Every Picture Tells A Story with Jeremy Edwards


We have looked at very traditional paintings so far in this series.

Today I thought I would discuss a piece that, although it is almost 40 years old would be classed as modern art.

The subject of our story today is a large piece of surrealism by a former officer of the law! The artist is Anthony John Gray who was a former police officer from the Sussex constabulary.

Anthony John Gray was born in 1946 in Cambridge. Unusually for an artist he was not an early developer, drawing and painting from an early age. He showed no real interest in traditional art until well into his twenties. His early art interests were centred around the surrealists such as Dali, Magritte, Escher and Vasarely. He also liked the concept of visual puzzles and geometrics.

At the age of 23 he joined the Police Force and was stationed at East Grinstead in Sussex. He was a serving police officer until 1974 when he left to pursue a different life.

Gray set out on a journey into the arts, starting to paint as a full-time artist in 1976. He is a completely self-taught artist, working on his own ideas and themes, almost in isolation.

His first exhibition gained him instant notoriety, fusing together stylised surrealism, geometry and soft porn, all the paintings were banned by the local authority and the exhibition was closed down, making not only the local news but also getting his name out to the wider world through the national press.

Gray has always been and remains a positive artist, his images are infused with a sense of positivity and use vibrant and clear colour distinctions, as well as juxtaposing contrasting ideas and images in one painting, to draw the viewer in to his art. He calls his variety of art “Spiritual Logic”.

He has exhibited throughout the US and Europe and has received many accolades. One of which was, in 1987, being made an honorary citizen of Palm Springs after having designed one of five commemorative medals for the city’s Golden Anniversary. He has his own gallery and is based in Redhill in Surrey.

He continues to exhibit his works throughout The USA and Europe and works almost solely on canvas to produce individual pieces of work and commissions from small to large complex installation pieces, diptychs and triptychs.

This vibrant painting is typical of his early style, it features the tearful face of a pretty girl with a beautiful blue sky behind her but, in her mind’s eye, there is a tranquil sunset at sea with numerous seagulls flying away from her, could this be what is making her sad? It is signed in the bottom right hand corner and dated 1979. There are a few of this artists paintings for sale online at over £2,500.

This painting is currently available for sale in my showroom or in my online shop and is a real bargain at only £1,600.

Alternatively, as advertised in this paper, we now offer a leasing arrangement, so this along with all of our paintings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great works, is available to view, purchase or rent at AntiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Village or online at or call us on 0118 327 5421.


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Phil Creighton

Publisher of The Wokingham Paper

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