Matthew Burley


Staffordshire, U.K.


Matthew Burley is a full time artist and Portrait Painter who grew up in the village of Cookham in the Thames valley.  He has since lived in Bangkok and in the New York.
He is well known for his realistic portraits which have generated a constant global demand over the past 20 years.
He went to Central St Martins and then once on his Degree at Plymouth college of Art In 1993, Matthews artwork was brought to the attention of the rock group ‘Supergrass’. The band commissioned 5 photographs for single covers and an album cover, a group portrait painting of the band for the Japanese release of their second album“In it for the Money”. Since then Members of the band have commissioned Matthew to paint portraits of their children.
Matthew has painted many faces of the media including the children of Jude Law along with their mother Sadie Frost in a family portrait. Sadie has quoted this portrait as being the most valuable object in her home.
Matthews paintings, both abstract and realistic can be found not only in the living rooms and board rooms of his commissioners but can also be found in top restaurants, music videos, sit-coms and T.V. advertisements.
A recurring theme throughout Matthews personal work centers around fluidity found in nature. These paintings range from photo-realistic representations of turbulent water, views from a Bangkok bus at night, to abstracts made by pouring layers of paint directly onto the canvas. Matthew sells his work predominantly on social media and is currently painting a body of successful still life.

Artist Statement


I feel honoured whenever I’m commissioned to paint a portrait, especially a family portrait. It can’t be very often that an artist gets to deliver a painting and have the recipients shed tears when they see it. This sounds like I’m really blowing my trumpet now, but actually it’s all about the photograph. As Gerhard Richter said ‘The Photograph is pure picture’.  It’s the photograph that I’m re-presenting and I hope, elevate. I now have two young children and so I understand more than ever how important these paintings are to people.
Like any realist, I’m also blown away by nature and how wonderful everything is.  I recently completed four paintings from photos I took from a bus window at night, the journey was from Phi Phi to Bangkok. I just left the shutter open to see what would happen.  They mark a great part of my life as I was living there at the time. They sum up for me the craziness, speed and colours that make the place what it is. But I also painted them because they’re really cool photos. I’m now working on a body of still life containing only a few objects.. ‘The land of milk and honey’ may not be what you think it is.   In a minute I’m going to pour some paint onto canvas. I’m working on ways of bringing abstraction closer to photorealism. Combining the two somehow is something I need to explore.


Matthew Burley

Profile picture of Matthew Burley


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