“I seek to question and challenge the established parameters of art and music.”
Troy Slater is an award winning multidisciplinary artist based in the city of Carlisle, located at the edge of the stunning English Lake District. Troy was born in 1976 in Istanbul and raised in Carlisle, but a huge amount of his early life was spent travelling due to his parents’ work. This connection to the city that spans two cultures and continents has been a huge influence on his vision of creativity and his passion for diversity. His love of travel and experiencing new cultures is enduring, the versatility embedding itself into his artistic psyche.
Troy uses painting, drawing, digital art, tattoo art and music in order to express creative visions across a myriad of projects. Over 25 years of exhibiting and working to commission, Troy’s work has reached the USA, Canada, Australia and Turkey. His portfolio includes portraiture, landscape and abstract painting, murals, brand design, album covers, book illustration and audio and video production.
Troys earliest influences in the visual arts began at a young age with comic books and science fiction and fantasy films. He learned to draw by copying the black and white line drawings by legendary illustrators such as Brian Bolland, Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley. Simon Bisley created the first ever fully painted comic strip when Troy was 11 years old and the inspiration from this ignited a desire to learn how to paint and use colour. A love and respect for all painters throughout time was born from this early exploration of art history, particularly the Renaissance and the development of visual art in Paris between the mid 19th and 20th centuries. Tamara de Lempicka remains one of Troys greatest influences. Her style, a marriage of realism and abstract impressionism, can be referenced in his renditions of the female form.
Notably Troy has exhibited at The Affordable Art Fair in London, worked on soundscape production for the 2012 Olympics, won the Carlisle Living magazine 2017 Style in the City award and co-organised and participated in the successful West Walls Artists Now exhibition in 2019 that won an Arts and Cultural Initiative award.
Troy currently works as a tattoo artist and focuses on figurative acrylic painting while spending his spare time producing music.
Each project I work on has its own philosophy, its own set of rules and its own individual genesis of ideas. But in the end, to me, it is all just one grand work of art. Although I have studied performing arts and music business at college and had the privilege of undergoing my tattoo apprenticeship with one of the UK’s most respected tattoo artists, I regard myself as self taught in the majority of the mediums I use. I have a rebellious nature and have long resisted the pressure to conform to a uniform mission artistically and this has evolved to become my artist’s mantra.
When the seed of an idea comes into being, that idea may demand different tools and materials from the previous project, but I primarily paint in acrylics. I use acrylic paint because of its versatility and that it is very much a modern medium. Its fast drying properties also suit my requirements, enabling me to capture an idea and work in layers while inspiration is fresh. Occasionally I work with thick texture to add sculptural dimensions to the work. The images I create can be realistic or abstract, it is the atmosphere and emotion that matters.
When I paint I am searching for the mood or atmosphere of that moment or situation. I am fascinated by my experience of reality, how different consciousness can be from time to time. Then there is the perception of time and nostalgia, an era of my life that had an atmosphere that words struggle to describe. These moods are transient moments that I strive to capture in a painting, a snapshot caught in the net of a canvas. All sensory information is a valuable source of inspiration. Daily struggles, moments of joy, existential dilemmas, the wonders of nature, all provide questions and answers for art.