Artsy Shark presents the exquisite portfolio of British artist Patrick Bremer. Visit his website for more from this versatile artist.
Right now I’ve just finished working on Satyr and I’m getting ready for an Open House exhibition in Brighton throughout May. Rubens painted Two Satyrs in 1618 and I love the idea of taking these beautiful old paintings and giving them my own twist.
Up until this one and the dead bird collages, my work has been mainly traditional portraiture in oils or collage, often to commission. I am always seeing people around town that I want to draw or paint, and I used to paint a lot of the locals at a pub I worked at a few years ago.
I always loved painting and I grew up in a very artistic family, my father being a painter and art teacher. I also remember being really influenced by seeing lots of the old Derek Riggs Iron Maiden album covers when I was little, as my sister was seeing a guy who was obsessed with them – the colour and imagery in those was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and has remained a pull to art ever since for me.
After that, my main influences were, and still are figurative painters such as Lucien Freud, Euan Uglow, Francis Bacon and Jenny Saville. It was the way these artists dealt with flesh in their work – Francis Bacon in a very visceral and violent way, whereas Uglow would meticulously measure every part against the other. I wanted my work to be a combination of both – loose and carefree mark-making that leads to happy accidents in the work, but also carefully planned out. I am now aiming to achieve that juxtaposition through collage as well as paint.
I ended up doing collage out of circumstance. I am lucky to have a good studio, but in the winter months it is so cold in there that I wanted to find a way of working at home in the evenings, but without destroying the house with paint. I had a pile of old magazines so I began cutting them up and the first one I finished was of my nephew (George). Since then they have been growing larger and more experimental, getting freer with the knife each time and trying to treat them in my mind as paintings or drawings.
I love the exploration involved with collage work. Some pieces within it are chosen specifically because the image or text relates to the sitter, but others are left to chance. The pictures work on the first level as a portrait, but then you can move closer to explore and read the information within it. This is a new medium for me and I aim to push it as far as I can and see where it takes me. I’ve got some plans for some larger collages in the same vein as the Satyr one, and also want to start combining mediums – painting and collage together.
I also part time work as a secondary school teacher and this has really helped my own practice. Helping the children with their artwork often helps me to come up with new ideas and influences for my own. With art there is never a right or wrong answer, and I think it’s that factor that draws a lot of the children to it too – you never know how a piece will end up when you start it.
Patrick Bremer lives and works in Brighton UK, and has been awarded the De Laszlo Foundation award for his portraiture by The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He received his BA in painting from Wimbledon School of Art in London.