Interview with Martin Grover
An artist whose playful narrative runs throughout his work, Martin Grover’s strengths lie in observation and anecdote. His work captures and recalls childhood recollections, minor street incidents and states of mind. Since leaving the Royal Academy Schools in 1987 Grover has exhibited in France, USA, Australia, Holland, Belgium and Hong Kong, as well as at numerous galleries, art fairs and other venues in England.
Prior to the opening of his new exhibition at For Arts Sake gallery this September we caught up with Martin to find out more about him and what makes him tick.
Tell us about the choice of title for the exhibition.
‘Whatever Shines Should be Observed’ is actually the motto of the Royal Astronomical Society. I really warmed to it and thought it applicable to how artists sometimes work. Inspiration is like a shining.
Why do you do you what you do?
I do it because I love it and there really is nothing else I’m good at, so my bed is made.
Tell us a bit about the work you produce
My work varies from the wry, whimsical and humorous to being somewhat nostalgic, forlorn, melancholic and woebegone. Sources and inspirations are simple: childhood recollections, minor street scenes, parks, small news items, poetry, short stories, packaging, abandoned toys, derelict buildings, sheds and shelters; flotsam and jetsam from the passing world. I paint on canvas and board with acrylic paint and I screen print with a water-based acrylic system. I’m heavily influenced by American realism as well as the English romantic tradition. A few names that inspire: Wyeth, Hopper, Blake (both), Wood, Hart- Benton, Freedman, Gainsborough, Bawden, Ravilious, and Shahn.
Name something you love, and why
My wife, children and a really good Bloody Mary. Because they are all great.
What role does the artist have in society?
From being a social commentator/agitator to being a dandy, a charlatan, a dilettante and everything in between. They should impart joy, understanding, confusion, curiosity. A world without art/artists would be a pretty dull and boring place.
How long do you spend on a work
Too long…. ask my family.
Martin Grover’s exhibition runs at For Arts Sake Gallery from September 19th to October 26th 2014 and will feature nearly 50 works. The exhibition is free to enter with all works available to buy. A silent auction will run throughout the show to raise money for the charity Sight Savers, and keep an eye on our social media feeds as there will also be a competition running giving people the chance to win one of Grover’s prints.