Categories ArtPosted on

Chris Greene: the Painterly Subversive

Literate, numerate, often amusing and occasionally subversive, the paintings of London-based artist Chris Greene successfully combine the traditions of Western art with contemporary high and low culture.

Literate, numerate, often amusing and occasionally subversive, the paintings of London-based artist Chris Greene successfully combine the traditions of Western art with contemporary high and low culture. In his work, the supposed gulf between abstract and figurative art becomes meaningless as Metaphorical Realism demonstrates the lingering power of his finely crafted painting.


Much of his work draws upon the literary and artistic canons of Western art. The fantastical characters that share the stage with everyday folk in his canvases embed us in a world of myths and legends; a world far more threatening than the safe, Disneyfied fantasies of most mass media. Chris Greene’s characters – be they bug-eyed or all too human – suggest that not all stories have a happy ending.


To achieve this artistic tour-de-force Chris Greene combines a background in contemporary oil painting with explorations into the past techniques of the European Masters. Methods of preparing canvases, often following complex geometries based upon some obscure 16th century theory, while using traditional pigments and painting techniques all lend his work a familiar, if rarely seen, power that reminds the viewer of Hogarth or Stanley Spencer.

This is not to say that Chris Greene is content to return to the past by demonstrating his mastery of techniques that most painters can only dream of. Closer inspection of his work will quickly dispel the viewer of any doubts that this work is somehow ‘safe’. His work is amusing, thought-provoking and essentially subversive. Many artists attempt to shock the viewer with poorly executed references to contemporary street slang, advertising or entertainment. Others withdraw into a private world of abstraction or self-analysis that is immune to interpretation. Chris Greene’s work has the ability to transcend much of what passes as art today through its ability to shock, amuse and inform the viewer.


London is the art world’s bazaar. Through it passes an endless stream of valuable masterpieces, being traded like so many football cards. Meanwhile, artists like Chris Greene work away at producing art that transcends the fashionable, or the safe, in a remarkable way. Visitors to London with an interest in contemporary art should combine their gallery views and blockbuster exhibitions with visits to the many year-end shows, small galleries and open studios that bring artistic London alive.

Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Halloween at Sexy Fish

In London, you don’t go on a night out so much as partake of a new experience. Leave it to the gloriously named Sexy Fish in Mayfair to add a unique event to this year’s Halloween calendar.

Categories ArtPosted on

Ladies of the Press at Sluice Biennial

SEEN headed up to Hackney recently, there to peruse this year’s Sluice Biennial. A large and airy building at Morning Lane housed fascinating creative projects by artists and creators who have come together under the Sluice banner. What SEEN particularly liked was the variety of work on display and the informal atmosphere in which it …

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

The Castle at the Space: SEEN Reviews

SEEN was not that familiar with the work of Howard Barker prior to seeing ‘The Castle’ but feels she must rectify that situation. A powerful piece on the nature of masculinity, war, gender roles and the essential unreliability of religious faith, ‘The Castle’ benefits from a powerhouse cast and a stripped-back set, making the most of the Space’s environment.

Categories MusicPosted on

Original Swimming Party Release ‘Biggest Curse’

Electronic experimental duo Original Swimming Party, have announced the release of their new single  ‘Biggest Curse’ featuring vocalist Moonchild Sanelly. Taken from their forthcoming remix EP, the single is now available to stream from October 6th.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Heist Bank Beer Festival

Beer connoisseurs would do well to get themselves along to the Heist Bank Beer Festival this weekend, the 14th and 15th October. The bar in Paddington will be celebrating the finest keg and cask beers known to humanity, from UK brewers, Fourpure, Beavertown, Thornbridge and Wild Beer Co., who will headline, launching special seasonal releases …