TateShots

Denzil Forrester: ‘You have to find your niche’

The painter captures the vibrant East End nightlife with dynamic colour and movement

Inspired by London’s urban life and the music of the West Indies, Denzil Forrester’s work from the 1980s captures the vibrant East End nightlife with dynamic colour and movement. His 1982 painting Three Wicked Men was partly inspired by the death of his friend Winston Rose, who died in a police van after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Born in Grenada in 1956, Denzil Forrester came to England at the age of ten. After completing his BA at the Central School of Art and his MA at the Royal College, Forrester won the Rome Scholarship in 1983, followed by the Harkness Scholarship which took him to New York for eighteen months.

In 1987 he received the Korn/Ferry International Award for work of exceptional merit of any category; ‘Carnival Dub’ at the Royal Academy Summer Show. In 1991 he was awarded a touring exhibition by the Harris Museum & Art gallery In 2000 he was awarded the Scottish Gallery, Dianna King Prize for a painting in any medium; ‘Bag Bag’ at the Royal Academy. Forrester now lives and works in Cornwall.

find out more

Artist
Artwork

Denzil Forrester Three Wicked Men

1982

we recommend

Wilhelm Sasnal: 'Artist's have to be active as citizens'

Mass media images, snapshots of friends and banal town views are among the starting points for Sasnal's paintings.

Richard Cook: 'Paintings are dreams and reflections'

Watch how artist Richard Cook's creative process emerges from walks along the Cornish coastline