficult to recapture. For me, oil paints reflect the visceral mutability of human nature, and canvas has a tight suppleness that reminds me of skin.
I work with both primary and secondary materials, from found images in newspapers, magazines, art history books and especially the internet, I splice together a composite piece that resembles none of the original source matter, yet still contains all the information from them that I want the viewer to receive. With every brush stroke and every slice of the palette knife Iím grafting together an image of myself, of humanity and of the viewer.
It is not enough to paint a personís face, nor is the aim of a portrait to capture the Ďessenceí of the sitter through their portrait. The sitterís face is merely a lens through which the world sees the artist, and the artist in turn sees the world. Every painting is at its heart a self portrait. The viewer should not perceive a calculated, informed or academic concept, but rather should be confronted by the artist staring straight at the viewer through somebody elseís eyes.
If I am a portrait painter, thatís incidental, I feel more like a conceptual artist working through the medium of portraiture, not attempting to create either an image of the sitter, or capture in any way their soul, but to produce an image of myself and solidify the ethereal moment between conception and execution of the piece.
Adam Edwards comes from a creative background with calligraphers, illuminators and landscape painters in his immediate family. He learnt to paint and draw from his grandfather, and took up oil paints at age fifteen. He is well travelled, most notably with trips to the southern United States, especially the creative community of Sedona, and Beijing, China where he spent a year studying Chinese art, language and culture. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, and also reads classical Chinese and Tibetan. His work is direct and raw, with enlarged faces in various states of disassembly staring out of the canvas, at once accusing the viewer and inviting them to share in the sitterís plight. He draws inspiration from a succession of figurative artists from Renaissance Italy, Imperial Austria, reformation Holland and of course Britain. He lives and works in south London.