"Unique and emotive abstract surrealism paintings from the mind of KM Gavaghan."
London Irish artist Kevin Gavaghan is originally from North London and now works from his studio in Hertford. His paintings are collected internationally and he is known for his brooding and evocative figurative paintings dancing around the fringes of surrealism and abstract art.
His paintings are an inner journey of self exploration and emotional memories of his life growing up from the 1970s in a large Irish family whilst coping with the complexity of life with Tourette Tics and anxiety related illnesses. He sees his past as a ‘subconscious controlling influence’ on his present and uses his art as a way of responding to the impact of his youth. Kevin touches on subjects, such as mental health, growing up with Tourette tic’s and anxiety, religion and politics within the Irish community, relationships and the loss of loved ones as well the challenges we all face but hide from our public persona. He wants his paintings to directly confront the viewer with honest thoughts of their own life, energy and hope no matter what their background or past. A reflection of the emotions the viewer may keep hidden from public view.
He predominantly paints in oils. Part of his process is to collect images and photographs, as well as making notes and drawings that reflect a memory. These inform an emotional connection that he feels about any given moment in his past. He creates organically and his paintings continue to develop throughout the process often changing their personality many times before settling on what he believes reflects a truth within his thoughts, much as he sees the development of his own life. Approximately 20 years ago he developed an eye condition called ‘Central Serous Retinopathy’ (CSR) which can distort his vision by producing fluid on his retina. He chose to embrace this in his art and Kevin’s palette and application of bold vibrant colours dissect and bend his figures and portraits to the point of abstraction which, for Kevin, highlight the multi layers of life and our inner emotions rather than the external likeness of his subject.