‘Self portrait’ 2021
Giclee print
46.8 x 33.1 inches
118.9 x 84.1 cms

“The paintings represent further steps in the evolution of my practice. The graphic artworks are where fine art meets graffiti and the portraits are where fine art meets graphically sharp representation. 

I suppose that one could say that the self portraits are detailed, introverted and dark, and that the graphic artworks are intrinsically simple, expansive and light. 

Could it be said that this is just a reflection of my various parts and life as a person?”

Kim Wan, London, 2024


Self portraits

“The portraits are where fine art meets graphically sharp representation.”

Attending British art schools has given me a firm grounding in traditional oil painting techniques and applications. Recent developments in digital technology and AI have pushed these artworks beyond institutional formulas.

The self-portraits are painted at night, looking in a mirror, on a one-time basis, then later reworked. I paint them as a form of reintegration, personal reflection, observational discipline and documentation. There are a myriad of influences: the London School, Freud, Auerbach, Bacon, as well as DC and Marvel comic book art from the 1980s. 

The paintings also are very dark in their manifestation, but when reworked take on a whole new meaning. I work at night, sometimes until 4 or 5am, and it can take its toll. So, in terms of impact on my art, I’d say that you can actually see my different moods if you look at the self-portraits. 

New Graphic Works

“The graphic artworks are where fine art meets graffiti.”

I started spray-painting walls in the 1980s, when I came across the iconic book SUBWAY ART by Henry Chalfont and Martha Cooper showing painted trains in NYC. I just fell in love with big letters on walls. 

My recent graphic works are bright ….I use mark-making and simple calligraphic marks to convey language. That is, instead of using letters in graffiti and whilst they may suggest typography, the forms are not alphabetic. I’m trying to evolve the artform of graffiti beyond the alphabet,  trying to synthesize and crystallize a visual language to signal a message straight to the nervous system…I hope the viewer can interpret the sensation. 

I’ve developed the artwork in tandem with some deep investigations into my personal background.