Ceri Pritchard was born in 1954, He is the eldest son of Welsh artists Gwilym Prichard and Claudia Williams. “Growing up in an artistic environment with well-known painter parents has given me a sense of the importance of ‘doing’ and ‘working’. The challenge of creativity is always for me rewarded by the element of surprise.” I work to make paintings that change one’s visual perception, that produce wonder and anxiety at the same time.”
He enrolled in the Liverpool School of Art in 1972 specializing in sculpture. After receiving his BA in Fine Arts in 1976 he continued working at the same school on a scholarship. He moved to London in 1978 where he enrolled at Saint Martin’s School of Art and continued to sculpt. In 1980 he moved to France where his work changed radically from three dimensional to two dimensional and he became a painter.Collage and photocopies were the starting point for Pritchard’s new works which debuted in 1986 at theJon Gerstad Gallery in New York.
Ceri Pritchard’s paintings are fascinating, not least for their extremity. They are resolute in their classically fantastical, surrealist conviction, and this can be a lonely position in the context of contemporary art. It is not a complete isolation though, as there is a distinguished continuity of surrealist practice in Wales where Pritchard lives and paints. His sense of this surrealist purpose, combined with a diligent work ethic, makes him a total example of painterly conviction.
Pritchard’s art has been influenced through living in a number of different countries. He once lived in (and was married in) Mexico, and the psychotropic ethno-botany and magic-based religion that are traditional there have an important relationship with his painting. Shamanic psilocybin use in Mexico is often combined with a strange, unlikely magico-catholicism, not so dissimilar to the hybrid, magico-religious practices involving mushrooms that take place in Wales. Although he is now abstinent from any psychotropic chemical use, Pritchard has experience of it, and this qualifies a description of his work as sometimes as frighteningly anxious as a bad drugs experience, but always with a magically transformative intent.
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