Robert West
Contemporary British Painter


Robert West General Q & A 2015

General Q & A

What are your personal long-term goals for you and your practice?

To push the limitation of contemporary painting forward, consequently aiding in reasserting the dominance of British Painting on the Global Art Market.

What is your main focus for 2018?

At present I am creating the Borderline series, this is predominantly large-scale abstract paintings that reflect the nature of living in todays Globalised World. By the end of the year I will have completed twelve paintings in the series across two sizes, 130 x 195 cm and 200 x 200 cm. At present three paintings have been completed, several more are in various stages of development.

What are your thoughts on the importance of scale?

Scale is important, it speaks not just about the painting, but also the painter. Expansive ideas require significant space in which to be realised. Large-scale is where Borderline will be created and formed into my finest series of paintings to date.

Is there a reason why you paint on primed polyester stretched over an aluminium stretcher rather than canvas over a wooden stretcher?

I provide museum quality paintings to the Art Market. A painting is a complex object and you need to use the best materials in every step of the creative process in order to achieve this.
Polyester gives a paper like surface to work on, free from weaving defects that you find in traditional canvas. Polyester is much stronger and is unaffected by humidity which creates a robust substrate for both large and small-scale paintings.
I started using aluminium stretchers to create my large-scale paintings as they are superior than wooden stretchers. The aluminium provides a very strong, rigid and light-weight frame in which to stretch the polyester; the frame will not alter or warp over time due to the forces of the stretched material. Aluminium stretchers are not affected by temperate change or high humidity.

Do you do any studies or small compositions before a painting?

I find small scale studies counter intuitive as you are creating guidelines in which to adhere to; restricting the potential of the painting process. When creating something new you need to react to it. The process of judging and reaction is repeated countless times on a single painting, leading you to the visual plane you have been wanting. 

What impact is the Internet having on Art and Artists?

The Internet is a critical tool for contemporary painters, it allows artists to successfully set up away from entrenched creative hubs. As technology progresses a closer representation of physical artworks will be more achievable. Collector's habits will continue to change and online Global Art sales will overtake physical Global Art sales. This, in turn will create a new breed of Artists who will represent themselves early on it their career. They will be digitally aware and have a broad understanding of business.

What are your main aims for the future?

I will continue to paint the Borderline series. I see the natural progression of the series executed on a much larger-scale, facilitating more possibilities.

August 2018