5 Minutes with … Andrew Hunt
Have you always been a painter? What is your background?
I have degree in graphic design and illustration from Bath Academy of Art, but I spent my summer months drawing film stars in chalk on the pavements of Chester. A fellow street artist encouraged me to enter the BP portrait award in 1995. I was selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, sold the painting to an influential art collector and never looked back.
When and why did you relocate to Sheffield?
In 1997. I had a friend studying at Hallam and often took the train up to see him enjoy Sheffield’s vibrant club scene.
I was in London and decided that I much preferred Sheffield. I have a gallery in London selling my stuff, but I have grown too attached to the city, the people and the surrounding landscape.
What do you usually paint/find inspiration in?
My paintings are figurative and narrative which basically mean I like painting people with stories. I often include familiar imagery, occasionally slightly surreal, and I try to strike a balance between pathos and reality with humour and nostalgia. A bit like a soap opera on canvas. I also like to give the paintings a sculptural quality, they are not overly concerned with true depiction and there is plenty of expressive mark making.
How did you come to have works commissioned for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders?
One word: Facebook. A friend recommended me after a member of the production team put a call out on there. I’m friends with a lot of artists, musicians and writers etc. It’s an example of how Facebook should be used.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/projects you’re working on?
I have three galleries who sell my work as an ongoing process. I have stuff going to the Affordable Art fair in Hampstead in June then more work heading to London to Cadogan Contemporary Gallery in the summer as well as my Manchester gallery, Artzu. I really want to do a mural for my kids’ school, a large painting on steel and I’m currently looking into funding. I also have a one man show in London next year.