Bio of Artist Kevin M Gavaghan
Kevin Gavaghan is a self taught artist originally from North London and now works from his studio in Hertford. His paintings are collected internationally and he is known for his brooding and evocative figurative paintings dancing around the fringes of surrealism and abstract art.
His paintings are an inner journey of self exploration and emotional memories into his life growing up from the 1970s in a large Irish family whilst coping with the complexity of life with Tourette’s and anxiety related illnesses. He sees his past as a subconscious controlling influence on his present and uses his art as a way of responding to the impact of his youth.
Kevin touches on some challenging subjects, such as growing up with Tourette’s and anxiety, religion and politics within the Irish community, relationships and the loss of loved ones as well the challenges we all face but hide from our public persona.
Part of his process is to collects images and photographs, as well as making notes and drawings that reflects a memory at a point in time. These inform the emotional connection that he feels about any given moment in his past.
He creates organically and his paintings continue to develop throughout the process often changing their personality many times before settling on what he believes reflects a truth within his thoughts, much as he sees the development of his own life.
In more recent years he developed a eye condition called ‘Central Serous Retinopathy’ which can distort his vision. He chose to embrace this in his art and Kevin’s palette and application of bold vibrant colours dissect and bend his figures and portraits to the point of abstraction which, for Kevin, highlight the multi layers of our inner emotions rather than the external likeness of his subject.
His paintings directly confront the viewer with haunting sharpness, striking energy and hope, reflecting back the emotions of the viewer.
KM Gavaghan - Artist Statement
“I paint... because it allows me to tell my story, because it's great therapy and I just simply love doing it…my story is one of Tourette's, anxiety, mental health, love, laughter, loss, anger, fear, lots of highs and lots of lows and it is still being written. Everyday my art lets a little more sunshine into my life.
Each chapter of my life has various memories of short stories and pictures. I record these memories by sketching, taking photographs, writing and I use these to form an image in my mind. My art is a reflection of the many emotions I feel or have felt about myself and my life.
My memories form the person I am and inform the decisions I make.
Everyone has their own painting to tell, everyone has spaces in their stories where good things should be but aren’t or where they wish they had done things differently. I choose to paint my story and, maybe, people can see one of their stories, in one of my paintings. Nothing completes one of my paintings more than to have someone connect with it emotionally.
I paint because when we go a little deeper we can see how similar we all are”
"PS...Be Kind, thanks"