I interviewed Stephen Farthing RA at his studio in Pimlico for 'Art' magazine, shortly before his exhibition, 'Paintings: The Fourth Wall' at the Royal West of England Academy in June 2010.
Stephen is a fascinating artist who has held many different positions in the art world, including the Rootstein Hopkins Research Professor of Drawing at UAL, London. His work is not easily defined - and is not obviously comparable with others. Much of his work is research led.
Stephen talked extensively to me about the thought processes behind his work:
"I probably spend the greatest number of hours actually working on big paintings. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm always asking myself whether something is or isn't a painting. I look at the world completely as raw material for a painting...
What I'm doing a lot of the time when I paint is to wonder what kind of veil people are looking through at my work. That veil is the knowledge the audience brings to the picture and what I try to slide in front of them before they see it."
Stephen Farthing RA
Click this link for the full interview, which I also transcribed and edited.