Gavin Rain

Untitled I
Untitled II
Untitled III

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Gavin Rain

Could your tell us about yourself?
I’m from Cape Town. I studied Art and Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town in
the 80s and 90s. I started with pointillism around 2003/2004 but I’ve been painting all my life. My influences are Seurat (obviously), Russian avant garde art of the 1900s and a whole host of architects I planned to study architecture at an earlier stage of my life to try and marry my two interests: art and mathematics.

How do you work?
Very slowly. There are a lot of steps. I’ll try simplify it. I start with an image, either a rough sketch or a photograph. Like you’ll find in a woodcut, I convert gradients to alternating light and dark areas. The bigger the circles, the less white canvas shows through, the darker the area overall… My initial paintings were basically just 8 layer woodcuts. Then I wanted to add more colour, so now there’s an extra step each dot is like a miniwoodcut, consisting of 5 layers or so. From a distance your eye puts these 5 colours together and you get a resulting colour a merged colour. Yes, I could just paint one colour per dot and achieve a similar result, but part of my message for the work is in the close up aesthetic. Stuff is interesting from close up. Our lives have a lot of texture/noise. Then we step back, and we see the influence of people and things in our lives the things that shaped us. I’d like to try echoing that in my work if I can. So each dot is a different size (like the woodcut) and a different colour. Combining these two techniques creates the image.