Most of the works shown here are transcribed or appropriated from historical sources that have interested him within the canon of European figurative painting. Apart from two portraits they concentrate on the still life tradition.
“Still life is always about much more than a casual arrangement of simple ordinary objects. It is full of allegories stores and meanings. I wanted firstly to celebrate the work of those artists important in the development of this particular genre. At the same time I also wanted to try and extend and add to this in a variety of ways.” Alan Salisbury
In some works he has taken a painting and reproduced it as faithfully as possible but then subverted the original with the inclusion of a contemporary element . In other works the subtext of sensuality and eroticism withheld beneath the surface is playfully brought forward and messages about the dangers of earthly pleasures ironically highlighted. In some images he has tried to tease the eye by incorporating actual 3 dimensional elements in combination with Trompe L’oeil painted illusions of 3 dimensionality. In other images has fused different visual arts traditions from different historical periods, for example the brash iconography of Pop Art invades a 17th century Still Life.
“Work I have selected to appropriate is not from the original but a reproduction from a book or downloaded from the internet which is different. The scale is not evident, frequently detail might be lost and colours distorted but this creates for me even more potential for re-interpretation and playing with the idea of what is ‘new’.” Alan Salisbury.
Post Modernist ideas with regard to originality, cultural hierarchies, and the role of irony conceptually underpins the work.
Alan Salisbury is a painter who works within the conventions of narrative representation. He uses historical sources from within the canon of European figurative painting which are then subverted in various ways. The paintings employ trompe l’oeil devices, humour and irony and as such utilize contemporary post modern concepts of which appropriation of art from the past is a familiar element.
Alan Salisbury was born in Preston, Lancashire and studied painting at Manchester and Liverpool Colleges of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He has lived in Wales since 1974 working at the University of Glamorgan where he was Principal Lecturer in Painting and Field Leader in Arts and Media.
He has exhibited widely throughout the UK, in Europe and the USA. He has won a number of art prizes, including Joint First Prize in the Liverpool School of Art Alumni Open Competition and First Prize in the Wales Portrait Award 2 Competition.