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b 1964 - 2008
Govinder's art training began in Bradford in the North of England, where he studied graphic design from 1980 to 1983. He then went on to study for a Higher Diploma in Graphic Design, specialising in illustraion at Lincoln Art College. Having completed his formal training he moved to London where he worked on illustrations for children's books. Six month's later he moved to Cambridge where he continued working as a freelance illustrator.
He later moved back to his home-town of Saltaire in West Yorkshire, taking up the position as a designer for a greetings card company where he was also involved in product design and development. Following that, Govinder was involved in directing photo shoots and later became a photographic art director, travelling all over the world on fashion shoots. In 1993 he gave up the photographic work and spent the next five years working freelance on card designs with major publishers.
In 1999 Govinder decided to enter the fine art market and commenced to publish silkscreen and lithograph prints of his designs.
He states that "For as long as I remember, all I ever wanted to be was an artist. My style of painting is a result of the spontaneity in putting my first paint to canvas. Since that moment, my mind has been in hyperdrive, thinking about the next painting barely before i've finished the one that i'm working on."
"I am inspired by anything and everything - from Dickens to The Dandy, Strauss to The Sex Pistols, Hockney to whoever! Ultimately, my main aim is that my art gives pleasure, evoking some of the feelings, thoughts and joy I experienced while painting them."
Of his style, Govinder states "I call it the art of finger painting. Using oil bars directly on canvas, I manipulate the paint with my fingers using no brushes. I take influence from many places including interior design, cubism, abstraction, the macabre surrealism of Bosch and many more great artists"
I’m naturally a shy person and find it difficult to articulate my thoughts verbally. When I’m put on the spot and asked to explain my work, I usually end up a gibbering wreck, cursing myself later for my lack of verbal dexterity. My true personality reveals itself through my paintings.
Many of my paintings are about good and evil – innocence and malevolence. When I was a child I remember believing what a wonderful and happy place the world was. I loved to learn about other people in other countries and wanted to visit them all. Of course, I now realise things aren’t quite as I once imagined, and the once distant places where I so wanted to be are not so far away; they are actually on my doorstep. The people I wanted to meet are locked in a bitter hatred of each other, divided by race or religion. The world is a place where the innocent pay the heaviest price. It affects me deeply. It’s like living in the garden of Good and Evil. I can’t ignore it, so I depict it in the form of these innocent pictures. I leave it to the individual to look at my paintings and choose what they would like to see, innocence or malevolence – the ‘good’ or the ‘evil’!
Above all else I am, and always will be, an eternal optimist. Optimism is one of the greatest gifts we possess. When I think about it, I think of the song ‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting – the lyrics sum it up!
These two opposing juxtapositions ultimately explain many of my paintings. Look at the ones which have malevolent titles – mainly the evil cats. To me they are representations of evil. However, at first glance, the impression they exude is optimism. The wide-eyed cats and dogs always look petrified and are representations of the innocent. You can choose to see these paintings any way you like. See love and happiness or death and the Devil, it doesn’t matter so long as you see something and connect with it.
This is where I draw a connection between these paintings and my abstract paintings. I would like you to see whatever you see! You get the most from a painting if it connects with you. When you look at an abstract painting, you can see nothing, or you can see it all – it’s either for you, or it isn’t! For me, this simple philosophy sums up what is art and what is not – you either like it or you don’t! My paintings are from my soul and I hope, honest!