Mychael Barratt was born in Toronto, Canada and has been living and working in the UK since 1984. He is a painter and printmaker whose detailed work is often as narrative as it is visual. His work is steeped in imagery relating to art history, literature, theatre and everything else that overfills his bookshelves.
He was an artist in residence for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre throughout Mark Rylance’s reign as Artistic Director. In 2011, just prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics, he was commissioned to paint a large-scale mural on T. V. Edwards Solicitor’s building on the Mile End Road. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and in 2013 was elected President. His work is held in many collections including the Ashmolean Museum, V&A Museum, the British Library and the Jiangsu Museum of Contemporary Art.
“My work reflects a passion for drawing and reading. Some of my more complicated images are composed from twenty or more detailed sketches many of which are lifted from the margins of whatever book I happen to be reading at the time. I draw from memory and my imagery will often depict people I know and things that I have seen. There is an underlying narrative element in each piece, which is important although not always immediately apparent. The titles often provide keys to the narrative and are such a central part of the creative process that they are usually conceived at the same time as the image. I am greatly influenced by literature, theatre, films and art history, and my work is peppered with references to all of these. I am a commissioned artist for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and do some pieces every year specifically for the plays they are staging.”