Still life with chip frier - John Bratby - Framed Picture 16" x 20"
John Randall Bratby RA was an English painter who founded the kitchen sink realism style of art that was influential in the late 1950s. He made portraits of his family and celebrities. His works were seen in television and film. Bratby was also a writer.
Bratby studied art at Kingston College of Art. He then began attending the Royal College of Art, completing his studies in 1954. He painted landscapes, still lifes, portraits and figure compositions and had his first solo exhibition that year at London's Beaux Arts Gallery.
He was given the opportunity to travel to Italy when he was awarded a bursary during his college years. The experience, though, left him uninterested in travelling and uninspired artistically.
Bratby is considered the founder of kitchen sink realism a movement in which artists use everyday objects, like trash cans and beer bottles as subjects of their works, which are often thickly-laden portraits or paintings. It began in the early 1950s and has been considered an aspect of John Osborne's "Angry Young Men Movement". Artists Derrick Greaves, Edward Middleditch and Jack Smith were also active in the development of the movement.
Bratby often painted with bright colours, capturing his middle-class family's daily lives. The faces of his subjects often appeared desperate and unsightly. Bratby painted several kitchen subjects, often turning practical utensils such as sieves and spoons into semi-abstract shapes. He also painted bathrooms.
In 1958 Bratby created works for the fictional artist Gulley Jimson in the Alec Guinness film The Horse's Mouth.
A portion of Bratby's painting Four Lambrettas and Three Portraits of Janet Churchman (1958) is featured on the cover of Mark Knopfler's 2007 album Kill to Get Crimson.
As he matured, Bratby's works became "lighter and more exuberant". During his career, Bratby promoted himself on television and the radio and was one of his generation's best known artists. He mingled with celebrities to earn portrait commissions in the late 1960s.
Bratby's own work fell out of favour with the emergence of Pop art, but his paintings have increased in value and critical support over recent years.