My practice explores two key areas – the figure and the urban environment – and is influenced by my continuing interest in film and television.
My key focus now, through the medium of painting and photography, is how people interact with the contemporary environment. I show urban life in dramatic colour and shade by using a highly contrasting palette to additionally emphasise shape and form.
My historical reference is the Flaneur, a French term for an observer of city life. Edouard Manet was considered to be the quintessential Flaneur. His work ‘A Bar at the Folies Bergere, 1882′, together with works by Gustav Caillebotte, ‘Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877’ (Art Institute of Chicago) and ‘Le Pont de l’Europe 1876’,(Musee du Petit Palais, Geneva) are acknowledged examples from this period.
The Flaneur is the ultimate urban explorer, made the object of scholarly interest in the 20th century by Walter Benjamin, based on the work of Baudelaire. The Flaneur has become an important symbol for scholars, artists and writers, with Honore de Balzac describing flanerie as ‘the gastronomy of the eye’.
My work, as a modern day flaneur, takes me into the city where I take images on camera or phone, later to be refined and honed digitally in the studio before commencing painting on paper, board or canvas.
As Susan Sontag stated in ‘On Photography’ ‘The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker….cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flaneur finds the world ‘picturesque’.’
My solo show ‘Urban Narratives’ at the Hay Hill Gallery, London, further developed these themes, showing many works from my urban series.
I also have a history of showing in various group exhibitions including the Royal Watercolour Society, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. My work has also been shown in the corporate world including Baker Tilly and Clyde & Co.
During 2018 I was invited by the Adam Gallery, Bath to show a number of original works as one of their contemporary artists.
The personal online exhibition ‘The City Revealed’ of paintings by Roger Aslin is held on the gallery website from 1st to 30th November 2019. Visit the exhibition at http://www.hayhill.com/docs/aslin.html