Ellis cites experimentation to be at the heart of this body of work. He loves to explore painting techniques using objects not necessarily intended for painting or creating as evidenced by his current choice; handsaws and wire brushes.
The Old Bank Vault is proud to present ‘Appetite For Disruption’ by Lee Ellis. A name that Ellis arrived at one night when he awoke at ‘stupid o’clock’ thinking up titles for artworks when ‘Appetite for Destruction’ popped into his head. Sure enough, like most late night diversions, he just as promptly forgot until, until the following day, he heard Guns and Roses playing on the radio. He was certain it was right as it aptly summarised his ethos for painting.
Ellis cites experimentation to be at the heart of this body of work. He loves to explore painting techniques using objects not necessarily intended for painting or creating as evidenced by his current choice; handsaws and wire brushes. The canvases are alive with figures and portraits he uses as ‘vessels’ for his experiments, moving paint around within the shape of a person often creating macabre looking paintings that are juxtaposed with a bright background.
Inspiration is derived from people, experiences and his general demeanour at the time he begins painting. Ellis describes the process as just throwing himself at the canvas often without a plan. Oftentimes sketching and making notes of things people do and say to fall back on if he needs a starting point or is simply stuck on something. The very act and process of painting then becomes very cathartic for Ellis and allows him to create and expend energy. Ellis finds he works well when listening to music on shuffle mode, listening to many different genres of music and making his playlist, and by extension, his artwork very eclectic.
From an early age Ellis visited the Tate Modern and Tate Britain where he saw works by Francis Bacon. He confesses everyone else was obsessed with Salvador Dali’s ‘lobster phone’ while he was fascinated with Bacon’s work. As the years went by he often found himself looking back at his work and declaring Bacon to be his favourite artist by far.
Ellis’ body of work is a natural evolution comprising portraits and abstracts that have formed his style as he continues to experiment in his home studio.