A young man in a peaked cap and green jacket stops to light a cigarette on a city street. His cigarette is cocked in one hand while he shields the orange flame of his lighter with the other. Is he passing by or pausing to attract attention? Gavin Maughfling’s painting captures the bustle around Luxembourg’s main station, a Moselle Baroque Revival style building of the early 1900s whose blue pointed roof is seen in the distance. À la Gare de Luxembourg and Bringing in the Washing from the Embassy Garden (GAC 17347) by Maughfling were part of a group of artworks purchased by the British Embassy in Luxembourg between 1996 and 1998. His works, along with those by John and Madeline Addyman, were presented to the Government Art Collection in 1998, but remain displayed in situ. The Embassy purchased works to support an artist-in-residence programme established by the British Ambassador, Nick Elam in 1994, creating studios in under-used spaces. Several artists took up residency including Maughfling, the Addymans, Edmund de Waal, Mali Morris and Julian Bond. There in 1997, Maughfling recalled how he had to ‘mess up’ the grand chandeliered studio before he could feel it was a space he could work in.
Maughfling’s figurative works are concerned with people and places. As a starting point to explore a subject, he frequently uses photographic images, from vintage photographs to contemporary shots taken by others. Over the last 20 years, his vividly expressive paintings have explored the lives, loves, relationships and experiences of his own friends, lovers and acquaintances of the gay community in London.
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