Stuart Free's urban paintings highlight the tensions that exist between the physical landscape and the realities of inner city life. Instantly recognisable, Free's work is a permanent document of our urban surroundings. Choosing buildings that are heavily run down, Free translates these sites into stunningly beautiful and texturally fascinating paintings. These works evoke a deep sense of allegory and belonging. Over the years his prolific series of acrylic works has covered more than one hundred and fifty locations in North London, where Stuart is resident. His passion for cityscapes has also led to commissions in Paris, New York and Chicago. The rest is painting social history, literally. From cafes to cinemas, warehouses to shopfronts, Stuart has painted London with great love and detail. The rest is painting social history, literally. From cafes to cinemas, warehouses to shopfronts, Stuart has painted London with great love and detail. Stuart has an overwhelmingly supportive audience as his work becomes ever increasingly sought after by collectors. Combining the gritty surfaces of peeling paint, concrete, broken glass and graffiti with extraordinary draughtsmanship and a deep knowledge of landscape aesthetics, these are paintings to move the soul, infectious by nature they compete with the viewer's experience of their own urban environment. In Stuart's words, "These works are naked, dramatic, honest visions that cut away the glossy veneer of human aspiration and invite us to confront our own perceptions of the landscape." ....................................................................................... Seventeen years ago Stuart Free embarked upon a mission to paint and record London. Armed with photographs of the city, Stuart began to make large scale dramatic paintings of the city. He soon became particularly stimulated by venues that were socially and historically important, buildings that were very often neglected or about to disappear. Possessing nostalgic intrigue these dishevelled locations revealed colourful pasts to Stuart and the discovery of these allegories and narratives evoked a deep sense of respect and belonging. Stuart has painted three hundred locations in London. Those of you who know the city well will find many memories in these paintings.
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