Born in 1970 Aylesbury UK. An early interest in expressionist art led to evening classes in life drawing in 1986 whilst still at school.
Then began art college full time but found it a restricting and claustrophobic experience. ‘I was not suited to art college and it became the least creative time of my life. With the realisation that I was most creative during the evenings in the privacy of my own room, I decided to drop out of art education. I wanted to find an artistic freedom away from the ‘guarded’ impersonal language of high art at the time.’ Litten traveled the UK to find inspiration within commonplace life, aiming to convey an emotive poignancy in figurative representations of ‘the ordinary’ and ‘the everyday’.
‘Working in minute and small scale in the late 1980’s and early 90’s with the humblest of materials such as note paper, envelopes and biros, to surreptitiously placing works in galleries to combat art elitism (before the Stuckists did this), and working under various names to create conflicting identities’ Jane Boyer 2013.
Other creative surnames used at the time with family origin from Wales and Devonshire – Bayliss, Marshall, Price, Jones, Litten, Litton. The work itself was deliberately erratic and undisciplined. In a period of around four years, well over a thousand works were created on kitchen tables, in garden sheds, garages, attics, bedroom floors, and the the cupboard under the stairs.
During the early 1990’s, he began employment in photographic studios ‘finishing’ hand printed photographs and the controlled manipulation of photographic imagery began to influence his own image making. Employed in London and later in Oxford, where visits to Richard Hamilton’s studio encouraged a new phase of personal creativity for Litten. Creative dialogues between the printed image and the hand made image prompted interested in the idea that the sill 2D image can be a deceitful conveyor of information. Motivated by paradoxical readings between the surface image and an implied reading of hidden content; these works accumulated in various series paintings relating to hidden Internal Dialogues and the ‘Inner Voice’, representing subtleties and contradictions between public / private bodily self image.
Interest in representing notions of hidden human internal dialogues began to develop further towards more direct expressions of psychological disturbance. Interest in extreme behavioral themes of depersonalisation, voyeurism and disfunctionl sexual attachment began to inform the work produced from around year 2000 A move to Cornwall around this time and a move to a large studio resulted in work of increased scale and physicality consisting of paintings, assemblages and sculpture.
In 2003, a decision was made to begin exhibiting with DICK THE DOG in Penzance, UK with the solo exhibition I THINK I WAS JUST TALKING TO MYSELF. In the same year was included in an exhibition of nudes in New York City (along with Epstein and Renoir) which saw a review in the NEW YORK TIMES http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/13/nyregion/art-reviews-the-timeless-beauty-of-the-human-body.html.
During the week of Frieze Art Fair in 2007, Litten exhibited ‘Dog Breeder’ in LIME WHARF project space http://www.limewharf.org/ in Vyner Street, London . Commenting on the absurdity of the contemporary art world and its hierarchies, www.dogbreeder.weebly.com ‘Dog Breeder’ made with paint and pubic hair, is intended to be seen in the Dada tradition of anti-art.
Recent exhibitions have aimed to present an unguarded empathetic attitude towards its human subjects. ‘I want to create emotively led art that speaks of the love, personal growth, anger, loss and the private confusions we all experience in our lives.’ Recent work has established strong humanistic themes such as social alienation, drug use, ageing and other issues of identity disturbance wide ranging. In 2012, Litten appeared as ‘Guest’ artist with a solo exhibition at L-13 LIGHT INDUSTRIAL WORKSHOP, London and in 2013 as guest artist in ‘This Me Of Mine’ exhibition and symposium discussing ‘identity in the digital age’.. ‘ID Smear’ solo exhibition 2013 at MOTORCADE / FLASHPARADE, Bristol. www.idsmear.co.uk.