Art / 10 Apr 2019

Story | Trate Studios

Trate Studio, London

Trate's artwork is exhibited in an independent art gallery housed in a 1920s warehouse overlooking Regent's Canal in London. Trate Studios is open by appointment.

Portrait of the artist, Trate

Trate is a self-taught Canadian figurative artist, working under an alias that refers to the human traits he paints. Painting since his youth, he employs a raw, childlike aesthetic and vivid colour schemes to chronicle the human condition.

Trate, signature of the works

The signature on his works is derived from a reimagined coin of Antoninus Pius, the adoptive father of Marcus Aurelius - the Roman philosopher king. The coin displays a faceless bust, with the Latin inscriptions FORTEM, IMMORTALEM, and the Roman numerals MCMLXXIV.

Emotive Brutes

Trate Studio - Emotive Brutes by The London Magazine

Bold in colour and emotion, the first exhibition in London of work by Trate, the Canadian figurative artist, opens on 7 February - 2 March 2019, at the Trate Studios in London, United Kingdom. Entitled Emotive Brutes, the show is comprised of a suite of large-scale works in oil, all executed between 2017 and 2018.

Trate Studio, London

As with most of Trate's earlier paintings, the arresting canvases in Emotive Brutes capture the complexity of the human experience in evocative, lucidly-aware faces and deformed upper bodies.

Able, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 150cm X 90cm
Astray, 2018, Oil On Canvas, 90cm X 60cm

The artist makes no preparatory drawings and largely eschews non-personal source material, preferring to stand before the canvas and paint intuitively, capturing human sensibilities in deceptively simple, subconsciously sourced forms. For him, the act of painting is an act of reflection; meaning is discovered only upon completion of a canvas.

Metamorphose, 2017, Oil On Canvas, 150cm X 90cm

Disquiet (2018) for example, depicts a stoic, composed figure, whose unwavering gaze alludes to an unsettling, internal violence. Tension is created within the work by the overlay of intense, glaring red pupils onto the cool blue contours of the facial features.

Disquiet, 2018, Oil On Canvas, 150cm X 90cm

While this work is suggestive of internal human struggle and of the complexity of inward and outward reactions to adversity, many of the other paintings are lighter in tone, exemplifying Trate's raw, autodidact aesthetic and vivid colour palette.

Self-Possession, 2018, Oil On Canvas,150cm X 90cm

Self-possession (2018) is emblematic. As with most of Trate's work, the painting reveals only the head and upper torso. With asymmetrical almond-shaped violet eyes, serene lips and misshaped cheekbones. And yet, there is something equally all-knowing and vulnerable in the figure's eyes, creating a sense of enigma and unease in equal measure.

Stephanie Silva, Art Director - Trate Studio

Says Stephanie Silva, Art Director of Trate Studios: 'In this compelling body of work, Trate explores the tensions between shared human experience and the complexity of individuality. At times dark and poignant, at others light and whimsical, the paintings explore the bounds of emotive states - from loss to unadulterated love, from belonging to abject neglect.'

Trate Studio, London

The path to Trate Studios encourages a slower pace, contemplation of surroundings that seem to broaden around us, setting the perfect tone for what then follows - an oasis in the middle of chaos.