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Paul Karslake

(1958 –2020)

The iconic paintings of Paul Karslake brought him worldwide recognition. His celebrated portraits of popular figures, from The Rolling Stones to Princess Grace of Monaco are hanging in the homes of the famous and infamous including Sir Michael Caine, Keith Richards and Tracy Emin, and they form part of many corporate and private collections in the UK and around the world. 

Paul was immersed in the world of fine art from the age of eight. His father was a renowned architectural model maker who taught Paul about form, perspective and business ethics. After college he joined his father in his business and assisted on many famous architectural projects such as Centre Point, the Thames Flood Barrier and working models for the Concorde Pilot seat. 

Early in the 1980s after four years working on art projects in Los Angeles, Paul returned to the UK and formed his own company to manage his art business. He undertook a host of prestigious commissions and was awarded The Evening Standard Environmental Award and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His clients included Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Petrus, the Turf Club, Mohamed Al Fayed, Keith Richards, Brian May and Yeardley Smith (the Voice of Lisa Simpson). The breadth of his talent was extraordinary, as his oeuvre included design and artwork for the Virgin F1 racing cars and monumental scale commissions on commercial aircraft, coaches and even the Radio 1 roadshow trucks.

Paul never struggled to find inspiration and was brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. He was fascinated by the evolution of art over the centuries and tried his hand at a whole variety of styles and genres, from medieval to modern, using techniques that embraced sculpture, oil painting, water colour, airbrush, pencil. He was also passionate about sharing and explaining his skills, taking an active part in supporting children wishing to do work experience, tutoring at schools, giving demonstrations and in 2005 opening an art centre. 

• In 1990 Paul was elected to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his achievement in winning the Evening Standard Environment Award for his artwork in Docklands.

• Paul painted artwork for the walls of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Petrus 

• Paul’s work can be found in the collections of Sir Michael Caine, Keith Richards, Tracey Emin, Mohamed Al Fayed and Yeardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson). 

• Paul was commissioned to paint guitars for Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Bryan May of Queen, James Bourne of Busted, Phill Jupitus, and Chris Squire from Yes. 

• Paul was commissioned by Mohamed Al Fayed to paint a portrait of his son Dodi and Diana, Princess of Wales for his memorial to the couple in Harrods. 

• Paul was asked to design and paint a portrait of Beyonce onto a Harley Davidson. The Harley was then auctioned by her and Eddie Jordan at the Formula 1 Ball at Silverstone raising £65,000 for charity 

• Paul exhibited alongside Tracey Emin, HRH The Prince of Wales, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Ronnie Wood.

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