Clive McCartney, today one of Britain's foremost figurative painter, was born in New Delhi, India in 1960, but returned to England when he was five. His parents always encouraged his passion for art, taking him to London’s most prestigious museums. He also became passionate about travel very early as his family moved around a lot and would take him on trips around Europe every summer.
He graduated in the early 1980’s from the Central School of Art and Design in London, where he had studied under Cecil Collins, Ken Kiff, Leon Villancour, Anthony Wisnaw, Patrick Caufield, and Derek Boshier. In the ten years after completing his education, he traveled as a painter/photographer to Spain (where he lived in a farming community in Alpuharras), Europe, Egypt, Thailand (where he lived with Animist hill tribe in Golden Triangle and enrolled as a Thai-Buddhist monk), Chaing Mai, Burma, Malaysia, Java, Bali, Borneo, Turkey, India, Nepal, Kashmir, and Morocco.
His studies and his numerous travels have granted him a spirit of openness and adventure. Though he is now known as a figurative painter, he has been interested in every kind of painting, from the surrealist work of Yves Tanguy and André Breton to the abstract expressionism of Mark Rothko. He absorbed every possible influence, but at the end his only focus was light. He started committing totally to painting the effects of light.
It is no surprise that McCartney lists Carot, Degas, Whistler and Sickert as the artists who have had the most profound influence on him. With Clive’s work we are taken on a literal and a metaphysical journey. The cafes, bars and restaurants, the cityscapes and scenery all seen from a variety of angles are superlatively executed with an emphasis on process and handling. We are shown beautifully evocative scenes of quiet understated drama. We see how a sublime powerful light can be all pervasive lending the work a sense of symbolic spiritualism.
Clive McCartney is now living in Kent, but he continues travelling the world, chasing the most beautiful panoramas and trying to reveal the underlying structure of the places he chooses. He has had numerous one-man exhibitions in London as well as Group Exhibitions, his work has been featured in several national publication and is widely collected.