Humphrey Ocean

Ralph Glasser, 1916 - 2002 (1992)

About this artwork

Sitting for this portrait prompted the psychologist and economist, Ralph Glasser, to go through a process of deep self-examination. He had felt the same way when writing his autobiographical trilogy, 'Growing up in the Gorbals', 'Gorbals Boy at Oxford' and 'Gorbals Voices, Siren Songs'. Glasser's account of his childhood and adolescence describes the now vanished world of Jewish immigrants in the slums of Glasgow. He started working at fourteen but later won a scholarship to Oxford University, a place where '"someone from the Gorbals was in effect a bushman and the Gorbals itself as distant, as unknowable, as the Kalahari Desert".

Humphrey Ocean

Humphrey Ocean

London-based Humphrey Ocean was born in Sussex in 1951 and studied at art schools in Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and Canterbury. From 1971 to 73 he was bass player with 'Kilburn and the High Roads'. In 1982 he won the Imperial Tobacco Portrait Award and went on to establish himself as a leading portrait painter, depicting his sitters in a post-pop-art style. More recently he has used his figurative approach to explore the past and present, undertaking a commission in 1999 to paint a picture of modern maritime Britain for the National Maritime Museum and working as artist in residence at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2002. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2004.