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Carl Arroyo

Carl was born in 1960 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. After leaving school and initially dropping out of art college Carl worked in his parents butchers shop for several years whilst at the same time qualifying as a master butcher at Smithfield College in London.

After becoming a vegetarian and recommencing his art studies at Bradford Art College, Carl completed his degree in Art & Design in 1989. Thereafter, in between working in various roles and guises, Carl began painting in gouache and established his ongoing interest in abstraction and semi abstraction. During this period Carl briefly established himself as a ceramicist, exhibiting nationally in galleries including Charleston House - home of the Omega Workshops.

Whilst studying for an MA in Art Therapy at Derby University between 2005 and 2008, Carl began his current method of working in mixed media. These more recent 'gritty' paintings often incorporate layers of seemingly random doodles, motifs, shapes, obscure scrawlings, scratchings, impressions, and half legible cryptic references. It is the juxtaposition of this distant and distinct material which imbues Carls paintings with a powerful and complex intensity.

Undoubtedly, Carl’s family history has impacted on his particular evolution as an artist. Carls communist grandfather who fought against the Facists was incarcerated for 7 years after the Spanish Civil War for his political beliefs. Carl’s father was evacuated to Britain from Spain’s northern city, Bilbao, as an eight-year-old after the bombing of Guernica during the Civil War. It is unsurprising, therefore, that Carl finds an expressive outlet in the content of his work for the trans generational impact of war and displacement, a theme whose psychological impact on society is often overlooked.