Contemporary abstract artist Rob Evans in the interview

“We all occupy two worlds; the one we all share and the abstract one that only we inhabit.” An interesting perspective from Rob Evans. He likes to ask impossible questions and find visual answers without visual references, using intuition and scientific fact to create very unique and very cool images. Read on to find out a little more about Rob and we’ll treat you to a look at a current work in progress, a recently made video and all of his work, which is of course available if you’re looking to buy art online on Art Pistol.

Art Pistol (AP): What’s the first thing you can remember painting?
Rob Evans (RE): To be honest…a grasshopper. My teacher at junior school (Mrs Pratt) held it up in front of the class and declared it to be very good. I was not that confident so I can remember feeling pretty darn happy with myself. Teachers hold great power.

AP: When did you first realise you were an artist?
RE: I never really had a moment when I suddenly stood up and shouted “I’m an artist!” I’m a creative person and I think I’ve always needed to make things. Recently I’ve abandoned other supporting work to just be a painter so I suppose I’ve only just became a full time artist!

AP: How would you describe your art to someone that has never seen it before?
RE: I make contemporary abstract paintings. I invent processes in order to control or manipulate paint in a hope that I can mimic images I’ve seen from nature. I love images of ice formations, microscopic imagery, geology and topography… there’s a massive dialogue going on for me between science and art. I set out to make paintings that hover (hopefully in a convincing way) between the two. I think they work when the viewer finds it hard to locate the process I’ve employed to make them or feels like they are in front of something that occupies its own nature with little trace of my (the artists) involvement.

People often say why don’t you use colour? I mix all my colours!! I just use a refined palette. As soon as I put a lot of colour into a painting I want to take it away.

AP: Is your work on any famous person’s wall?
RE: I have quite a few paintings in One Aldwych Hotel at the foot of the Strand. It’s one of the best hotels in London so I’m proud of that. I keep seeing them in the background of TV programmes and recently they were the backdrop for a big London Fashion Week press photo shoot.

I’ve also got work in private collections.

AP: If you had the opportunity to change something in the art industry what would it be?
RE: Difficult question without sharing politics! And I never like to share politics.

AP: Do you have any other interests or talents that you’d like to share?
RE: I love swimming… in particular open water swimming. As I’m in the studio all day I need to get out and do something totally different. I swim a mile probably 4 times a week. It is a great way to clear my head. This year I’m doing quite a few open water events, the first is in June in Windermere in the lakes. It’s a great way to experience nature from a completely different perspective. Last year I swam a race in Loch Eck and the view of the mountains from the middle of the Loch was insane. Totally invigorating… everyone should try it!!

AP: Describe yourself in 3 words, one has to be a colour?
RE: Seriously! How’s that going to help… I can’t.

AP: Tell us your perfect scenario for painting.
RE: I’d probably have the ability to teleport myself between the studio and the inside chamber of a glacier. Just so I could keep popping back for another quick look. The studio would be really clean and stacked to the roof with new tubes of liquitex and all the materials I could ever need. There would be tons of massive canvases that my assistant had beautifully stretched. Then I would spend the whole evening in silence working away with plentiful cups of strong tea!

AP: If you weren’t an artist you’d be..?
RE: Well, whilst being an artist I’ve been an art shop assistant, set builder, scenic painter, painter & decorator and teacher. Every artist needs a real job!!

When I was five I told my mum I wanted to be an artist and a milkman… so maybe I should try that. Do milkmen still exist?

AP: Do you have any advice for artists just starting out?
RE: Get a Job!

AP: And finally, what are you working on just now?
RE: I am experimenting with different blues. I have been working with latex and masking tape to create layered paintings that consist of hundreds of irregular pentagons. When the forms build up they morph into each other. I am starting to arrange the forms so that the centre of the painting is darker and the edges light so that it looks like you are looking into a tunnel or through an opening into another space or empty void. This one is early days.

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I am also playing with film making at the moment using the same forms in the paintings. I’m filming everything live in the studio. I want the viewer to question how I’ve made what I’ve made… for them to question their perception of what they are looking at… that’s fun to me.