Al was born and brought up in a Welsh mining town in the Rhymney Valley, and his name derives from Greek ancestry. Al has been a professional artist since 1980, graduating from Cardiff with a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art.
Since his early life drawing sessions at Art College, the human figure has been Al's main source of inspiration. His paintings are composed usually of a single figure and, although stripped of obvious narrative, leads to our own enquiring thoughts and interpretations. Al’s paintings have an enduring and haunting quality that evoke a personal connection and allow much to interpretation.
‘I have always been interested in the classical beauty of Renaissance painting, and this alongside my fascination with the human form has led my work to develop to where it is now.
Artists that I admire are wide and varied and are not necessarily artists whose work has many similarities to mine. The most memorable works I have seen recently were by an artist that I think really stands out as a contemporary painter, Anselm Kiefer. His work deals with human experience on a massive scale. I admire his honesty and integrity.
I regard myself as a figurative painter but not a realist painter. The realism that I am interested in is the emotional connection made when making or looking at a painting. My work has been described as being able to conjure a feeling of spirituality and although I am not a religious person I do believe there is an element of this in the work.
I use a restricted number of models to try and achieve my aim, which is to create something that is beautiful as well as interesting, contemporary as well as classical; something timeless.'
Al’s recent works have involved a series of paintings called 'Birdgerhl'. The subject matter relates to man's relationship with nature and was partly inspired by a song written by Antony And The Johnsons and sung by The Unthanks. In 2015 Al Saralis was named in the Top British Artist’s by USA publication ‘Complex’.
Al currently exhibits at a number of galleries in the UK and has recently sold work to collectors in France, Germany, USA and Australia.