This extraordinary painting depicts Bratby’s emotional and mental battles during this period in his life. This self portrait is painted in a unique mixture of vivid colours and heavy impasto. It is a wonderfully colourful composition which displays the contrast with his emotional upheaval while at the same time painted in joyous colours. The open window and its billowing curtains gives a feeling or impression of a need to escape. Bratby’s despair and banality are compellingly expressed in his autobiographical self portrait.
John Bratby RA, was an English painter born in Wimbledon, he studied at Kingston College and then at the Royal College of Art. His incredible expressionistic style became know as the “Kitchen Sink Realism” movement founded in the late 50’s by Bratby.
He became famous for his adaptation of the impressionist realism of Walter Sickert and the Camden Town Group though towards a more aggressively expressionist style, influenced by Van Gogh and the Abstract Expressionists. He painted several kitchens subjects, often turning practical utensils such as sieves and spoons into semi-abstract shapes.
He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1971. Many of his works have been exhibited at the Metropolitan museum, The New York Museum of Modern Art, The Tate and National Portrait Gallery among others.