Zachary Walsh MA RCA
At its heart, Walsh's art celebrates the traditional values of the representational, yet is infused throughout with a thoroughly contemporary sensibility. He applies collage abstract composition alongside realism, exploring interplay of creative language. It is this tension, between the archaic and the modern, the real and the imagined, that imbues his paintings with their uncommon, ethereal mystery. Typical of his classically informed work are his series of pieces inspired by working with the Holland Park Opera. Using as models members of his friends and family, he utilizes the narrative to tell the story of his sitters; Walsh creates an intertextual space where the grandeur and opulence of the dramatic form collides with the familiarity of the everyday, helping us to see the conflict of the personal at the heart of the theatrical tableaux. London Art Blog has described Walsh’s recent work as ‘beguiling’ and ‘beautiful’, with ‘a masterful feel for portraiture, expressions, gestures, poise and pose of the human physiology’.
Walsh, Originally from Manchester. A student of John Moores Liverpool University and a graduate of London’s esteemed Royal College of Art, has had extensive exhibitions internationally with several solo shows at galleries including 101 Exhibit - Miami, I-nkd Gallery-Brighton, Signal Gallery-London and the James Freeman Gallery -London. He’s also exhibited in prestigious events such as the MTV European awards, G-40 summit - Washington (featured artist) and the Foundation for the care of victims of torture, Exhibiting alongside established names such as Bridget Riley, Ralph Steadman and Paula Rego. His Paintings are in Private collections with the Standard Chattered Bank Tokyo and London. For five consecutive years, Walsh has been selected by the critically acclaimed, Holland Park Opera as their in-house Artist. Resulting for Walsh in a firm collaborative exchange with one of the UKs finest and internationally acclaimed Opera Company’s. This year Walsh has been selected to take part in an initiative run by the charity Miracles called 50 children 50 artists. Walsh will paint a portrait of one of the 50 Tower Hamlets children, which will appear in a final exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Walsh was also a Prix Canson 2016 nominee.
Masters of Art, Royal College of Art. London.
First class honours degree, John Moores Liverpool University
Cover image for Bloomberg Markets NYC.
November 2016 issue
PARLOUR GALLERY RESEDENCY PROGRAM – MAY 2015 - PRESENT
The Parlour gallery residency offers a unique opportunity to live and work in a area of Cornwall which is designated an internationally outstanding area of beauty. Located on the Lizard peninsular the residency offers living accommodation, studio and gallery exhibition space. The artist is expected to engage directly with the public and local schools through ongoing exhibitions talks and workshops.
MIRACLES 50 CHILDREN 50 ARTISTS – JAN 2014 – MARCH 2016
The project has been an overwhelming success. MIRACLES achieved their revenue target, which was set at £200,000 (over two years). This has enabled them to carry out their work in Tower Hamlets - supporting children and their carers living in poverty and facing a life crisis. With the help of Ros Fraser PR they achieved signifacnt media coverage - from the BBC to the Sunday Times - helping to raise the issue of child poverty and their work.
OPERA HOLLAND PARK COMMISSION, KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA – 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009.
The brief is to respond through painting to the Opera's seasonal productions, which generally consists of six Operatic productions. Life size reproductions are then exhibited at the opera house and throughout London. They are also used in there preview magazine as inside and front cover artwork. The magazine has a half million syndication.
FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF GEISHA ARTS - FEB 10 – JAN 2012
Geisha Arts was a unique concept in exhibition space, working to provide an eclectic and inspiring environment for Brighton's thriving contemporary arts community. striving to avoid compromise and act as a truly individual creative realm, unrestricted by commercial interests and led by the artists who kept the exhibits dynamic, fresh and reflective of the true spirit of art.
GEISHA ARTS present BRIGHTON vs LONDON - AUG 2011
GEISHA ARTS BRIGHTON – THE LAUNCH - JUNE 10
The three day high profile launch of an an exhibition, featuring work by some of the UK’s most celebrated & collectable art makers. The event was in support of the charity International Childcare Trust which improves the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Artists include Goldie (Renowned DJ & Graffiti artist), Matt Small (Leading International Urban Artist) and myself.
HOPE IN LIFE , Black Rat Press - MAY – SEPT 08
Novas exhibition and workshopWorking with disaffected youth in sheltered housing to involve them in an urban art exhibition about youth and self-expression.
MODERN MASTERS, Underdog Gallery, London – Aug 2016
MIRACLES, Idea Store, Whitechapel London – January 2016
ARTICLE 25, Royal Institute of British Architects, London - Dec 2015
SERPENTINE (ARTISTS OF THE LIZARD), Falmouth museum of Art – Nov 2015
MIRACLES, Shoreditch Town hall, London – May 2015
THE COURTYARD, The court yard bowling green - March 2015
IMBUED AND THE IMAGINED, The Crypt, St Ives – feb 2015 - SOLO
DOWN TO THE BONE, Onca Gallery, Brighton – SEPT 2014
WISH YOU WERE HERE, St Ives Society of Artists, Cornwall – JULY 2014
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR, Demelza’s Gallery, Hamstead Heath London – JULY 2014
NOT FOR RENTAL, 71a Gallery London – JULY 2014
SECRET 7, UNIVERSAL RECORDS, London – JUNE 2013
50 ARTISTS 5O CHILDREN, MIRACLES. Tower Hamlets regeneration project. National Portrait Gallery – NOV 2013
SOMETHING SPECIAL, Blackall Studio’s. Leonard street London – MARCH 2013
OPERA HOLLAND PARK exhibition, Kensington and Chelsea London – AUGUST 2013 - SOLO
STARS ON CANVAS, Maddox Art gallery, London - NOV 2012
ART AGAINST KNIVES, Sotheby’s, Bethanal green town Hall London – DEC 2012
ZACHARY WALSH, 101 Exhibit Miami Florida USA - AUG 2012 - SOLO
MIAMI GROUP SHOW, 101 Exhibit Miami Florida USA - JUN 2012
SCOPE MIAMI, Miami Florida USA - MAR 2012
1 SHOW, Underdog Gallery, London - OCT 2011
THIS IS US, Signal Gallery London - JUNE 2010 - SOLO G40 Washington DC United States, Featured artist - MAR 2010 INK-D, Brighton - Group show - JAN 2010
REPRESENT, Leanard Street Gallery, London - JAN 2010 POWER OF PORTRAITURE , Group show Ink-D Brighton - OCT 2009 GREEK STREET, Ink-d, Brighton - 31 JUL — 23 AUG 2009 - SOLO
MUTATE BRITAIN, London - DEC 2009
COTTONOPOLIS , Signal gallery. London - 18 JULY -9 SEPT 2008 - SOLO
HOPE IN LIFE, Black Rat Press. London - MAY – SEPT 2008
SAINTS AND SINNERS , St Martins Lane Hotel. London - NOV 2008
MTV EUROPEAN AWARDS. Liverpool - 2008
BIG ISSUE CHARITY SHOW, Black Rat Press. London - 2008
ART AUCTION / EXHIBITION, MEDICAL FOUNDATION FOR THE CARE OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE, The Building Centre, London - 2008 EMBODIMENT, Signal gallery. London - 2008 - SOLO
LIBERTE D’EXPRESSION, Light house gallery. London. - 2007
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK. Tokyo Japan. - 2007
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK London. - 2007
ART IN MIND, Bricklane Gallery, London. - 2007 HARMONY, Sesame art. London - 2007 - SOLO HOLLAND ART FAIR The Hague, Holland. - 2006
PUNCH Wills ART London. - 2006
LOVE IN ART Oxo Tower, London. – 2005
L’ART POUR TOUS Cannes, France. - 2005
LONDON ART FAIR London - 2005 INTERIORS Wills Art, London. - 2005
PUNCH London. - 2005
LATIDO LATINO Mexico. - 2005 ART IRELAND Dublin. - 2005
PAWS FOR THOUGHT Gallery One. London - 2004 - SOLO LOVE IN ART Arndean Gallery, Cork St London. Awarded first prize for painting And various group shows from 1996 – 2008.
Whilst Walsh is a well schooled artist, having studied at the hallowed grounds of the Royal College of Art, he is just as prone to take his influences from broader sources than academia. The vernacular of street art, fly posting, and urban sprawl, besides a consciousness of graphic design sensibilities all jangle for attention with an almost classical painterly feel. Technically, and it is so rare that I get to write this, Walsh is superb, he gambles, stretches himself, to a point whereby most painters would fail, fall, but Walsh pulls off his gambols, his masquerades, his cheeky unapologetic symbolism. He has a knack of painting simply, concisely, with economy and brevity of phrase and yet he can still introduce noise, aberration, dissonance into his subjects. He controls his paint as much by letting go as by reigning in, there are drips, stains, brushstrokes, smears and yet the whole, amalgamates, forms an engaging image. There is a masterful feel for portraiture, expressions, gestures, poise and pose of the human physiology. The backdrops often sparse, serve to focus the foreground, and the fields of bold colour behind, often in crosses or geometric shapes, incorporate abstraction convincingly. His ability to convey the movement of cloth, the kinetic force of wind on material, or sculpted round the body is second to none, and again brings back a sense of classical training and of course the embedded innate talent of the artist.
Walsh incorporates the leitmotif of Greece mythology, with its dynastic interwoven relationships and archetypal symbolism and positions them within the realm of personal portraiture. Thus family and friends represent the inner circle of his models and this intimate knowledge enables Walsh to judge the veracity of each expression, gesture and emotive note with authority, in the same way that writers are often encouraged to write about what they know so that the truth may shine through. And herein we can see not just the girlfriend, the close family, the close friends but dynamic relationships, some turbulent, some calm, some passive some not – the matriarch, the patriarch, the rivals, the object of adoration.
Having seen other exhibitions by Zachary Walsh, this added mythological layer of depth, of symbolism engages with the audience – combined with his real passion, painting the portraits of those close to him and the interconnected relationships therein. This language of personal correlations, the connections we make to those that matter in our lives represents the nexus of Walsh’s work.
So why buy a fourth rate Damien Hirst Limited Edition print of a spot painting when you could have a Zachary Walsh original, something immediate visceral and zeitgeisty?
Now is the time to buy modern art, not during the peak of a bubble but after it has burst. Walsh represent incredible value for money, for someone of his talent, and the work has considerable scope to appreciate in the future as an investment.
I of course have an ulterior motive, I want to see good art thrive, artists whose talents lie primarily in making images rather than marketing or manipulating the media in endless trivial cycles of celebritism and commercially inspired exhibitionism.
And Walsh makes beguiling beautiful images…but don’t trust me, take a holiday to Brighton and see for yourself.
With a new solo show centred around Greek mythology being polished and tweaked before it opens at the end of July our attention turns sharply toward the very talented painter Zachary Walsh.
When your artistic beginnings are a first-class honours degree followed by a masters in fine art at the Royal Collage of Art it sends out a firm message that the talent credentials are in place. It has always been about how to move forward.
Not a problem for Walsh who, since then, has gone on to feature in countless shows around the world with top destinations including Japan, Holland, Ireland, France and Mexico as well as featuring in high profile exhibitions on home soil that include appearances in Shoreditch & Hoxton galleries, the famous Cork Street, the Oxo Tower, the Standard Chartered Bank and numerous art fairs. Wherever his work is seen it has always been admired for its poise and sincerity.
Every one of his portraits stem from a sincere optimism about the value of beauty in painting, tinged by a sensibility for contemporary realities. Put simply he creates portraits that are at once romantic, harmonic, and yet self-consciously 21st century. Walsh, who is a figurative painter in the truest sense, adopts minimalist abstract backgrounds into which he installs his carefully composed figures. As a result of this juxtaposition his compositions radiate a rare sense of calm and mystery.
This latest exhibition uses visual imagery from Greek Mythology to represent characters with which Walsh has a relationship. Embedding fluid figure painting and integrating graphics that portrays the story these latest paintings, set in impersonal moodscapes built from the ebb and flow of brushwork and colour washes, strike a quite unique balance of tension and calm.
Exhibition: Zachary Walsh – Greek Street, Ink_d Gallery, Brighton, until August 23 2009
Zeus has you fixed with a hard stare. It's a surprise to meet him in the flesh like this and he looks avuncular, somewhat amused, yet quizzical. It's definitely him because stretching out behind are eagle wings and to his side is an old-fashioned dial telephone marked with the word God.
The father of Olympus could look alive and well for two reasons. First, he's painted in a contemporary style with a bold graphic background. Second, the sitter really is alive; the subject is also father of the partner of artist Zachary Walsh. His wife, naturally, is painted as Hera. She too looks very much like someone you could meet in the street tomorrow. Walsh gives us a sense of her (slightly world-weary) personality, so that her realism comes as a shock. It's not what we expect from our gods.
In fact all the models for this show are friends or relatives of the artist. It first took two to three hours to photograph each before working out their immortal counterpart. Needless to say the results are flattering. They also breathe new life into Greek myth. Hades is cast as perhaps a louche, aging rock star. Persephone is a woman just past her prime. Hades and the Abduction of Persephone, as painted here, looks tender, touching and and entirely consensual.