Popkess spent much of his early life in various remote parts of Africa, which resulted in a developed fondness for beauty in its natural state; as things truly are, rather than how they are made to appear. This early exotic isolation fuelled a great desire to travel widely and experience a world of blemished beauty, culminating in the artist moving to the heart of Paris. Here, Popkess lived a stone's throw of the Sorbonne, the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, from where a love of art proved irresistible.
“I aim to strip away the veneer of a subject and to capture a moment, not a dramatic one, something evocative perhaps, occasionally ordinary but always honest and without the need for a narrative. Art is nothing if it does not speak... If the power of art is to move the soul, then I am influenced by an army of giants” – Johnny Popkess
Such giants that Popkess speaks of include Caravaggio, Velasquez, Titian, Caillebotte, Pizarro, and Freud. As a figurative artist, with his passion for the human form, he portrays the body as it should be seen - bold and proud - not hidden by layers of cliché. The artist paints exclusively in the finest oils upon stretched linen canvas, a work he recognises as being classically crafted, much like the Caravaggio tradition, but with a contemporary feel. In depicting one moment at a time, Popkess creates his works for the viewer to apply their narrative to them. Looking upon a Popkess painting is an escape from the present and a journey into one’s imagination.
Popkess has been showcasing his work since 2011, with exhibitions throughout the UK, France, Germany Switzerland, Bahrain, and South Africa, as well as the USA. For his first solo show in London this year, with over twenty works on display, you will be a part of the ever-growing excitement for the artist and his works.