Mike Stuart earned his BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London, an institution where artists such as Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Angela Bullock and Michael Landy first honed their skills.
Mike’s artistic influences are steeped in comic art – The Beano, 2000AD, Asterix – as well as classical and neo-classical art to which he was exposed as a child during visits to National Trust properties and by reading books. The science fiction and horror works of Moebius and Druillet in the French comic Metal Hurlant (literally ‘screaming metal’) and the punk rock movement heavily influenced his perception of the world.
“When I left college I began to find my own path. Since then I have been free to follow my own inspiration. I withdrew from the commercial art world and stopped exhibiting after a while, resolving to develop my own style rather than follow the prevailing trends. Things have changed lately though, the influence of graffiti and street art, new schools of symbolist and mythic art have widened the public’s appreciation of aesthetics to a more open-minded appreciation of the value of art. So now I feel like it is a good time for me to return to exhibiting and showing my work.
Despite the fact that mythological or fantastic imagery can be seen in my work it is important to me that my work is about real life and the search for meaning in life. If forced to find a genre to put myself in I would have to suggest Mythic Realism. I feel more affinity to the graffiti artists that work in my neighbourhood of Stokes Croft than the hardcore conceptualists who exhibit down the road at the Arnolfini. I don’t think it’s enough merely to be good at drawing, I feel a sort of duty to be good at living, and art to be an expression of that. It’s a life long journey, and there is always room for improvement.” MS
In the Press
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