‘The Baron Gilvan is a working facet I present my paintings through. He is a foolish romantic feeling epic and frail, being both divine and decrepit. As a contemporary painter it becomes a useful vehicle from which to make work in the studio and a means for me to push the paintings forward. For me painting is an autoethnography operating as a hermetic portal between an instinctive inner and outer reality as if operating as a pineal body. Characters in the paintings often inhabit three states of mind either breakdown, catatonic or euphoric they occupy non topographic landscapes amongst motifs including tangled forms gathered and rested with shafts of preternatural light. Invented narratives are explored involving corporeal figures falling or about to fall apart. They are abandoned yet preoccupied in the process of finding self realisation and enlightenment. The paintings are realised by applying the paint through automatism, drawing rabid-like and directly wet into wet using whats at hand, charcoal, spray paint, rags, fingers, oils and acrylics. I lift, twist and turn the canvas until images reveal a cliff edge or a space containing pathos and absurdity.’
‘Touching, tender and funny. We could have filled the seats twice over.’
Elizabeth Gilmore, director Jerwood Gallery Hastings
‘With his debauched marionette’s face and terrifying magnanimity,
The Baron is a creation that makes dingy rooms glow.’
Robin Ince, comedian and broadcaster
‘The Baron is a rare bird; one with little ego and one who realises life is too short for irony or cynicism. His work comes blazing from his heart – sublime and ridiculous, beautiful and dangerous.’
Gary Goodman, painter and poet.
‘To me, the Baron is about the exploration and validation of personal experience, life in all its conflictual and unintelligible glory; in short, quality of life.’
Daniela Petrassi, audience member and collector
It was awesome! There were a hundred and twenty two paintings! The house was white and everything inside was white , except the paintings. There were paintings on the walls and paintings on easels. He has got really big paintbrushes. I like the big easels. There were black paintings and coloured in paintings. The Baron told us that artists do paintings on boards sometimes and in books and everywhere and he really likes painting! He did a painting at the station by my house and Ive got one of his pretty colourful ones with pink and yellow and it looks like fire and dinosaurs and it makes me feel happy.
by Barnaby Sadler aged 5 Catkins class visit to The Baron Gilvan’s studio.
The Baron Gilvan
Chris Gilvan-Cartwright is a graduate from Central Saint Martins (BaHons first class), Academy Fine Art Cracow Poland ( Painting under Prof. Nowosielski) and University of Brighton (MA Fine Art). He won the Royal Overseas league Travel scholarship where he painted in India and Nepal. On his return he was commissioned to design the BBC Proms logos for two seasons. He has exhibited widely and performed at the Towner Museum of Contemporary Art and Jerwood Gallery Hastings.