Artspan sits down with Roger Aslin.
Your work reminds me almost of film stills…the sense that you’re glimpsing one moment of a story, and it will continue in another scene elsewhere. This is heightened by the fact that we often see the back of the figure and they’re on the phone…making them more cut off from the viewer, but connected to whomever they’re talking to. Do you think of your images in terms of characters and stories? Do you ever know the subjects of your work? Do you choose subjects who fit your particular palette, or do you alter their appearance to make them fit into your vision?
The Unexpected Text
My work originates with shots taken as I walk around the city. Characters and narrative subsequently evolve in the digital editing and painting process rather than being pre-planned. In most instances the subjects are unknown although my partner has featured in several works and as a reference/model in many others.
In the Shadows
Your style is distinctive; I’ve never seen anything quite like it! Which artists have influenced your work? Did you attend art school, or is this a process you developed on your own? Can you describe your process from conception to completion?
I did not attend art school – I have however benefited from my partner Teresa Lawler who did! Consequently my style has emerged over a period of years. I am not sure any artists have influenced my work but I am aware of and enjoy many different areas of the visual arts.
The Phone Call
I see you worked in the music industry. Does music inform your work in terms of style, technique, pattern? Do you listen to music as you paint, and if so, what music?
While music does not play a particular part in my work process (I listen to BBC Radio 4) film and television do play an important role. My earlier creative background includes a film script signed to a London production company.
I love the sense of space in your work. Although it has an almost noonday flatness, it has still has great depth…you capture beautifully the urban sense of layers and pockets of life. How do you create this sense of space?
Sense of space is created using a highly contrasting palette – I am drawn to subjects which allow me to develop this fully.