Music was Ian Pyper's bridge from his old life with British Coal to full time artist in the 1980's. Ian created single covers for friends in bands in Liverpool and this eventually led to his being asked to participate in group exhibitions. Soon he was active in an artist co-op in Liverpool.
Ian was later laid off from his job during a severe economic crises in Liverpool. There were "huge economic problems in Liverpool, which had a (government) council taken over by the left-wing 'Militant Tendency' and set on a head-on clash with Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. It was necessary just to make money in any way you could and most of the people I knew were either artists or in bands. Liverpool was a horrible place to live in the 80's and 90's and there were endless garbage strikes, high-level corruption, mass unemployment and a sense that the city had been completely abandoned by the government, remeb
His work was singled out for an article in Raw Vision Magazine (issue 25, 1998), the premiere art magazine for "outsider art, art brut, and contemporary folk art" and voted "World's Best Art Magazine by UNESCO" (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization,1998). He has been exhibiting regularly in Europe and North America since then.
Pyper is a self-taught life long drawer who was known for his artistic talent as a school boy. His drawings are spontaneous creations, automatically drawn although carefully expressed, and highly reminiscent of aboriginal art and prehistoric cave paintings. The French writer and publisher Joe Ryczko coined the term 'Future Primitive' or 'Paleolithique Moderne' to describe Pyper’s work. Ian believes this is a better way to understand his work than referring to it as 'outsider art' - a description he believes both describes him and his artwork but limits the viewer's understanding at the same time. A confusing term these days, "It seems to be a bit of a cultural minefield," he notes.
"I always believed in the art I was doing, but I think I've developed a more 'professional' attitude to the way I try and present it now. I still do the work I want to and in the way I want to and don't give much concern to the fact that it will be liked or not. I do the work for myself and I've always drawn and it's something I envisage doing right up until I die - it's just something that's necessary for my life, as much as eating or breathing - a reaI joy to imagine something and create it on paper. ...I drew completely in secret and without anyone seeing it for such a long time and I still do it, so it's for me first and foremost and anybody who is interested is secondary."
And, while his fluid lines seem perfectly at ease with each other it’s worth noting that Ian draws with hand and wrist pain which frequently accompany each work of art. Especially tasking art work can cause months of painful arthritis.
courtesy of Ian Pyper
Originally from Liverpool, Ian now lives in Brighton with his family. He is interested in Dark Matter and other aspects of Quantum Physics, is an avid gardener, and enthusiastic grandfather. His work has been published in numerous periodicals in the United States and Europe and currently exhibited at Pallant House Gallery Museum in England.