Paul Harvey was born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. He attended Burton Grammar School (1971–78) and North Staffordshire Polytechnic (1978–82) for Foundation Art and BA (Hons) Design. In 1982 he moved to London and played in post-punk bands in London. In 1986 he moved to Newcastle to join Pauline Murray's re-formed punk band Penetration. He co-published-and-drew Mauretania Comics with comics artist Chris Reynolds.
In 2001 he joined the Stuckists artists and founded a Newcastle branch. He has curated Stuckist shows at the Newcastle Arts Centre and with Hiroko Oshima of the Ryu Art Group at the Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick.
Paul Harvey's painting on the cover of the book The Stuckists Punk Victorian. He was a "featured artist" in The Stuckists Punk Victorian show at the Walker Art Gallery during the 2004 Liverpool Biennial. This exhibition was a definitive showing of the Stuckist oeuvre at one of the country's national galleries and thus marked a key point in both the development of the art movement and the standing of the artist. His painting of artist/model Emily Mann was used to promote the show.
The painting was based on a photograph of Mann by Charles Thomson and was originally intended to promote the Stuckists Real Turner Prize Show 2003. At that time the placard contained the text, "Serota needs a good spanking". However, according to Harvey, another artist Gina Bold "got really angry and started a debate about the S&M/fetish allusion. She got really pissed off with me because I didn’t agree with her. Then it got a bit nasty—the whole thing was just daft. Then the show got cancelled—and it had all been a complete waste of my fucking time." He later repainted the placard with a woman's face, and it was used in this form for the Walker show.
His images are often derived from pictures of film and singing "stars" in magazines, and reworked into a new context, sometimes with an obvious reference to the work of Alfons Mucha. The incorporation of modern symbols poses an ambiguity as to the amount of irony present, though the artist has claimed that he does not intend this. Possibly his best-known work is a painting of the singer Madonna. The elements mentioned are clearly visible, with small dumbbells around the border, for example and a lively, provocative Madonna, contrasting with Art Nouveau curves and languidity.
He describes his technique: "I use photographs but change the composition on a computer. I project onto canvas, trace the masses with a blue pencil, paint the details freehand with a sable brush, and the larger areas two to four times (for opacity) with Japanese or decorator’s brushes. I often change figures to get it right. I paint incessantly at home—paintings take up to three months."
Text from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Harvey_(artist)