“He has captured the essence of what it is to live with addiction and he is able to do this because he has his own story of addiction and recovery” – Charlie Sheen on the work of Lincoln Townley.
Charlie Sheen perfectly sums up the life and incredible artistic journey of Lincoln Townley, a prolific artist who specialises in figurative painting. Born in London in 1972, Townley discovered the wonder of art through his grandfather, who was an engineer and a painter. He classes the work of Francis Bacon as one of his earliest influences.
Townley, who is a disarmingly honest and a very personable man, spent many years leading a manic life of excess and decadence, during his time living and working in clubs in London’s Soho, giving in to every type of temptation laid before him. He spiralled into addictions of all kinds before cleaning up his act and turning his life around only a few years ago. His story is truly inspirational and having lived to tell the tale, he managed to put it all into book form via his 2014 memoir The Hunger, a bestseller, which was published by Simon & Schuster.
His early works capture the powerful, raw emotions exorcising his experiences from the punishing influence of substance abuse and alcohol indulgence, and are all about consumption, madness and the darker side of life, something he knew he had to completely remove himself from. He is self-taught and has found his art to have been a solid form of therapy, together with meeting and marrying his wife, actress Denise Welch in 2013, as they have been an enormous support for each other.
Townley has become one of the most talked about artists in the contemporary scene, with commissions now with a start price in the region of $50,000. He has been asked to work with a number of Hollywood greats and well-known media names, with recent commission requests from Mickey Rourke, Jack Nicholson, Gary Oldman, Russell Brand, Harry Dean Stanton and Nick Nolte. Townley recently visited Charlie Sheen at his home in Los Angeles, where he completed the work by getting Sheen to sign the finished product.
Townley has simple but very wise advice for those starting out – to “keep going and continually make sure to show your work, never give up on the passion of what you do. Check out other artists, other works, because that is such an excellent source of inspiration.” He practices what he preaches by often visiting galleries and various art events, his favourite being the National Gallery.
Townley, who has started on a new Madonna “Rebel Heart” commission, is next headed to New York to meet with both Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino and then to London to meet Tom Cruise, to personally present them with finished works, before showing a collection at The Royal Academy of Arts in the Autumn.
For further information on Lincoln Townley, please visit www.lincolntownley.com.