Meet the Artist: Rupert Whale
Left: Rupert Whale portrait. Right: Painting by Rupert Whale.
Rupert Whale is a London-based painter. Working in different scales, he applies line and areas of colour using a variety of tools, especially the squeegee, to create layered abstracts. Rupert graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2017, with a Master’s degree in Fine Art.
Two paintings by Rupert Whale.

What is the inspiration behind your current pieces?

My paintings are about the layers that go into making a surface. Each layer is a record of the time it was made, so drawings might evoke something glimpsed, or a colour, or a certain mood. That’s why I’ve called them “Little History” paintings – because they are all about fleeting personal experiences, unlike the grand historical paintings hanging in national collections.

Who has influenced your work the most?

Gerhard Richter’s technique of using a squeegee to spread paint was a strong influence in this series.

When did you know that you want to pursue a career as an artist?

I knew I wanted to be an artist when I left school, but I had to earn a living. So after many other jobs I eventually became a secondary school teacher of art.

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?

Something that they can look at again and again and always find something new, or something that stirs a different thought.

What three things are essential to your practice?

A studio where I can work freely (and messily!), materials and other artists.

What is the most inspiring place or exhibition you’ve been to in London?

I’m not from London originally but have lived here for many years now and feel very lucky to be in such a place that has so much exciting work, new and old, on show. It’s hard to choose between pop-up shows, art school shows or the Tates and National Gallery. There are always interesting shows at Turps Gallery SE172UQ.