North London's Cultural Guide

Revisioning Masculinity by Paul van Gelder

Local Talent Q&A: Paul van Gelder, painter, 57

Earlier in the summer we put out a call to local artists to send in their work. We display the entrants weekly

Painter Paul van Gelder
Painter Paul van Gelder. Photo: self-portrait

What’s your practice? I work four days a week as a picture framer. I learned this trade at [the former] Artelier in Kentish Town, and for the last 20 years I’ve been at Alec Drew Picture Frames in Chelsea. The other three days I concentrate on my own art – painting, drawing, photography, writing and a bit of music-making. I was born in Amsterdam but have lived in London since 1987.

How does the area inspire you? For the last 23 years I’ve lived in the same house in Gospel Oak, where I also produce most of my work. Bacton Tower is the subject I’ve painted through the seasons for many years; I can see it through my window standing tall in all kinds of weather.

What are you most proud of? ‘Revisioning Masculinity’, which I started at the life modelling class at the Holy Lodge Community Centre and finished at home. It’s a painting that depicts the changing role of men in contemporary society and family life. It was sold through the Saatchi website to one of the editors of the Huffington Post in Washington.

Where’s your favourite place? It has to be Flaxon Ptootch, where I had my first of many exhibitions in 1995. Since then we’ve become very good friends with the owners, and I’m godfather to Mr and Mrs Ptootch’s daughter Liberty.


Follow Paul on Instagram @honkytonktwin. Since being interviewed, one of his photographs was accepted for the Lauderdale House Photographic Competition 2018

Main image: Paul van Gelder

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