About Jonathan Knuttel





I was born in Dublin, July of 1972. My parents had moved there from England in 1968. Among my fathers family are several noted architects and artists including Thomas Cooper Gotch who co-founded The Newlyn School of painting and great great uncle Archie Leech, better known as Cary Grant.

My earliest memories of the creative process were of watching my dad Peter and his brother Graham at work, when they were involved with the Lambert Puppet Theatre. Both Peter and Graham were involved in printmaking; sculpture, painting and my mother received a degree in History of Art. With art books strewn across the floor and paintings piled up in every corner I found myself learning style and technique.

I am strongly influenced by the German Expressionists painters (Kirchner, Heckel, Pechstien, Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, Kandinsky, Franz Marc, August Macke, Beckmann and Egon Schiele) to name but a few. Painters from France, Holland, Belgium and the USA from the same era also interest me. These were a rebellious group of artists, who focused on form and colour, ignoring political and religious pressure to paint historical events and state occasions, no more nymphs, heroes and allegories, thus art became available to the masses.

I taught myself to paint in the same way someone teaches himself or herself a musical instrument. A mixture of the amalgamation of influence taken from all my favourite artists and working from my own individual observations, through which develops my own style which progresses as logic dictates, fostering amity between what's been done and what's to come. I have also been playing the guitar for 12 years.

When I paint my primary concern is colour.

I love the conflict between rushes of vibrant colour and bold, stark lines. Colour gives roundness to a surface, depth in the feeling of a surface. Colour is the rhythm, form and mood of a picture. Secondary to colour comes content. When I paint a picture I try to make the ordinary more extraordinary, each work being a feeling of my personal state of mind at that time.

Humanity, the humour in a situation, the bleakness of life, the battle of the sexes and the urge to carry on regardless has always fascinated me. I return constantly to still life and wildlife for inspiration. My great fondness for animals and musical instruments constantly appear in my compositions. I find it very easy to become immersed in painting, spending 14 hours a day, too busy to eat and regarding any interruption as a cat-flap for profanities. Spending too much time intellectualising or planning a painting is my last concern. I paint what is to be seen and in 200 years other people can think why. A glimpse into the social interaction and behaviour of people in the past is all I offer.
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