Those beautiful blue advertisements on the sides of old French barns as you drove along. I'd never seen anything like it. The sign-writers couldn't always get the whole message into the space, so they'd wrap it round a corner or run a word vertically. They stood out like beacons in the landscape, and I guess that's what I'd like my paintings to do.
The works chosen to be shown at Masterpiece 2019 include three distinctive approaches to the use of text and iconic imagery, spanning over three decades of Spiller's work. They demonstrate the importance of graphic images and his love of text from his student days in the '60s. The immediate impact of the written word allowed him to get his messages (love, life, loss, peace) across instantly.
Having studied graphic design, the use of text and graphic images was always at the heart of his paintings. He used instantly accessible and relatable images and lyrics, capturing and documenting the time in which he lived.
The words are never abstract. There is always a reason for doing them, a connection with a person I am thinking about; I hear things in my head - sometimes they're songsSometimes I make up a line.
Written by Xavier Spiller-Cameron