John Sparks is a figurative artist of exceptional skill and depth, which is all the more remarkable as he has no formal training. He has been painting for just five years. He lives in Norwich, where he works as a computer programmer.

John’s intimate and introspective works deal with themes of decay (whether psychological or emotional) and of transformation. Primarily using oil on canvas board, he creates images with a sense of yearning that are almost darkly nostalgic. With the innate instinct of a great cinematographer, his muted and restrained colour palettes allow space for an inclination toward existential contemplation.

His ultra-realistic paintings demonstrate his masterful technique with paint and brushes, and reveal his natural understanding of composition. John’s rendering of flesh tones is reminiscent of artists such as Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville, yet instinctively his own style.

Figurative oil painting is a centuries-old art practice, one to which John’s pieces refer, while offering a sensitive and contemporary interpretation.

All photographs are property of the gallery and the artist.

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