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Martin Richens

Contemporary Neo-Pop Artist

I began my life as an illustrator and designer for a small analogue design company at the tail-end of the 1980's, before moving on to a life as a traditional freelance illustrator and designer in the early 1990's, just as digital tools swept in and changed the face of the industry.

On top of my own personal enthusiasm for drawing and painting, I had originally been taught to draw and paint traditionally by seasoned designers who dreamed of being fine artists without the constraints of deadlines and client requirements. They passed their utilitarian unease onto me and I spent most of the 90's hovering between illustration and fine art, trapped between the practical and the beautiful.

In 2010 I entered academia, again hovering between digital media training and traditional drawing and painting training, before acquiring a place on a specialised Fine Art Painting degree.

Much to the chagrin of my tutors I followed my own path, focusing on skills-based drawing and painting, uninterested in abstraction, unless of course it was used as a compositional tool to emphasise my realistic representation. Swathes of my work revolved around contemporary realism but the narrative styles of the incredibly skilled silver and early bronze age comic book artists also began to have an influence on the appearance of my work.

My work at the moment is a clash of popular cultural styles, comprised of comic book-style narratives and design cues with the somewhat contrasting style of contemporary realism. I create, in essence, a form of neo-pop, where whimsical images from popular culture are contrasted with serious social and political issues. The message is important.

So, here I am now; loads of experience, plenty of knowledge, oodles of skill and an empty fridge.

Save me dear reader. Feast your eyes.




BA Hons Fine Art Painting, Gray's School of Art, 2014-2018

HNC Art and Design, NESCOL, 2013-2014

HND Digital Interactive Media, NESCOL, 2010-2012



2018 August 23 - September 30, NeoPop, The Blue Roof Gallery, Aberdeenshire

2018 July 19 - August 17, Best of Degree Show, Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow

2018 June 15 - June 24, Gray's Degree Show, Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen

2018 February 24 - March 10, Pre-Degree Show, Edinburgh Palette, Edinburgh

2017 April 11 - April 18, Tread Softly, Seventeen Gallery, Aberdeen

2016 June 3 - June 14, Looking Forward, Pentland Gallery, Aberdeen

2014 June 7 - June 14, End Of Year Show, NESCOL, Aberdeen



Society of Scottish Artists

Scottish Artists Union