David Surman (b. 1981) began painting aged 15 under the tutelage of Scottish artist Rob Fairley. Later he graduated with a degree in Animation from Newport School of Art in 2002, followed by a master’s degree in Film Studies from Warwick University in 2004. After a period experimenting in a range of different media, he now works primarily in painting and drawing. Surman’s figurative work is distinguished by his vigorous brushwork and bright colour palettes and an emphasis on animal forms. Each work is an invigorating exploration of personality, emotion and dynamic bodies.
With a wide-ranging set of influences at play, from the brushwork of the Zen Buddhist painters and post-war expressionism to action painters and Gutai, Surman seeks to synthesise western and eastern styles. He practises a distinct painterly economy, creating works by minimal means that can be universally understood. Surman’s unique works explore our complex twenty-first century relationship to the natural world.