Iain Faulkner was born in Glasgow and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1996 with a BA in Fine Art. Still only in his early 40s, he has already had numerous successful solo shows in the UK, USA, France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. His work features in many private and corporate collections. In 2010 he was commissioned to paint the European Ryder Cup Team member portraits.
What we see on first approaching these paintings is a particular and meticulous recording of a certain atmospheric moment. A figure, or pair of figures, often accompanied by a vintage car, or cars, are located in a carefully defined landscape or architectural space. The composition is modelled and revealed by an evocative early-morning light or twilight. This charged atmosphere is emphasised by a muted palette of greys, blacks and steely blues relieved by occasional, incidental flashes of colour. The figures are surrounded by reflective surfaces. Wet tarmac, glass, the sea, the painted metal of the cars all serve to conjure up a sense of literal and psychological reflection.
These paintings are essentially self portraits, where, unusually, the subject is fugitive and mysterious. He remains concealed in plain sight, his back to us or turned away, an archetypal male figure, thoughtful and absorbed. He is ever-present but enigmatic and unknowable. His environment has a masculinity to it expressed in the hard, shiny surfaces and the rigid geometry of the contemporary, metropolitan architecture. To counterpoint this are the female principles found in the curved contours of the vintage cars and the swelling fluidity of the sea. The figure contemplates these aspects, sometimes seeing his own transformed image reflected back at him.
Iain Faulkner paints moments of contemplation. These pictures all pinpoint an interval or pause in daily life where one stops to assess or consider something, be it a decision, a person or simply a sunset.