Brian Chalkley


Artist List


I have continued to be excited and drawn to beautiful women that often appear in advertising. Part of this excitement came out of my desire for gender transformation through make up and dress which formed the character Dawn.

The images I chose to work from had some kind of absent gaze, as if something in them or their situation was unresolved, incorporating a sense of longing combined, with a strength to survive. It was important that I could engage with the image through the act of painting. I was not interested in the context or situation that the model was placed in by the photographer.

Once I had completed a number of these images I began to feel something was lacking. The images at this stage were painted on a white background. I started to look at these images for some time and begun to think about their lives. Where did they live, what did they do for a job? How were they surviving? For me this was a breakthrough as I started to search and paint images that would help locate these career girls, as I refer to them. It began to open up a doorway into developing a narrative that I could enter into like a piece of fictional writing.
Finally I started to use quotations that I found in fashion magazines and develop these as titles for the work which added to the sense narrative.

Brian Chalkley (*1948) is a London based artist. Brian's practice is an ongoing discussion with gender, sexuality and identity. His work is based around two characters Brian and Dawn, Dawn being a transvestite personality.
The practice manifests itself through painting, performance and video work. The construction of narrative and story telling are central to the work.

He graduated from the BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1973 and MA Fine Art in 1975 from Slade School of Fine Art.
Today he is Course Director MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design London.