- By Andrea Mestrovic -
He is one of the world’s most intriguing hyperrealists; one who turns stills, photographs, or videos into enormously meticulous drawings where the virtual image becomes alive with emotion. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1964, Paul Cadden has been drawing since the age of six and has always been fascinated with emotion portrayed through literal illustrations of a particular scene or subject.
“Hyperrealism tends to create an emotional, social and cultural impact and differs from photorealism which is far more technical. My inspiration comes from the phrase “to intensify the normal”. I take everyday objects and scenes of people and then create a drawing which carries an emotional impact – it can be quite beautiful,” – explains Cadden.
His work has been recognized and celebrated by the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Artists & Illustrators Magazine, The Daily Mail UK and countless influential galleries worldwide.
We caught up with Cadden recently for some quality Q&A time.
OP: Your art is based on photographs, but you intensify the normal. What is your process and how do you achieve this?
PC: Reference material is a big factor when working from photos I have taken or stock footage, which is then manipulated in Photoshop to enhance detail or add certain elements. I then use the grid method to transfer the design to the canvas. As the picture progresses, I refer to the source material less and less, and the drawing takes on a life of its own.
OP: What inspires your choice of subjects?
PC: There has to be an emotional context with the reference material, whether it be social or political context. If the artist can’t feel everything that humanity feels, the artist isn’t capable of art.
OP: Your work is incredibly intricate. How demanding are your projects in terms of time commitment and how many new works can we expect in 2012?
PC: Due to the time involved with each drawing, it’s very demanding. I find myself falling behind with my work schedule and lately it’s been a balancing act between managing my exhibition and project commitments and doing interviews – which is important, of course, because it helps distribute my ideas. I have a number of exhibitions lined up for next year, and again, because of the time involved in each drawing, it will realistically be two years of work or more to fulfill them all. This time next year, I hope to have between 15 and 20 new works together, some in colored pencil and acrylic.
OP: Do you think it’s possible to understand a person’s life by looking at their face?
PC: I don’t think it’s ever possible to fully understand anyone’s life just by looking at a piece of art, but I hope that art will help us engage more fully with the ordinary in a more artistic way – i.e intensify the normal.
OP: One of your inspirations is Craig Wylie. Can you tell us a bit about this connection?
PC: I don’t know Craig personally, but we are both represented by Plus One Gallery, London. I would encourage anyone to view his astonishing work at the gallery – the online images do not do his work justice.
Paul is represented in London by Plus One Gallery. For further information on prices, contact www.plusonegallery.com. 89-91 Pimlico Road, London SW1 8PH – Tel: 020 7730 7656
Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic