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28 October 2014

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Different strokes

Recently, we've featured three contemporary artists all painting scenes of city centre Manchester – in a range of styles from the traditional to the surreal. Now, tell us what you think:

Be an online art critic

Below are pairs of images of the same Manchester scene. Use the vote buttons to tell us which artist you prefer. Then use the form below to Have Your Say:

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall

1. Michael Gutteridge                      2. John Mawbey

Peveril of the Peak

Peveril of the Peak

1. Liam Spencer                               2. Michael Gutteridge

St Peter's Square

St Peter's Square

1. John Mawbey                               2. Michael Gutteridge

Bridgewater Hall

Bridgewater Hall

1. Liam Spencer                               2. John Mawbey

More about the artists

John Mawbey: paints realistic views of Manchester buildings. Works 'in the field' with easel and canvas. Style: TRADITIONAL

Liam Spencer: Hopper-esque portrayals of the urban landscape. Works from photographs. Also paints: canals, chip shops, car washes. Style: IMPRESSIONIST

Michael Gutteridge: paints distorted views of famous Manchester streetscapes. Also paints: pubs, squares and festivals. Style: SURREAL

last updated: 29/05/08
Have Your Say
Traditional, impressionist or surreal? What do you think of our contemporary artists?
Your name: 
Your comment: 
The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

I really liked Michael Gutteridge's paintings, so much so I would love to buy one, I think he his moving with the times, a more modern approach which would suit the younger person who would love these paintings in there homes/appartments. There really cool.

Gaz Jones, Droylsden
I would call Laim Spencer's work impressionistic. It is perfectly suited to the drizzly, neon lit streets of Manchester and is reminiscent my own photographic attempts to capture the spirit of the city. I use filters and time delay to blur and give emotion to the mundane or the majestic. Liam is an artist after my own heart

Jim Sadler
Liked Spencer's use of colour to give overall impression of his subject and capture its essential locus and mood. captures the North West's solidity.

Elizabeth Wright
I love the way John Mawbey captures the true character of the buildings he paints. Manchester is a lucky city to have such talent to add to there culture. I first saw some of his work up here in glasgow and I must say I was very impressed. While I do like contemparary & modern art, I think traditional paintings never date and look good in any setting

I appreciate the surreal views of the streets and buildings. I prefer a less traditional view of the city.

Robert MacRae
As much as I admire the talent it takes to paint and especially the effort of the Old Masters to make something appear lifelike, I fear in this age of digital photography that realistic and detailed painting is a moot exercise. Gutteridge's canvasses encourage an emotional response and introduce a sense of playfulness that the more studied approach doesn't invite.

Joanne Ball
I love the blurry rainy quality of Liam Spencers work. How I would love to have the cash to buy one.

Andrew Wilkinson
All three artists have their merits. Mawbey paints accurately and carefully. Consider for example the persepctive in 'St Peter's Square'. Spencer's first love is colour, and you can see this especially in his night pictures. He relates to his subject matter in a more personal way than the technically efficient Mawbey, his heightened colours express the feelings the scene invokes within him. The colours are rich and beautifully contrasted. In the paintings of Gutteridge the link between suject matter and inner self is extended further, this time by modifying shape as well as emphasising colour. The physical subject matter itself is used more as a launchpad for self expression and what we see is much more than a physical representation of the subject matter. Gutteridge entwines himself with the subject matter in a way which is almost the exact opposite of Mawbey's distanced factual approach. All three artists will find their supporters,for art is like music with plenty of room for differing genres. But in Spencer and Gutteridge, Manchester have two artists to watch. Their work is already instantly recognisable and their work is already important. They are relatively young and and their stature will grow. Manchester should consider itself lucky and should work hard to promote these fine artists to the wider world, for they could well be described as Manchester's new Lowrys. And that provides another view of Manchester to the outside world.

Natalie Wright
I love the traditional works of John Mawbey. I think that traditional paintings are something that young and old are always going to be drawn to. His attention to detail is unbelievable and the way he captures still life takes your breath away. You would think you were looking at the real thing. There is so much feeling involved in the way he paints and this comes through onto the canvas.

Mary Lord
Liam Spencer every time! He captures the light, the feel, the atmosphere. I love his paintings of wet streets, and twilight scenes. Yu can feel the dampness in the air! John Mawbey is precise, cold and soulless, Michael Gutteridge's works make me feel giddy and nauseous.

Mark Nicol
Love the works by John Mawbey, such incredible detail. There is a place for non conventional works of course, but my preference is the traditional works like those by John Mawbey.

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