Shaun Othen

Shaun was introduced to a wide range of classical artists from an early age and was most notably drawn to the 19th century works of Laurence Alma-Tadema and Alphonse Mucha. In the work of these artists, Shaun discovered a strong connection to their opulent depictions of the female form and the elegant style in which they presented their muses. This aesthetic has grown with him and quite clearly continues to influence his work to the present day.

It was at the renowned Falmouth School of Art that Shaun discovered his passion for figurative work, but it is in more recent years that he has consciously broken away from the rigid structure of a more photographic style that he once employed and developed a more expressive approach. Some have termed his approach as ’Deconstructive Realism,’ in which he pushes the boundaries of fragmentation, line, and solid colour, in exploration of the limits between representation and abstraction.

In much of his work, we observe a variety of deconstructed areas in complete contrast to smooth zones, and in doing so Shaun creates a sense a rhythm and harmony throughout the composition, thus keeping the viewer engaged. Shaun concentrates primarily on the human form devoid of the complex surrounding environment. This enables him to use the background as an abstract area in which the figure can be ‘deconstructed,’ thus distancing the boundaries of true representation.

Not wishing to be confined by the traditional language of paint, Shaun sometimes substitute’s brushes for various tools to articulate his vision. His oil paintings begin life with a gesso foundation on which Shaun sketches the female form in charcoal. He then builds on these foundational strokes and creates an acrylic understudy. Much of this preliminary painting is hidden once he begins to use oils, but there are still traces to be seen if you look closely. Shaun’s technique, in collaboration with his unique fusion of realism and abstraction, ensured that his artwork is both unique and exceptionally beautiful and guaranteed to bring an elegance to any setting.

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