Rupert Gatfield sets out to at once seduce and confound the expectations of his viewer. A quick glance at his paintings may offer a nostalgic colour combination here, or the sculptural curve of something seemingly familiar there. But on closer inspection one discovers these initially reassuring signals and symbols are no longer keeping to the path.
He says he loves surprises and through the world he creates on canvas, enjoys ‘pulling a fast one’ on the unsuspecting viewer – better still, one who comes armed with preconceptions. These are not paintings for calming and/or forgetting – these paintings expect something of a two way workout with the viewer and will always distract or unsettle. He takes no undue pride in his finished, almost graphic, painting technique – ‘the image and it’s ability to communicate is all,’ he says. His imagery is fished from the universal pool of human dreams and experience and is as a consequence, fundamentally accessible. His use of colour often seems to allude to the period of the 1930’s, but he is just as comfortable with black and white – pencil on paper.