What tools couldn’t you live without in your work?
Tubed paint mainly. I love the fucking stuff. The more gunkier or viscous the better. I’ve always loved oil paint since I was in my early teens and used to nick the stuff, although due to practical reasons I now also use acrylic paint – no thievery involved these days though. I also use spray paint for painting outside, as it accelerates the process and is more practical in cans.
Painting has taken a considerable dip in popularity, or was considered passée by the art powers that be for over a decade. Thankfully that wind seems to be changing.
I’m quite dependent on my computer for doing digital sketches also, the idea of not being able to load up images to work from or play around with compositions before I commit to paint seems like a legitimate reason for suicide. I’m not one to be dramatic.
What inspires you?
Usually other painters inspire me to paint. I recently recorded a documentary of Lucian Freud, whom I love, and I’ve watched it many times already. I recently saw the Jenny Saville retrospective up in Oxford – her monumental slabs of paint make feel all fuzzy and excited. On one particular gigantic, transgender themed canvas in this show I had my nose up to a large, mounded, impasto area, built up of aggressive slashes & squiggles of paint for some time. The staff must have thought I was ready for being sectioned… as it was a herculean sized penis, crowned in all it’s pubic glory.
Things that kill my inspiration are silly purist rules in art, especially the graffiti world, if it works then get the fuck on with it.
What motivates you?
I’m probably motivated to paint by quite sad, negative forces. Feelings of insecurity and fears of failure propel me forward visually. I’m quite hard on myself and have a strong competitive streak, always thinking of ways to communicate my ideas faster or better. Us creative creatures are a wee sensitive bunch.
When I was younger I used to feel very small in a very big world, so producing art and getting it out there for people to see makes me feel like I have voice too. As a teenager, before B-Boy culture gripped our shores in the mid 80′s from the U.S.A, I used to write my name everywhere I went so people would know I existed. Decades later graffiti is all the rage… I’m still making my mark.
What you would be doing if it wasn’t art?
As a child & based on things I read or listened to, I wanted to be either an archaeologist, a pop star, or a serial killer (I like the notoriety bit but I’m far too squeamish for the all that blood). In reality I’d probably be running a veggie cafe by the sea with seagulls squawking overhead… ” two teas, falafel and spotted dick for table 16!”
Open 2nd – 24th November