We like artists that make you smile - artists such as Patrick Hughes, Escher, Magritte, Spencer and of course Carel Weight - all artists that have been touched in one way or another by Surrealist ideas. Weight had in fact helped to organise a Surrealist exhibition in the 1930's and later Mervyn Levy wrote "Carel Weight is first and foremost an imaginative painter, a dreamer of visions, his pictures are often bizarre and haunted ..."
Of course Surrealist ideas can both amuse and disturb as they play games with our normal concepts of everyday reality, and this is very apparent in the work of Carel Weight. Once asked whether he considered himself eccentric, he replied:"I suppose [I am] out of the normal run of things ...... I feel myself a rather solitary figure with little interest in current art fashions".
So he is very much an individual, his own man so to speak, who has always declined to fit in either with current trends or with the machinations of the art market - " I don't like the dealers and I don't like the critics". Once when he was approached by an eminent dealer who told him he could sell his work for 6 times more than he was asking (he sold most of his work from home or via the RA) he replied: "Good heavens, if you do that none of my friends will be able to afford my work".
He was born in London in 1908 of German/Swedish descent, and as a young artist was friends with Lowry, Ruskin Spear, and Stanley Spencer. All artists who shared his idiosyncratic view of the world and who imbued everyday life with an extra dimension. It is probably with Spencer's work that Weight's resonates most.
He enjoyed a distinguished career as a teacher joining the staff at the RCA in 1947 and becoming Professor of painting there between 1957-73 and thereafter Professor Emeritus. He was elected RA in 1965 and awarded a major retrospective there in 1982. His work is to be found in many major collections including the Tate, Arts Council, Imperial War Museum, Royal Academy, VAM, Asmolean and The Vatican!