Humphrey Ocean RA is one of Britain’s most respected contemporary painters. He began his studies at Canterbury Art School in 1970. He played bass with Kilburn and the Highroads as a student and the band supported The Who on their 1973 Christmas tour. As his artistic career flourished, Ocean held his first major solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 1984. Since then, he has also shown at Tate Liverpool and Whitechapel Gallery.
In 2002, he undertook a residency at Dulwich Picture Gallery, which culminated in his exhibition, 'How's my Driving'. In 2012-2013, Ocean made a return to the National Portrait Gallery with his exhibition 'A handbook of modern life', a series of new portraits accompanied by a new publication.
A man of wide ranging interests, Ocean’s other projects include 'Big Mouth: The Amazon Speaks', his book with the American anthropologist Stephen Nugent about their visit to Northern Brazil and his work with filmmaker John Tchalenko. In 2012 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Canterbury Christ Church University and was appointed Professor of Perspective here at the Royal Academy Schools.