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REQ is a self taught spray-paint artist known for painting New York ‘subway-style’ graffiti in the Brighton area since 1984.
He has simultaneously been developing this more photographic approach since 1990 and for the past 5 years has concentrated solely on this style for canvas.
Although REQ no longer paints in the ‘subway-style’ he has kept it’s major characteristic: the freehand application of spray-paint.
The paintings are a balance between the artist’s intent to create light affects and the limitations of the spray-paint medium at this scale.
“I see the perfection in the way the light reflects of some skin say and I’m fully aware that I can never perfectly capture that in such a clumsy medium as this; the minimum stroke width with a ‘factory cap’ is about 5mm. But I l ike the effect trying makes”
A childhood practice of REQ's was to copy photographs in pencil - learning to emulate the effects of light. This led to an interest later on in depicting tones instead of lines in spray-paint.
He sources his own images photographing willing friends and aquaintances and paints them from the photo or from a pastel drawing in touches and strokes.
In conjunction with the ‘Made In Brighton’ show (for which REQ has made some brush and ink line figures – Apparitions 1-25) he has revisited his line figure motifs and set them in local outdoor scenes as Painted Apparitions.
He is a master of the spray can, redefining this genre yet again and has developed intricate uses for the application of colour. REQ applies an impressionistic approach to his spray-painted originals.
We think his work speaks for itself. It does not shout at you as urban art is likely to do but speaks of REQ's silent observation and of light held in paint.