To quote Paul Critchley: “There are times when the only way to get a different perspective on what one is doing is either to stand on ones head or move to another country”. Yet Paul neither stood on his head, nor did he find his different perspective in his far away travels but rather from his everyday surroundings. Nonetheless Paul surprises his audience as if he were a globetrotter who regularly would stand upside down.
Paul’s continuous home travels make him rediscover his direct surroundings time and again. He re-evaluates objects, interiors and landscapes from his daily life by studying their colour nuances, changing light and above all his varying perspectives.
Paul Critchley masterfully plays with perspective. He is able to represent the interior of an entire house in one painting. The result somehow reminds one of Picasso’s way of painting faces where he re-arranges the perspective in a cubist way.
In addition to his play with perspective, Critchley knows how to entertain the eye in other ways. His works are masterpieces of optical illusions, trompe oeils.
In his very own way he follows in the footsteps of a number of illustrious tromp l’oeil painters such as Carel Fabritius, Jacob de Wit, Duane Hanson en Salvador Dali.
Paintings by Paul Critchley are also surprising because of their shapes. Paintings generally are geometrical in shape. When they are round or diamond shape, paintings stand out dramatically. Critchley’s work does stand out very much as he thinks out of the box. His paintings are not caught in a square but follow the shape of the object or space that he paints, whether it is a door with a view a closed window or a circular staircase. The combination of his free perspective and the shape of his paintings challenge the onlooker to see the painting not as a canvass but as a real door or window. Indeed, often Paul creates work where doors can actually be opened and closed, leading to the illusion of a different view.