David Storey

David Storey


“My paintings are an exploration of memory. They offer ‘glimpsed’ or half-remembered figures and faces – re-imagined people standing on the edge of living memory, recovered from a personal archive of the forgotten.
My ideas come from material that accidentally comes to hand, an old photograph, for example, might chime or resonate. I then embark on a quest to unlock the essence of the image in a way that is somehow extra-visual. This journey of development and discovery can take anything from 5 days to 5 years until a kind of alchemy takes place and things seem to harmonise of their own accord in a way that can be very rewarding.
I like to paint in an expressionistic way using rags and sponges because the physical marks and textures are a fundamental element of what I am trying to achieve. The challenge for me, though, is to retain an economy of execution – an effortless effort.
After graduating from art college I initially worked as a record sleeve artist and was responsible for a number of high profile designs – but for the last 25 years I’ve focused entirely on painting, developing a way of working that continues to evolve.”


  • St Bees School, Cumbria
  • Hornsey College of Art and Middlesex University in London 

”Sharing in their fragility, the characters Storey depicts are aware they stand on the edge, but they are aware too that we who look on them are also fragile. The blurred faces gaze out as if to ask if we who exist now have forgotten those who went before and if we believe our experiences today are really unique; the couples trapped in tension stand as a mirror to all relationships, while the most haunting characters come as associates of Ebenezer’s ghosts, ready to awaken us to who we truly are.” 

Richard Unwin 
arts journalist
The Art Newspaper, Frieze, Dazed & Confused and Flux