Jonathan Yeo is renowned for his distinctive portraits. His sitters have included many celebrities, politicians, and dignitaries– from Grayson Perry to Dennis Hopper; Sienna Miller to Tony Blair.
‘Some People’ (2012) is a return to Yeo’s figurative roots and is the first serious body of portraits he has created in a number of years. In revisiting some of his most intriguing sitters, he realises this portfolio through his expressive marks and acute realism. Often his sitters emerge from an anonymous background unencumbered by accoutrements associated with traditional portraiture allowing their personalities and alluring characteristics to freely emerge.
Yeo’s ‘Some People’ portfolio employs a range of media to create a diverse portfolio of portraiture. He captures his sitters through photographs, etchings and hand finished inkjet prints, each revealing part of his artistic process as their features materialise in each print.
Ever interested in exploring the potential of the medium, in 2007 Yeo started a series of collages using cut-outs from porn magazines as his ‘raw material.’ The patches of paper provide a rich range of skin tone closely mimicking his painterly stokes and lend additional textural qualities to the works. In his 'Falling Leaves' collage series, Yeo subverts the historical usage of a leaf to cover up parts of a body, instead his leaves are used to explicitly expose. He carefully considers the colour, pattering, and shape of each leaf, using an intersection of flesh to replicate veins in the leaves, or the curve of bodies to imitate the blade.
His work has been widely exhibited in the UK, USA, and Europe and is featured in prestigious collections including: the Royal Collection, the National Portrait Gallery and the House of Commons art collection.
Yeo recently concluded major UK solo exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, London, The Lowry, Salford and The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.
Jonathan Yeo was born in 1970. He lives and works in London.