carl gopalkrishnan 2014


Carl Gopalkrishnan (aka Gopal) is a visual artist who reflects on how we express human consciousness across time, place and culture. Born in the UK in 1967 he works in acrylic and oil paint, mixed media and photography and printmaking. Combining research, reflection and intuitive practice, his paintings are often inspired by history, literature, popular culture and mythology.

Carl explores undocumented historiographies of our inner life as much as the academic. He has taken the Surrealists as a starting point and developed a unique and contemporary style of applying paint and mixing genres.

Beginning his career as a typographer and designer in the 1980s he developed as a self-taught painter within his art community in Western Australia and Victoria over three decades. A quiet observer, his paintings are smaller and more intimate, layered with symbolism, and they sometimes seek out the light in the shadows of modern conflict. 

Curious about the world, Carl uses art to investigate how it works. Influenced by Surrealism, Street Art and Outsider Art he’s experimentally-prone and regularly featured in international magazines and journals of poetry, politics and culture. Self-funded his entire career, Carl works as a community policy advocate in Australia while painting.

Observations from colleagues

Dr Kyle Grayson,  24-12-2017, Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Newcastle University

"Carl's art is profoundly unique, using mixed methods and materials to create arresting images that captivate viewers. Dream-like in their presentation, and often focusing on representing the familiar in unfamiliar ways, his paintings capture moods through Carl's use of colour, symbolism, and light. I was very excited to be able to feature his 2011 painting 'There is Nothing Like a Drone' on the front cover of my recent book 'The Cultural Politics of Targeted Killing'. Feedback I have received about the cover has been excellent and the image has helped to distinguish the book from others. Carl's art work thus not only provided a memorable image that captured the essence of the book but it also contributed to giving it a distinctive identity. People continue to comment about the painting and ask me about its provenance. Such ongoing interest is a testament to Carl's talents as an artist".  (read post)

Tyler Gore,  20-11-2012, Creative Director, Literal Latte NYC

"Carl Gopalkrishnan is a highly creative and highly skilled fine artist and illustrator. We featured his work “Elsewhere 2″ as the cover illustration for the June 2009 issue of Literal Latte (a journal of prose, poetry and art), and included a large gallery of his paintings, drawings and pen & ink work in the same issue. Carl has a unique and compelling artistic vision, and all of us at Literal Latte very much look forward to seeing new developments in his career as an artist. We are proud to have featured him." [Literal Latte Feature]

Tikkun Daily, Laura Beckman,  18-06-11, Arts Writer, Tikkun Daily [Magazine], Berkley, CA, USA

"Artist Carl Gopal’s interests are expansive, but he is by no means a dilettante. He is gifted with an ability to analyze current events in the context of the “big picture” without getting overwhelmed, weaving together schools of thought as diverse as popular culture and politics, spirituality and quantum physics.  He is afraid that amid the exhilaration of rapid scientific advancement, we are losing the sense of humble awe at the universe that spurred our curiosity in the first place".  [more]

The Hon Jocelynne A. Scutt,  26-012-17, Human Rights Lawyer/former High Court Judge/Academic, Filmaker and Barrister at English Bar, London. UK 26-012-17

"Carl Gopalkrishnan is an artist extraordinaire! His work is visually striking, his imagination informs his artwork - splendidly, and his artistry is reflective of his capacity to incorporate political themes into his visual renditions. He works in a timely manner, too - without in any way hampering the visual appeal and depth of artistry. I recommend Carl Gopalkrishnan highly". [more]

John Hyde,  17-11-2017, UNODC and UNDP Pacific Anti-Corruption Specialist. International Media and Innovation Mentor for the UN, Chair of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC)

"An amazing artist. Incisive and sensitive work. Hope to see more of your work Carl.".