Cameron Broadhurst: It seems most of your subjects are people you do not know, from society or media. How do you choose them?
Peter Stichbury: I view my own work as part of the vast historical continuum of the painted portrait but with contemporary themes. The process for image selection is usually based on an idea of a character or social stereotype. In the early days I would spend many hours in magazine stores poring over fashion magazines trying to find images of people that looked anatomically improbable or vacant. I was asking questions as to the validity of these beautiful images, trying to establish where beauty lay, and how far I could distort human anatomy before it became unattractive. Of course there’s nothing wrong with beauty per se, we’re hard wired to identify and venerate beauty for evolutionary and biological reasons, but I find it disturbing when these biological imperatives are used by advertisers and media organisations in order to sell products and distract the population. Once I have an idea I make my selection from an intuitive place and then assess the photograph to see if it will work formally once it’s drawn and translated into paint. On the occasions when I can’t find what I’m looking for directly within popular culture, I’ll photograph people in the studio and build the precise identity I’m after. I hybridize identities often inventing names and building elaborate personal narratives and back stories, especially in the recent portraits.
source: Cameron Broadhurst - Times online