MICHAEL DAVID BOSWORTH

 

Michael David Bosworth

Born and educated in United Kingdom, I have lived more than a third of my life in other countries, including France, Italy, Malta, Germany, Poland, Indonesia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

I have worked in the theatre in the UK and as a teacher. 

I now live and work in the Aude region of France, at the edge of the Pyrenees.

I consider myself a realist painter, though it has always been difficult to define what that actually means. I distrust the facility of free expression and try to avoid cliches of the picturesque. Some kind of visual pleasure, the reward to the viewer, should be self-evident, not a matter of explication. I want my pictures to look good across a room and up close. That’s a lot to do with composition and how the paint goes on. I am still trying to work out how to get the paint on in more interesting ways. I want distinctiveness, touch, individual perception to be there in the work. How to do that without falling into cliche is an ongoing challenge.

I’ve been making oil paintings since 2006. I usually work in oil on large canvases, though I have sometimes used wood panels. In 2006 I moved with my wife to New Delhi, India. The archive pieces Nos.1 to 4 were made at that time.

Later, in 2009, we moved to Dubai. Archive pieces 5 to 27 were made there.  Delhi and Dubai: these are two radically different cities, but there are consistent themes in the work - development and construction.

When I am asked why I paint the things that I do, I say “I paint what I see”. But after a while, this answer becomes disingenuous. I work from photographs, often photographs I have taken myself.  I am already thinking about the painting before a photograph is taken. So, to ‘see’ anything at all is already an act of the will.

 The environment supplies the repertoire of motifs - in Dubai this included piles of sand, half-finished houses, temporary fences, trucks, landscape gardeners etc The process of choosing or composing an image, which might take a long time, is akin to an assertion of values.  

The challenge now is how to engage with this specific environment in the paintings I make. The landscape tradition in Europe, perhaps particularly in France, comes weighed down by its own history and baggage. It’s easy to fall into a dream state in which one endlessly repeats the art-historical past. Landscape becomes kitsch or third-rate imitation of great painters.

Despite this ever-present danger, I am drawn to landscape painting..