Tim Gatenby’s work uses classical painting techniques to subvert pop cultural icons. Often combining deconstructed cartoon characters with dark humour, his images reflect the pressures of consumerism and modern societal tendency towards over indulgence.

Gatenby's work has been displayed at the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy of Art and in recent years, has  been selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Prize Exhibition (2018), Royal Society of British Artists (2018), the New English Art’s Club (2014), BP Portrait Prize (2012) and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2019, 2012) as well as reaching the semi-final of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year (2020).

There is a twisted nostalgia to Gatenby’s paintings. His work subverts familiar characters not only through subject matter, but also through technique. Gatenby distorts familiar characters, typically drawn as brightly-coloured and crisp cartoons, by blurring lines and using muted tones. The result is one where the jovial characters of popular television are stripped of their bright, happy personalities and replaced with an intangible corruption and sinfulness.

Despite the darkness found in the various styles and themes explored in Gatenby’s work, there are often playful, idiosyncratic moments that crop up, as if for his own amusement as much as the viewer’s. A joke or pun can be found through a depicted object seen out of place, or an expectation subverted by an oddity, giving the work a comedic touch of the absurd to cleverly contrast the heaviness found elsewhere.

See our interview with Tim Gatenby here:


We have direct access to all of our artists' studios and do not always list all available artwork online.

For more available works by Tim Gatenby or to discuss commissions, please email info@theartrep.co.uk