“I paint the male form because it is beautiful when we let our spirit shine through, and we each have a duty to nurture beauty, grace, and understanding in the world around us”
Australian artist, Philip Shadbolt, has been greatly inspired by the Symbolists and Art Nouveau styles and concepts. Using bold colours and fine detail, he explores something deeper with his art and depiction of the human form, and his creations revolve around a mystical and spiritual connectivity to the physical body. Whilst working in the traditional oils, acrylics, watercolours, and ink, his work more recently incorporates a digital aspect, which has greatly expanded his creative process.
Having lived between three continents as an artist has given him an incredible insight into different cultures, use of colour, and symbology. His beautiful avatars are usually luminous in appearance, and often adorned with natural world items such as flowers and plants. Having spent many years travelling and exploring in India, his works reflect those rich and immersive experiences.
“The beauty and grace that we often associate with the feminine nature of the universe wasn’t really something that I was seeing in the paintings of men through history. Of course there are lots of beautiful images of the masculine form by some truly wonderful artists, but I was finding that the concepts of power, strength, and dominance were often portrayed above the more ethereal nature of our true inner selves. Growing up in Australia instilled a very stereotyped ideal of what masculinity should be, but that was turned upside down when I arrived in India.”
“The spiritual and the physical appeared much more connected, merged, evident in everyday life, and the rich Hindu masculine/feminine iconography that was everywhere, turned on my inner creative light and compelled me to paint that which I always knew to be true: that we are spirits having a human experience, that we are each a part of the cosmic nature of the Universe, irrespective of gender, and that we too, as men, can embrace this viewpoint and let show our own divine beauty within. I paint the male form because it is beautiful when we let our spirit shine through, and we each have a duty to nurture beauty, grace, and understanding in the world around us.”
As well as his painting and illustration, Philip was also the print designer of textile and fashion label Kundalini Arts, whose beautiful, wearable works of art have been featured in Vogue and Elle magazines amongst others.
In 2008 they were commissioned to create one of the UK’s largest art installations for a chain of hotels in London and Brighton, and their creations were featured throughout the 150+ rooms on window blinds and wall art.
In 2015 they moved back to Australia, and the incredible natural world around him has inspired a new movement in his artistic direction. “We have awe inspiring sunsets over the Indian Ocean almost on our doorstep, and thousands of years of history and culture surrounding us, what’s not to love!?”
His works can be found in private collections around the world, and he’s currently working towards an exhibition for later in 2021.
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