Floral focus for exhibition

BRIAN Yates is often referred to as Perth’s Van Gogh, but it’s more to do with his use of thick paint than his personality or profile, according to the Western Australian artist.

Mr Yates will exhibit his works for the first time in seven years at Greenhill Galleries from February 21, and he says the exhibition represents his recent attraction to painting floral works.

“The last two years I have been painting flowers, mainly because of the colour. They are so vibrant,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean his future works will be restricted to a single subject.

“I’ll branch out and do landscapes again,” Mr Yates said.

His use of thick lashings of oil paint has earned him an association with one of the art world’s most famous painters.

“It’s empasto. It’s painting by layer and layer, it’s a mosaic type of painting, it looks very much like the jewels of a mosaic,” Mr Yates said.

“Because of the thickness people say its like Van Gogh, but it’s not really. Van Gogh was a genius.”

Mr Yates is a self-taught artist whose technique involves squeezing paint directly from the tube onto the canvas. He rarely uses a palette, knives or artist’s trowel.

“I was self taught. I didn’t go to art school [Claremont School of Art] until I was 30,” he said.

Mr Yates, who has been living in the South West for the past 20 years said heading for the “big smoke” was a rare occasion.

“I prefer the slow pace. This will be my first show in Perth for seven years. There will be 25 works, all of them new,” he said

Mr Yates’ exhibition, ‘New Works’, will be on display at Greenhill Galleries from February 21 until March 7.

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