It is not easy to account for the hallucinatory power and beauty of Brian Sayers’ paintings. Sayers paints objects, laid out on table-tops, almost resembling altarpieces that occupy the entire pictorial space. Sayers has been pre-occupied with this subject, almost without exception, since he first exhibited with Long & Ryle in 1992.
Born in 1954, Brian Sayers graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1978 and has exhibited since 1991 with Long & Ryle. He won The Discerning Eye Award in 1995 and won Second Prize in The Hunting Art Prizes in 1999. His work is in a number of important collections. He is regularly exhibited in the BP Portrait Award held at the National Portrait gallery and in the Royal Academy’s Summer Show.
All Sayers' still lives depict various household vessels and implements; most of these look innocent enough, although others suggest the obscure and possibly nefarious practices of a long lost civilization. Yet despite the museum-like hush in which these objects dwell, they slowly become imbued with a range of human emotions: from anxiety, to quotidian contentment by way of a dream- like introspection; all seem present in the internal arguments of these compositions.
Like earlier painters of the still life such as Zurbaran, Cotán and Morandi, Sayers achieves his uncanny effects though nuance and restraint, and through a meticulous attention to the harmonies and tensions of form. To enter his work is to enter a cabinet of curiosities in which the art of seeing is transformed into an almost mystical fascination with everyday objects, the space that surrounds them, and the relationships they may or may not have with each other, and with us.