John Link has a growing reputation among collectors for his unique Shakespeare inspired paintings. He is now working out of his studio in Brighton as a full time painter, following a 50 year career working as a Theatre Director/TV Producer and latterly as a director/tutor at LAMDA.
With a lifetime's passion for Shakespeare's work, he has now transferred that passion from the 3D medium of live production to canvas. The curator and art Historian, Mary Goody, has written -
'the characters have become friends, family almost. He knows them in the singular way an actor knows, becomes, his character. Rarely does someone painting come at what they paint in such a thoroughly embodied way. Self-portraits aside, it is a unique perspective; he has lived, breathed, walked, cried, laughed and spoken with them, after all! Subject and object come close to collapsing into one; he is artist and model at the same time, inhabiting both sides of the canvas at once.'
Many of John's works have been acquired by well-known figures in the world of show business, but are also widely bought by collectors with no particular connection with, or even, knowledge of, Shakespeare. As he suggests, this is because Shakespeare's subject, essentially that of the human condition, is eternally relevant and this is the central inspiration for John's work.
His first solo exhibition was in 2004 at Victoria Miro's 14 Wharf Road Gallery. He has since been invited to solo show at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Globe Theatre in London, The Rose Theatre in Kingston, BAM in New York and The National Theateret inOslo. His portrait of William Shakespeare is held at Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford and one of his images has been bought by Arden Books, as the front cover of a new Shakespeare book to be published later this year to celebrate 400 years since the poet's death.
John's work can be seen at the gallery from 26th February 2016.