In this episode of the podcast I am talking to London based portrait painter Carl Randall.
I first came across Carl’s work at the BP portrait award several years ago. Since he returned to London he has produced a series of 15 portraits of well known sitters, including Jo Brand, Julie Walters and Nick Park.
He swings between producing small single portraits and large 2.5m paintings of crowd scenes set against the busy and familiar locations in London such as Waterloo Bridge and Piccadilly Circus.
In this episode we talk about Carl’s time in Japan, the themes in his work and transitioning back into London life after a decade in Japan.
Five things I Learned from Carl
He went to Japan for a two year residency and stayed for ten. After the residency he applied for a doctorate which paid for him to stay on in Tokyo
His work combines his interest in architecture and people and presents his interest in themes such as over population.
Many of his paintings are in monochrome because it adds a different feel to the art work than if it were in colour. He doesnt want to have a hyper realist style, so the use of monochrome keeps the art work once step removed from reality.
The work for the BP Travel award was about the Tokaido highway. The Tokaido highway was also the subject of a series of 53 prints by the 19th century printmaker, Hiroshige who Carl has always admired. Another success of this body of work was when Carl was invited to have his paintings shown at the Hiroshige museum alongside the prints by the ukiyo-e artist.
Some of his crowd paintings have up to 250 portraits. He works on several paintings at a time, and most of the works go into private collections. His most recent pieces include Piccadilly Circus and Waterloo Bridge. He hopes one day to be able to show them all together.