Presently living and working in Ottowa, Canada, artist Andrew Beck was born and raised in England graduating from Coventry University with a BA in graphic design. He began his career as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, but since emigrating to Canada in 2015, he has taken up painting full time. The self-taught artist with a passion for architecture has a series of surreal paintings that combine mid-century modern architecture with figures that appear transplanted from a different time and place.
Andrew Beck Paintings
It’s no surprise that Beck’s moody oil paintings caught my eye. My own fondness for Mid-Century Modern architecture is no surprise to any of my readers and when it’s incorporated into paintings like the work of Carrie Graber, Danny Heller and Paul Davies then I’m really smitten.
Andrew Beck’s surreal paintings are less literal both in style and narrative. Layered and painterly, his works are as much figurative as they are landscapes. Many of his paintings combine elements from different eras and different venues, much like dreams do.
Beck’s pieces are imbed with a darkness; a bluish green tint that is in great contrast to Heller’s realistic colors and Graber’s golden-hued paintings which feature some of the same architecture. Water and swimming pools are a recurrent theme in his work as well.
Beck’s depictions of icons such as the Stahl House, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye or Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House are ethereal and imprecise, embellished with figures that appear to be transported from a different time and place. In most instances the recognizable buildings are relegated to the background, providing a backdrop for whatever the figures are experiencing.
“Mid-century photographs and stills from Hitchcock films also appeal to me for their colour which has an interesting look, the lights tend to be a bit washed out and the darks are quite saturated.”- Andrew Beck, Wallacks interview
In some of Beck’s paintings, the figures are entirely disengaged with the structures in which they appear. Either reading, canoeing or simply strolling, they appear oblivious to their surroundings.
In his paintings Cameramen (2014), Beach Scene (2019) and Water Garden (2019) the figures all are appear to be recording something we cannot see, adding a further enigmatic element to the narrative.
Andrew’s work continues to evolve and we like what we see. He has no formal representation as of yet. Be sure to keep an eye on him.