“I do not need to invent beauty, I just reflect it,” says Colombian born and England raised artist Phillip Witcomb. Devoting his paintings to the everyday beauty that he encounters, Witcomb specialises in Hyperrealism – a genre that requires the utmost levels of precision and detail, highly regarded among living artists.
His paintings authentically depict landscapes around the world, resulting in stunning works of art that amalgamate picturesque realism, with a unique focus on light. Witcomb apprenticed under R. P. Reynolds, a descendant of Sir Joshua Reynolds (the founding President of the Royal Academy of Arts in London) and was subsequently taught many secrets and techniques employed by masters such as Canaletto. Perhaps this is why his paintings are refreshing and absent of additives or dramatic interpretations. Whilst they visibly invoke the style of Venetian painters of the 18th century, there is an element of contemporary times present on the canvas. ‘Llaut in Cala Figuera, Mallorca’ for example presents a local fisherman’s boat harboured in a quiet bay. The style is traditional with iridescent blues and greens being evocatively captured, yet poised on top on a flagpole one can identify the Spanish banner. It brings us back from the past to our reality and ultimately reminds the viewer of the painting’s geographical origin.
Phillip Witcomb’s love for depicting natural beauty currently manifests itself in Mallorca, where he lives and paints. His studio is located in Cala Mondrago, a little paradise on the southeast corner of the island. Combining a gifted eye for detail with a distinguished education, he utilises a magnifying glass as well as suspending pigments of paint in layers of glazing. This allows the artist to achieve a visceral translucent effect.
Witcomb was born in Bogota in 1965 and throughout the last forty years of his artist career, he has exhibited worldwide. His artworks also appear in significant private collections.