| Art

Painting With Velocity

Marcus Aitken is a gestural artist and drummer who sweeps his paintings with the same spirit and energy as the music he listens to.

Marcus Aitken, Cissy Strut, 2020, 2019,

Marcus Aitken is a gestural artist based in south London who has recently been named as one of Saatchi Art’s top 20 emerging artists to watch this year.

Key to Aitken’s practice is his experimentation with surfaces and materials; he uses a combination of layering, distressing and blending, expressively and impulsively capturing raw movements in his work in an exploratory style that dictates his tempo. Aitken is also a drummer in a post punk band and isn’t one to rest easily, embracing the constant energy that flows through him and feeding it into his art. 

When painting, Aitken’s only aim is to leave an impact on the viewer. He never relays the purpose behind his work to his audience as he wants viewers to embark upon their own individual journeys when engaging with his pieces. As such, his artwork has received an array of interpretations from people who attach their personal experiences and vision to it. 

Proud of the pieces he creates, Aitken can become bonded to them. On the flip side, he is unafraid to admit that sometimes he produces art that leaves him feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed. This leads to him setting them on fire in a destructive process that satisfies him as much as the actual production of the piece. Aitken regards his studio as being cutthroat: his art either receives a nod of approval or gets burned.

Aitken absorbs the ideas, perspectives and colours that other artists experiment with and embeds them into his own practice. Music hugely inspires his creativity; the type of music he listens to when he is in the studio drastically varies on a daily basis and can be anything from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizzard to Tchaikovsky. Often, he will name his works after the tracks that were particularly influential during their creation. 

For artists who are at the beginning of their creative journey, Aitken advises that they need to be certain it is a route they want to travel down. From his experience, there is a common and recurring misconception that artists have an easy ride towards success; Aitken believes that to be an artist takes a great deal of work, dedication and passion. Like many, he has come to learn that there will always be more rejections than commendation which can be tough to navigate through. If an artist is determined and in love with the process of creating, he is optimistic they will flourish within the industry.

To find out more about Aitken and to see his work, follow the links below:

Website: www.marcusaitken.com

Instagram: @marcus.aitken.art

All images © Marcus Aitken

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