Michael J. Gunn was born to a Scottish father and an English mother and his early childhood was divided between Central London and the Northern Highlands of Scotland - two very wildly different landscapes and cultures whose diversity has greatly influenced the artist's life and work.
The artist was taught to draw at a very early age by his father, who was also a poet. Educated at Scottish and English primary schools and a London grammar school, he attended Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (now University of the Arts London) where he studied fine art and life drawing.
His earliest influence came from the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, most of which he had copied in pen and ink, pencil and chalk by the age of 15. His favourite Leonardo painting is the Virgin of the Rocks (both versions). Following this the works of Jan van Eyck, Matthiaas Grunewald, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch and the Breughels, together with Pieter de Hoogh and Johannes Vermeer formed important and fruitful areas of study and influence. Of the impressionists J.M.W. Turner (yes - Turner!), Cezanne and Sisley are favourites, whilst the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Katsushika Hokusai and Vincent van Gogh provided an added dimension to my studies, as did the works of the Cubists Georges Braque and Juan Gris. Amadeo Modigliani's powerfully erotic nudes are particularly admired.
In addition to the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci the artist's studies continued with Cennino Cennini's Il Libro del Arte and Piero della Francesca's De Prospectiva Pingendi together with modern manuals on the art and science of painting.
The artist soon came to know the works of the Surrealists, in particular the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali - the last of whom was second only in influence to that of Leonardo. Since childhood Michael Gunn had produced drawings of a surreal nature and the discovery of their works was a revelation to him. Since that time he has consistently produced paintings and drawings in the Surrealist style.
Of living painters his favourites are Denis A. Dowland, Agustino Arrivabene, Sandor Badacsonyi, Quimet Sabate and Alan King. He also greatly admires the Udinese painter Mirka Mantoani Sopracasa for the lightness and playfulness of her paintings which provide a welcome relief from the somewhat sombre aspects of his own Surrealist art.
All this artist's works are available as Digital Giclee prints.