The story behind

The scene in Titanic in which Rose (Kate Winslet) posed for a nude portrait was a huge inspiration for Jo King. She immediately began attending live painting sessions conducted by Bohuslav Barlow in Todmorden, Lancashire. From then on the human figure was always the dominant subject of King’s paintings. His favourite technique is oil on prepared board. He uses the texture of the preparation to enhance skin tones and fabrics. He continues to draw from life, but many of his oily compositions begin as a collection of photographs and sketches that are cut out, enlarged or reduced, often colored and separated, eventually manipulated, using the principles of perspective to a model of the final composition. From this collage the composition is scaled onto the painting and the process of painting begins. Variations of this technique were used by many commercial artists and editors to illustrate magazines and stories between 1900 and 1980. Uninterested in the passing fashions of the art world, Jo King’s influences include artists and illustrators from Andrew Wyeth, Alphonse Mucha, Egon Schiele, Guy Peellaert, Frank Frazetta, Gil Elvgren and Norman Rockwell to the Dutch Golden Age, Neo Classical works, early photography and an enduring passion for Film Noir.

Regarding the way he creates his works, the artist says: “I try to create art that captures the viewer’s attention and then his own imagination to create the story behind what he sees. If a work of art needs an explanation to be valid as art, then that doesn’t excite me. Explanations should only exist to enhance and deepen the viewer’s understanding of the first impression.”

In September 2018 he joined the Great British Art Community in Cornwall and his studio is now located in the village of Constantine.