John Ashley-Pryce (Born Sussex. England 1946)
John Ashley-Pryce was born in England, spent most of his life in Vancouver, Canada. and now lives and paints in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. His studies and career spanning 4 decades were devoted entirely to architecture and commercial interior planning and design. His passion for buildings and detail is carried into his artwork.
Ashley-Pryce is largely a self-taught artist taking inspiration from realist painters such as Richard Estes, Ken Danby, Mary Pratt, and Alex Colville. His work is photo realistic and depicts details of overlooked urban scenes reflected in the walls of mirror that line city streets. Signs and posters all appear in reverse in the reflected views. He paints with a realistic approach to images of interiors and exteriors that draw our attention to normally unnoticed details.
When asked what drives him, he says " Details, details commonly overlooked things in everyday life. I look at how traffic signals are attached to utility poles, what holds trolley lines up, signs and their reflection in city windows".
When I see something that I find interesting I photograph it from different angles to find the best view. Perspective is very important to me and sometimes I need to change the perspective in a particular scene to achieve the effect I want. I work from the photographs deleting items that detract and add other components and in the end the painting resembles the photo but has its own character".
He prefers oil paint for portraits but uses acrylic exclusively for his cityscapes. He feels that acrylic offers the crispness required for the hard straight lines of buildings and streets. Bold, brightly colored signs and street markings draw the viewer into the urban atmosphere of the paintings.
Ashley-Pryce is fascinated by the city, it's visual complexity and constant state of flux. His urban landscapes attempt to capture a single moment in the ever changing vista and give vision to our experience of living within the city.
The subjects are not romanticized but show the beauty and interest of our everyday surroundings. For the artist it is no longer about searching out a beautiful subject to make a beautiful painting; it is about the ability of light to transform a scene and create a painting that will get people thinking anew about their surroundings.