Artist and musician Andrew Kinsman sold his first piece of artwork at the age of 12 and in the intervening years has not only painted commissions for celebrities and royalty but has also performed with English Rock Band Kasabian and recorded soundtracks and albums with Noel Gallagher. What an incredible CV!
From a young age, Andrew drew inspiration from a collection of books his parents owned called 'Great Artists'. Within this collection, he was drawn to landscape painting – particularly to works by English Romanticist painters John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. He also became interested in the use of symbolism and the incorporation of mythology used by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetes of the 19th century. As his art progressed and his technique became more refined, Andrew focussed on the 17th century Dutch School where he discovered a profound appreciation for intense colour palettes, the capture of drama, and the realism associated with – and accomplished by – the Dutch Masters.
Andrew had his first major exhibition at The Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, aged 21 but at 25 years old, he abandoned art to focus solely on music and for several years concentrated on developing his musical talent and knowledge. He began with the saxophone and would eventually learn to also play the clarinet, flute and piano. Working long hours on an assembly line in a factory, he would take his saxophone to work, turning the cold room into a practice studio during breaks. Eventually, he saved enough money to be able to leave the factory job and focus solely on playing. He toured as many music venues as possible, and graced stages and recording studios in Cyprus, Italy, and throughout the UK.
As Andrew nurtured his musical talent he built an impressive portfolio, playing and recording with noted bands from the British pop and rock scenes, such as The Levellers, The Specials, Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, and Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud. In 2010, Kasabian invited Andrew to tour with them, completing the horn section with trumpeter and original band member Gary Alesbrook. He has played at several infamous venues including The London Coliseum, Brixton Academy, the Barbican Centre, and V-Festival (to 85,000 people!). He also recorded on albums for Kasabian and Noel Gallagher. In 2010, he featured on the soundtrack of London Boulevard, a film starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone, having recorded the theme song, ‘The Green Fairy,’ with Kasabian. Eventually, it became apparent to Andrew that he couldn’t suppress his love for art any longer or deny his need to exercise both creative outlets so he took up painting again and completed commissions for His Highness Sheik Mohammed, Sultan Al Thani of Qatar, American actor Rolf Saxon, and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard.
On the back of his work for Lanlard, London’s Halcyon Gallery commissioned Andrew in 2011 to paint a distinguished portrait of the Hariri Family, Lebanon’s wealthiest and most powerful ruling family. He was also asked to paint American actress, Elisabeth Moss, while she was in London performing Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour, alongside British actress Keira Knightley. However, Andrew’s most prestigious commission to date was in 2012 when Royal Mail asked him to paint a series of 11 stamps to commemorate 150 years of League football. Among the many players featured were Sir Bobby Moore, George Best and Dennis Law. In 2014, Andrew was commissioned again by the renowned Halcyon gallery to paint a member of the Saudi billionaire Jaffali family. Due to the success of this large canvas, the Halcyon gallery housed three of Andrew's originals in their Harrods gallery, alongside many originals by Warhol, Picasso and Matisse. Subsequently, in 2015-2016, Andrew was invited to exhibit in London at the prestigious Flux show at the Royal College of Art, and at The Old Brewery on Brick Lane. He subsequently moved from London to Bath setting up a studio at the famous Royal Crescent and worked on a new body of work based on Parisienne 'Cafe Society'. This involved five shows around the UK from May till July 2017.
Also that year, Kasabian released their sixth studio album, which Andrew contributed to in 2016. Andrew recorded on two tracks on the album "For Crying Out Loud", including 'Are You Looking For Action?', an eight-minute-long song which features Andrew's saxophone solo. He later went on two UK tours at the end of 2017 and again during summer of 2018 - playing at venues and festivals including Reading/Leeds Festival, Royal Albert Hall, O2 London, Lollapalooza Paris, MEN Manchester Arena and the Isle of Wight Festival. Andrew also had a couple of past portraits published for books. The first was of TV celebrity pastry chef Eric Lanlard, in which Eric used Andrew's portrait of him for the cover of his book 'Chocolat' and, in October 2019, Andrew's portrait of Baroness Shirley Williams was published In Somerville College's book to commemorate their 140th anniversary. The portrait is also now in their permanent exhibition.
After years living in London, Cambridge, Bristol and Cyprus Andrew now lives in Italy. He continues to practice both art forms passionately, dedicating his time equally to advancing his musical career and acquiring reputable art commissions. The trait Andrew finds most captivating - and which still influences his painting to this day - is the ability to create a snapshot of real-life... to create, in painting, the surroundings, emotions and thoughts present in a single moment.