Piers Alsop (b. 1984, London) studied Fine Art at UAL: Camberwell College of Arts, graduating in 2007. He exhibited around the U.K before pursuing a career in film, eventually returning to painting in 2018 when he was selected to show in the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Piers' approach to painting often exhibits the co-existence of different styles and techniques on the same canvas. He enjoys the spectrum of realism that pervades through to the abstract, producing a montage aesthetic that does away with traditional perspective. At times it calls to mind prop facades from a stage production.
He regularly takes compositional elements from Byzantine or Renaissance religious paintings and pares them down into their most basic shapes, before applying vivid colour. The more representational components appear as though they are invading these colour vacuums, contaminating them with narrative. He says, “I’d like my paintings to read a bit like medieval illustrations for parishioners attending their local gallery on a Sunday”.
The use of colour and the floating nature of the characters – often forms of self-portraits – give the paintings a psychological quality.
Piers employs imitation and, at times, backhanded homage as a means of questioning power structures. He frequently references other artists' work and the wider art world with a wry smile, highlighting its relationship to belief. The constant devouring and humorous regurgitation of art history suggests at once a cock of the head; a questioning reverence coupled with a natural suspicion. He says, 'It’s not so dissimilar to what cavemen did. I paint the beasts I depend on for survival’.
Piers constantly probes at the concept of truth, questioning both religion and art, both of which create frameworks for doubt as well as faith . Never short of humour, the paintings manage these more philosophical dimensions with a light touch, as if to recognise the vanity of such pursuits.