John Wilson – Naive UK artist? We think he paints extraordinarily clever art!

February 12, 2010 on 7:40 pm | In 3D Art, John Wilson, Naive Art, Sculptures | No Comments

John Wilson is best known for his unique take on art; painting childlike pictures of people, set in places such as art galleries or on a street full of shops & astoundingly in the background he often paints realistic miniatures of old art masters.

It would be easy to dismiss his paintings at first glance as just ‘childish’ or ‘so easy anyone could do them’ but you must scrutinize them to appreciate the true genius behind them.

‘The Lowry’ limited edition print by John Wilson

Using bright colours which accentuate the naivety of parts of his art is his trademark & preferring slightly more subdued colours in many of his backgrounds. I find it amazing how he blends the aforementioned ‘art masterpieces’ and integrates them into his backgrounds, which often makes people do a double-take & demands several views to appreciate – it’s so subtle that in some instances you totally overlook they are even there!

‘A Day In Provence’ limited edition print by John Wilson

John Wilson also makes 3D wall sculptures, which look brilliant because, firstly they are so boldly shaped & because the finished product often contains optical illusions within them – with the figures & objects moving as you view the piece from different angles.

In the 3D piece ‘Mind Games’ it’s as though you are looking down several corridors in an art gallery and the characters appear to move before your eyes!. It is ‘mind’ boggling how he is able to achieve this unique finish.

‘Mind Games’ limited edition wall sculpture by John Wilson
(seen from 2 angles)

John also released two sculptures featuring the child-like figures within his paintings. Named ‘Boisterous Boys’ and ‘Gorgeous Girls,’ they are brightly coloured & vivid recreations, as though they have stepped off the canvas! I find it exciting to see his characters brought to life in sculpture, they immediately make you smile and think of your own childhood or perhaps your first painting lesson?

‘Boisterous Boy’ limited edition sculpture by John Wilson

The artist also paints in a yet another very different style. Using more ‘reserved’ colouring, he paints towns & streets with houses & concrete pavements but normally with beautiful blue or yellow skies & a splash of colour on some of the houses! They are much more non-descript in comparison to his other naive art but wonderful in their own right – ‘Underneath The Arches’ & ‘Timeless Town’ are 2 such pieces that spring to mind.

‘The Corner Shop’ limited edition print by John Wilson

It is interesting to juxtapose the artist’s two very distinct & almost opposing styles & the two mediums: paintings & sculptures; perhaps as a result, this is why he has such a large fan base. I believe his second style (see ‘The Corner Shop’ above) shares certain similarities with Paul Horton’s artwork, because they paint similar people & houses in similar styles in similar colours but both amazingly uplifting images as well.

Thank you


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