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Although influenced by, what Gouk calls, 'the physicality and directness' of American Abstract Expressionism, he has stated that 'I see my painting as aspiring towards the objective, realist French tradition'. Gouk has explained that his paintings arise from the 'marriage of the inner life and the sensory world... I have always tried to paint something sensuous, voluptuous, something positively related to the sensuous outer world... The sensations, the surge and undertow, and tensions of that kind, inherent in experiencing anything in life, are somehow taken up, taken hold of, and out of conflict an architecture is made, which still bears the marks of all the conflicting urges which have gone into it'.

September 2004