Russell Scott-Skinner is an artist, painter and photographer located in Farningham, Kent. Following a successful solo exhibition on London's famous Embankment art critics are now labelling him as "˜One to watch in the art world!' The next Andy Warhol! His unique abstract paintings and journalistic natural style of portrait photography continue to grow from strength to strength.
Descendant of the famous composer James Scott Skinner, Russell was born on an RAF base in Lincolnshire, England in 1979 and by the age of 18 had moved house 12 times across three different counties. Following school, his path misdirected from art until a moment of clarity propelled a massive "˜you turn' towards his life as an artist and the visual world. Following this return an almost self taught foundation year ensued where he knew his style would need time without influence to develop into a personal and unique visual language. He moved to South London and found work as trainee photographer to provide time and finances while he developed his style as a painter. His love of photography as a medium grew and grew. In 2006 he built and set up his own photographic studio in Sevenoaks, Kent. This provided him with the space and time to develop as an artist, painter and photographer.
ARTWORK INFORMATION - Russell works in free association to create his artwork. The method is a similar to how Henry Moore sculpted. You start painting or sketching and have no pre set finished aesthetic in mind, you grow and evolve the image outwards until it reaches its conclusion. Because it evolves and unfolds in front of the artist devout of a pre conceived subject matter then the "˜subject matter' becomes the subconscious, and therefor falls into the category of Surrealism. This was a "˜style of art developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery, arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, and unexpected juxtapositions in order to include unconscious and dream elements.'
"I love working in free association! You're allowed to simply set the image free to wander. You have no idea where it's going or what it will do. It's the best job in the world to see aesthetics fall out of yourself in this way. The most difficult part is maintaining the freedom to allow the work its free flow, especially when the stakes are high and people are documenting you work or it's a large mural in a public place!"
SKETCH WORK INFORMATION - My main sketch book is something that will never be sold, but from it comes a selection of limited prints with text. I used to hesitate when I started creating the text with my images asking myself, "˜Should I break the flow to stop and pause for spelling and punctuation?' Although only mildly dyslexic it was a question and test of perfectionism and accepting flaws, in the work and in myself. Now in truth I have actually grown to admire the test in the way these imperfections are and have to be present. For any artist accepting and learning to live with, and if possible love the imperfections is always one of the biggest battles!"
PHOTOGRAPHY INFORMATION - Why should we have to use our memory to remember a person's character, their lives, who they are and what was happening when we look at a photo of them. I want in my hand something that a stranger could look at and they would be able to feel who that person, family or group is at the point in time when the imagery was created. It needs to have character, mannerisms, interaction, idiosyncrasies and text. The work is a far cry from the portraits we're used to today! Those I see as just visual records of how people look or looked at that particular point in time. Don't get me wrong, every image has it's place but when I look at these shots they're always missing something. I'm currently in the process of documenting individuals, couples and families for my next exhibition. The work will be primarily photographic with text to add background information. Some of the pieces I will also create bespoke free form artwork from.
"My photography work is inspired by the people I've lost from my life. I regret with my whole heart that I didn't create a stronger visual record of them. The pictures I have don't record who they were, how they lived their lives, the interactions, their thoughts and those amazing and silly idiosyncrasies that truly defined them. It's something I wish I had now, but will sadly never be able to change. A body of photographic work will run alongside of my paintings at the next exhibition."
He lives in the Darenth Valley in Kent by Brands Hatch in West Kingsdown, close to Dartford, Orpington and Swanley. Farningham is best know for the Lion Pub with the village resting in the beautiful kent countryside between Sevenoaks and S