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Figure composition- pete howson

            Peter Howson was born in London in the year 1958, where he lived for a short period of his life, but his family moved to Ayr when he was 4 years old in 1962. Howson attended the Glasgow School of Art from 1975-77 and then returned in 1981 to complete his studies, also teaching there for a short period of time in 1985.
             During his time out from art school he had a career change and joined the army, where he endured tough and rigorous training. This experience made him more determined to become and artist and this gave him his subject matter of the macho bullyboy. Howson gained recognition in the 1980's for his direct and very aggressive image of the working class life in Glasgow. Howson, alongside Ken Currie, Steven Campbell and Adrian Wiszniewski were referred as the New Glasgow Boys. Howson's work is spread all over the world, ranging from Glasgow and London to New York. His work is also in private collections owned by celebrities such as Robbie Coltrane and Sylvester Stallone.
             Pete Howson developed his work in terms of composition, drawing and distortion. The important elements of his paintings became mainly the emotional atmosphere he created. While he was painting he darkened down his work by using the technique of Impasto. He achieved this particular effect by firstly drawing the figures, then painting them in, finally adding a strong transparent glaze. He kept re-working this stage of his paintings to enrich the composition, atmosphere and texture.
             The subject matter Howson portrayed was the social concern in Glasgow's streets at that time period. He did this with his subject being 'macho' - bruisers, thugs and squadies.- He used this to show that Neo-Nazis, fascists and racists were only able to resolve their problems by means of violence as they weren't intelligent enough to resolve their situations by talking or negotiating.
             The narrative and symbolic elements of Howson's paintings were the stories behind them and the social and political concerns that he expressed by the use of objects and characters.

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