Christopher Stacey, Artist

Christopher Stacey

I attended Chelsea School of Art, alongside Mariko Mori and Chris Ofili. There I began my fascination with the raw, violent, muddy nature of what I saw and sought means of showing its beauty. I wanted to make beautiful things, and as YBA established itself, I would have to wait.

So, I worked for Gilbert & George for some years. Their eloquent but uncompromising vision politely registered as absolute, twisted sense to me.

As I continued working for Jay Jopling & Charles Saatchi, I moved to rural Essex and began painting again, settling on a pastoral theme, toying with a romantic, folk aesthetic and made a series of paintings ‘English Electric.’ These paintings sought to gently deconstruct the English landscape and our relationship with it. I sought to uncover the sublime, brooding earth and playfully reconstruct it on canvas. These works sold immediately and widely and are held privately in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.

10 years were subsequently spent in business in London and Cambridge, two spent travelling in Italy, finally returning to the studio in 2013 completing “How to Be a Girl,’ a series that introduced the recurring themes that I pursue now.

‘The violence of beauty’ was a phrase I coined to describe a recent solo show of these paintings. I seek to uncover what is not there, by painting what is, by quietly revealing the mechanics of bones, blood and beauty. Seeking to show via the luminosity of sex, skin and paint, a deeper, higher, romantic ideal of portraiture.

‘He made everyone look glamourous. Taller. Thinner. But they all have mood, every one of them has a different mood.’

Andy Warhol on John Singer Sergeant, 1986.

Exhibitions