Arts Editor: Christopher George
Working in the language of landscape and topography, American artist Brian Reinker creates colourful abstractions depicting real and imagined places with the discipline of an architect. We caught up with him at his South London studio prior to his forthcoming solo show.
What is your background?
I am originally from Ohio in the US Midwest and from a child was interested in art, design and architecture. I remember drawing on the walls and my mother not being very pleased about that!
I studied Fine Arts and Art History at University and also did a degree in Architecture and Design. I came to London in 1986 to study at the Architectural Association and I never left! I worked as a design director on building projects all over Europe but always wanted to be able to concentrate full time on art again, which is what I am now doing from my studio in Waterloo.
How would you describe your work? Talk us through your creative process,
My focus is on urban environments and landscapes, using ink and pencil drawing, paint on canvas and more recently, paper and other media on aluminium panels. I am inspired by maps, buildings and personal travel experiences. I usually sketch out a work in pencil and then start by gathering materials and making. The process of the physical making of something is important to me.
Who and what are your biggest influences?
The support of my partner is my biggest influence, he encourages me to explore new avenues and we discuss ideas and options together. I do not think that there is a single artist, but the modernist, mid century and more architecturally or graphic artists are inspiring.
What makes you get up and create art?
Having worked in the corporate world, I still have that strong urge to get up and get going. I tend to review the past few days work and then get excited about getting back to the studio and make any changes or try different options until I am satisfied.
What are you currently working on?
My first London solo show – Paper-Scissors-Rock, which opens at Hoxton 253 Gallery on 21 November! For the past year, I have been concentrating on working with paper, foil, vinyl and other materials mounted on aluminium panels. I tend to work in series or sets of ideas that I explore a theme with. I have been exploring building facades and most recently abstracted horizon landscapes and vertical views through air and forests. I’m looking forward to showing all these new works at the show!
Brian Reinker: Paper-Scissors-Rock is at Hoxton 253, from 21-23 November. 253 Hoxton Street, London N1 5LG
BY SARA DARLING
Representing art from around the world, ‘Imago Mundi’ began as a collection of artworks commissioned and collected during the world travels of Luciano Benetton- one of the creators of the global fashion brand United Colors of Benetton.
Carefully developed and curated into an exhibition, 'Don't ask me where I’m from’ has brought together fifteen artists from second generation immigrants who represent 23 countries from all over the world, as part of a group exhibition which opens at Imago Mundi’s 'Gallerie delle Prigioni', in Treviso, Italy.
Given a platform to reflect on their community and society, the unique show aims to highlight life today, and consists of a growing body of people, raised in an environment other than their parents. The chosen artists have a diverse sense of identity and their works explore cross-cultural artistic realities and highlight how they are able to navigate between different cultures.
Hailing from all over the globe and making a life for themselves in places they were not born, these chosen artists are celebrated for their “difference” and include Shinpei Takeda of Japanese origin but lives between Tijuana (Mexico) and Berlin. El Seed is French with Tunisian parents and practices "calligraphy" (a mix of Islamic calligraphy and street art). Jeanno Gussi is Afghan but lives in Berlin, which helps to demonstrate the fusion of cultures in our daily lives, wherever they are.
Making a statement on nationality, roots and immigration, the exhibition is timely and hopes to forge a deeper understanding between cultures and communities, and a respect for diversity and difference.
The exhibition will be on show from 27 November at Imago Mundi’s Gallerie delle Prigioni, Treviso, Italy, before travelling to the Aga Khan Museum in March 2020.
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Vincent Kamp is an artist known for his striking portraits of gangsters, bearded gamblers and tattooed barbers… (and Sam Smith!).
His love of edgy characters and moody atmospheres is obvious in his work. Fascinated by the underground world of urban subculture, Kamp delves beneath the surface of social class, creating intense portraits of people in a fused background of cinematic lighting, brooding tension and impending drama. He (unsurprisingly) cites film, especially the gangster genre, as one of his main influences as a painter.
Last year, he created a series of paintings based on a story he wrote called The Long Game, so it may not come as a big surprise that he has finally turned his hand at film-making for his latest project. ‘Queen of Diamonds’ is a stylish short film scripted by Kamp himself and co-directed with Naeem Mahmood, the award-winning director of ‘Bright Young Turks’.
Kamp explains: ‘I made this film to show how I visualise the story before I tell it with paint. My paintings have always been inspired by cinematographers and I felt it was time to take that creative influence to the next level”.
Featuring a top cast that include Giorgia May Foote (Coronation Street), Tamer Hussan (Layer Cake), Leo Gregory (Once Upon a Time in London) and Samuel Anderson (The History Boys), Queen of Diamonds is a short thriller about an audacious plot to rob an international diamond trader.
But the film is only the starting point for Kamp’s next exhibition opening on 12 September at Clarendon Fine Art in London’s Mayfair where Queen of Diamonds will be screened alongside a new series of paintings based on the film.
Until then you can watch the trailer for Queen of Diamonds here: Queen of Diamonds Trailer
Queen of Diamonds will be at Clarendon Fine Art, Mayfair, 46 Dover Street, London W1S 4FF from 12 to 28 September 2019
Peter Mammes is a South African artist currently based in London. His first solo UK show opens on 5 September at Hoxton 253 and we caught up with him at his studio in Whitechapel, East London.
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Hi Peter. Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
I grew up as part of an isolated Afrikaans-speaking community during the collapse of the apartheid regime and the transition to a democratic, multi-cultural government. As a child I witnessed the change of the country’s collective social and economic norms and these experiences have been a major factor in my development as an artist.
What’s your latest exhibition about?
The show is called PRESUMED ALIVE – It’s a play on “Presumed Dead”, a term often used in times of war or unusual circumstances that demand legal closure. My new work deals with the colonial history of the British Empire and features imagery of wounded soldiers, Victorian-era medical equipment, bandaged limbs and mummified animals. I then mix it all with cheerful patterns and vibrant colours which I source from my own experiences of living in South Africa and Russia, as well as from recent travels to Namibia, Egypt and India.
Where did you get your inspiration from for this show?
I spent quite some time researching for material at the National Army Museum Archives and the Wellcome Collection in London. I focused my attention on the First World War, the Boer Wars and Victorian medicine. The bandages and splints give a sense of unease and a correcting of sorts. It’s like I’m trying to mend things through my work, lick the wounds, offer a glimmer of hope and an escape from isolation.
At first glance, the subject matter may sound a bit macabre but your work looks beautiful, almost unnervingly so! How do you manage that?
It’s all down to the patterns and the colour I add to my work. I like to draw attention to the beauty of the things society tries to hide and to the things we think of as unusual in order to question our current sense of normality. I grapple with the way in which what we consider benign and banal today might be in the future, or have been in the past, considered pathological and bizarre.
Tell us more about the patterns.
I’ve always been interested in patterns. Thoughts occur as patterns; our lives are made up of events that occur as repetitions; history is repeated in patterned compositions. I am fascinated by the way nature forms patterns, even those that are grotesque. There are patterns, harmony and symmetry in deformities, which imbue them with grace and beauty. I’m also very interested in symbolism so I like to play with the idea of juxtaposing different symbols to depict a rich patterned plane of line work and colour.
Presumed Alive is presented by Hoxton 253 Art Project Space
253 Hoxton Street, London N1 5LG
6-15 September (12-8pm)
Private View: Thursday 5 September. 6-9pm
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Written whilst on the road in spots including Paris, Mexico, Los Angeles, the UK and New York, ALA.NI created ’ACCA’ by layering up hundreds of vocal tracks, some of which imitate the sounds of instruments, building a hypnotic world that blurs the lines between vibrating vocal cords, bowed strings, and blown reeds. Written - as with ‘You & I’ - a cappella, with ‘ACCA’ ALA.NI pushes a vocals-only technique to its furthest possibilities. ‘ACCA’ is made up entirely of human voices - beatboxing serving as percussion, with ALA.NI lowering her own vocals to create the illusion of bass, whilst percussive elements were created using everything from beer bottles and tennis balls to ALA.NI’s own body and the studio walls. “It was all pretty lo-fi on my end,” says ALA.NI, who often captured songs on the fly using a laptop whilst in transit. “I didn’t record to a click, I didn’t use a tuner; I’d just press record and lay down whatever came out.”
ALA.NI new self-written, produced & arranged album 'ACCA' due for release early 2020, with guest artist Iggy Pop and Lakeith Stanfield.
Interview: Christopher George
David Lock brings together a ‘monstrous’ but beautiful dialogue in the relationship of our human species. Often with an ambiguous narrative on the power play within couplings; David Lock has become a highly sought after artist, not only for his modern take on portraiture and figurative painting, but also for his interpretation on the classics of painting.
SoEdited gained exclusive time to interview Lock before a season of exhibitions he has embarked on.
SE: You use collage in your portrait works, creating a mix match of characters that almost have a schizophrenic personality- could you tell us why?
D: For me the collage is a way of keeping things in flux. My work is about masculinity and I’m interested in how we as men demonstrate masculinity. It changes from moment to moment, and in that way I just want to keep different moments in play.
SE: How do you work with collage and then bring this into your own painting format. And why is the collage system so interesting to you?
D: It allows me to pose questions, so it’s open-ended in that way. I usually directly cut up magazines or I take images from the internet, I like the use of digital as its the world we now live in.
In taking mass-media images and then mixing them into paintings, it changes the context and becomes about masculinity in relation to the history of painting. Of course there’s also a history with collage- for example Dada. But with painting you’re entering into a dialogue steeped in tradition, and that constant need to keep it urgent and engaging.
SE: Sexuality is a strong part of your work. What is the mystique in sexuality that fascinates you when produce your paintings.
D: It’s a tricky one. Sexuality fascinates me, it’s a powerful drive. I want to ask questions about the differences when it comes to desire. I don’t just want to recreate standard tropes of homoerotic desire, so i’m trying to find new ways to explore the homoerotic imaginary, and that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do.
SE: We seem to have 2 spectrums of power in your works; money and youth. Can you talk to me from your perspective.
D: My images are taken from mainstream magazines, so there’s a power structure inherent as a capital force. However I never think about capital/money in terms of my paintings content; of course that might be a by-product of the figures I choose to assemble.
For a while with the Misfit paintings I just made portraits, but then I felt I should give them a context. I am interested in undermining and playing with the ‘ideal’ in terms of masculinities, and so the environments they are in can then become the desirable element. By breaking that up through collaging and frustrating its reading, I then reimagine it as a kind of ‘monstrous coupling’.
There’s a resistance and you’re undermining that power structure. It’s the same with my more direct paintings. I’m interested in questioning society’s ideals of masculinities, that’s why I work from the mass-media images rather than from life models. The images I choose to make a painting from, they have to already be functioning as a desirable object in a magazine or whatever other portal of desire I use as a resource tool.
SE: This sexual power spectrum is as old as currency itself, and never looses its grip on us humans. Why do you think this is such a powerful situation across all sexualities?
D: From our perspective, we live in a western capitalist democracy. It’s about power and nothing sells like sex and desire. It’s based around lacking and constantly needing to be fulfilled.
SE: With currency and sex being such a stable part of society, why do you think in the 21st century we still have such a difficult situation in accepting sex?
D: I think our ideas of sexuality are still very rigid, and based on heteronormativity. I think the problem stems from conformity and control. Progressive society breaks down barriers, but if those hard fought for liberal values of full equality are not demanded and reinforced, our civil liberties will become eroded again. You can already see that happening in the USA, and already we have a lack of tolerance emerging in the UK. We now live in a culture where a divisive rhetoric is winning. Only recently, people thought the USA and the UK were reliable western democracies but now we are looking like a hopeless mess. When you see the censorship and homophobia increasing in Russia, whose to say that could not happen here. We are witnessing an increase in LGBT hate crime right now. Where will this end?
SE: As a dancer with the Candoco Dance Company from 2001, how was this experience on a personal level, and how did this then feed into your paintings?
D: It was great, I loved working with them. I’d danced since the 80’s as I was a breakdancer, so dance was always something close to my heart. It was great to be part of an ensemble, pushing each other in various creative ways, from our wonderful Artistic Director Celeste Dandeker OBE, through to the other dancers and the great choreographers we worked with.
It was an honour to be a part of Candoco, and when I joined they had already established themselves as the leading dance company of disabled and non disabled dancers. We all really strove and pushed each other to produce the best work.
After leaving Candoco I wanted to get that sense of movement into my paintings. I want the figures and their surroundings to be fluid and dynamic.
SE: When you’re at your studio do you like to be isolated and work in silence. Or is the studio a social area where you listen to music. What sounds do you like to have in the studio to inspire your mood, or to just give you some background noise. Is your studio and work place a relaxed environment, or is it a place where you need to concentrate and be focused.
D: It just depends what mood i’m in. I go into the studio and evaluate what i’ve done the day before with fresh eyes, it’s a focused atmosphere.
Often it’s silence, just me and the painting. Other times it’s music and occasionally the radio. I’ll put Spotify on my phone or shuffle my iPod until I hear something come on I want to play more, Kate Bush say, or The Weekend. I get so absorbed in painting though that an album goes by in two minutes, I hardly notice it’s ended.
I share my studio with my partner Stephen. He has a nice space at the back. He’s studying for an OU degree, so I also have to negotiate the space with him.
SE: You’ve been in London for many years now. Is there somewhere else you would like to potentially spend more time? From your paintings we have an idea of blue sky, tropical plants, hot weather. Do you crave for what you create in your paintings?
D: No, not at all, I quite like grey London, at least whilst holding out praying for Brexit not to happen. The tropical trees and blue skies were really just a couple of paintings I made when I was researching and fascinated by William Burroughs and Joe Orton in Tangiers. From that I made the paintings ‘Misfits (Garden)’ and ‘El Muniria’ which was in last years ‘John Moores Painting Prize’. I was thrilled about that, as it’s the UK’s most prestigious painting award. Then the Walker Art Gallery purchased the painting for their permanent collection!
SE: Leicester. Grim, grey, depressing, un-accepting and certainly not cosmopolitan… Sorry if you find my observation offensive, but I am also from the area so find it completely acceptable to beat the place up! But what is your relationship to Leicester. And what did Leicester bring into your work?
D: Haha, yes it’s funny those places form you as a person, that sense of not belonging, of being bored and wanting to escape. However growing up in the 80’s I found kindred spirits who also loved bands like The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins. We’d go to clubs like the Fan Club and later Streetlife, Leicesters gay club. The Alternative scene, then afterwards trying to avoid getting beaten up by the townies in the taxi rank on the way home. It definitely wasn’t cosmopolitan! However, I made lasting lifelong friends growing up there, so it doesn’t matter where you are, you eventually find your tribe. That sense of not fitting in, that can be a positive thing, it definitely informed my work, it’s good to be awkward and let things go awry.
SE: What music have you been listening to today, and why?
D: I was listening to the amazing make-up artist Pat McGrath on Desert Island Discs. She was just fab. One of her choices was ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Grace Jones, so after that I put ‘Island Life’ on. I love that album and I used to listen to it a lot.
I’ve also been listening to ‘Chris’, the new album by Christina and the Queens. I loved her first album, but with this new one, I really like how she’s playing with gender, and identifying as a man in a performative way, bringing that to a pop context, it’s brilliant.
For Exhibition Updates:
Arts Editor: Christopher George
With a hint of Art Nouveau’s Aubrey Beardsley black lines and detailed patterns, Benjamin Murphy uses electrical tape to create and glamourise the female form. Creating a snapshot of a moment, a fleeting glimpse of inner thoughts via the gesture of a figurative movement.
Murphy is a stable part of the London art scene, yet not affiliated to any particular scene, and has forged out his own niche in the past 10 years.
SoEdited caught up with Benjamin to chat about his developing style.
Some of your early works document social situations. What was behind these ideas?
I try to depict people in unposed scenarios, as if we are seeing them during their private moments of inaction and introspection. For this reason I try to keep the actual action to an absolute minimum so as to leave the figures to be shown in contemplation rather than in the process of doing something. I want the work to feel very slow and quiet, but with the suggestion that more is going on in the characters mind - that’s where the action sits. These kind of scenarios can naturally look quite melancholic, and people can read into that whatever they like. I prefer to give the viewer as much scope to interpret my work as possible, and I think that any interpretation of an artwork is the correct one.
Some high-profile portraits have been part of your work. How is it to work with a subject, rather than just your imagination?
The actress Olivia Coleman commissioned me to draw her and her husband a few years ago, and they were both the loveliest people to work with, so that was an absolute pleasure. I went round their house photographing lots of patterns and objects to include in the background, so there were lots of sentimental items represented. They were very happy with the piece.
On the whole though, the portraits I’ve been commissioned to do have usually been much stranger subjects, which I think suits my work quite nicely.
I was asked a few years ago to draw Fred & Rose West, which meant that whatever I did, the work was going to invoke strong reactions. A few serendipitous and coincidental things happened, linking myself to them at the time I was making it, which was interesting.
The male portrait and figure has very recently become part of you concentration in portraits. Why now?
I decided that I had been working very much within my comfort-zone, and so as soon as I identified that, it was time for a course-correction.
From your perspective. What is the difference between the male and the female as a muse?
The male figure is a lot easier to draw in general, as any slight diversions in line just appear as musculature. It’s harder to capture things like tenderness with the male form, but it’s important to challenge oneself with things like this, and to think about why these challenges may exist in the first place.
If we at SoEdited were to give you a commission, what would it be?
People keep asking me to do a self-portrait, which I always avoid. Perhaps it’s time.
When working in your studio, are you more comfortable being isolated or is it a social atmosphere?
My studio needs to be a very solitary place. Often I’ll spend days on one pattern, which can be unimaginably repetitive and my brain needs to pretty much switch off from it so as to be able to repeat the same action over and over again for hours at a time. The slightest distraction makes this progress very hard.
Aside from that my studio is less like the Baconesque studio most people imagine all artists to inhabit, and a lot more like a study or an office. There are lots of plants and books, and obviously lots of art works on the walls.
We have seen you grow into a very handsome man. What would you consider the attributes of being a handsome man?
To quote Marilyn Manson - “I am not an artist I’m a fucking work of art.”
What was the last thing that offended you?
Offence is a very loaded term these days, and it’s been given more power than it deserves. People are so worried about offending or being offended that they completely shy away from debate, and opposing groups never interact. I believe that all topics should be on the table for discussion, even abhorrent ones, as the most successful way to tackle intolerance and bigotry is to undermine them in serious debate.
There are a lot of things politically that have been pissing me off recently, but for reasons stated above, I’m reticent to use the term offended.
Have you been upset in the last 6 months. If so why...
I’m an eternal optimist, so not really no. I’ve seen a lot of sad things like everyone does, but I try to accept them and learn from them where possible. I’ve seen people die and relationships break down, but I am very much of the belief that we are not defined by things that happen to us, but by how we respond to such things.
You have an ability to be quite blunt. What is this bluntness?
Haha this is something I try to combat daily. I’m often quite indelicate! My friend Nick described my demeanour the other day as ”northern stoicism”, which is probably pretty apt - and absolves me from any responsibility, as it’s inbuilt and genetic.
What five songs define you?
The last five artists I’ve listened to on Spotify are:
Motörhead, Iggy Pop, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Slayer, Alice In Chains.
IS there a film that you wish you could have lived?
Benjamin Murphy - ANTIHERO
Private view 03/07/19 18:00-2200
Show runs every day until the 11th.
Exhibition graciously supported by Paja&Bureau, Creat, and drinks for the private view supplied by Suomenlinnan Panimo
Art Editor: Christopher George
Romina Ressia first solo exhibition at the prestigious contemporary gallery HOFA in Central London.
Portraits portrayed in the classic style with references from artist such as
Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Velazquez. Ressia adopts the simplistic narrative of Flemish realism, no background confusion or ostentatious displays of wealth.
The striking presence of mundane modern objects, however sit comfortably in a juxtaposition between the classic naturalism and beauty of youth, and the mass reproduction of modern pop culture objects.
Romina Ressia achieves the quality of photography and fine art in a perfect union, paying homage to the classic style of portrait painting and contemporary art photography.
From Wednesday 5 June until Wednesday 19 June, 2019.
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. These larger than life characters within the context of the 1980s dynamic New York scene.
Produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s estate, this book chronicles the duo’s relationship in hundreds of previously unpublished photographs of Basquiat along with a dynamic cast of characters from Madonna to Grace Jones, Keith Haring to Fela Kuti. The shots are accompanied by entries from the legendary Andy Warhol Diaries, selected collaborative artworks, and extensive ephemera. Touching, intimate, and occasionally sardonic, Warhol on Basquiat is a voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of two of modern art’s brightest stars.
WARHOL ON BASQUIAT
Interview: Christopher George
Establishing oneself in the arts is a daunting practice. But when class and ethnicity are part of the equation, it takes tenacity as well as a lot of talent to consider a position in such a competitive and ruthless industry.
SoEdited’s Christopher George, exclusively interviews Stephen Anthony Davids, prior to his solo Mayfair show, after following his career for several years, we were extremely excited to eventually gain access to this aloof character on the art scene.
Your style is bold, simple, punctuated and extremely distinctive. What would you say about your style of painting.
My style has developed over many years, but it has its roots in illustration and calligraphy. My bold line is a direct extension of my psychological state. In terms of my style of painting, it is immediate, controlled, slapstick, frenetic, impulsive and intentional.
What are the difficulties you have found being a black male artist, in what can be a very white male dominated industry.
Where do I begin? The art world is underpinned by class as much as by race. As a self taught artist the difficulties I experience are widespread, predominantly from not having come through the elite art school system- for example Slade, Goldsmiths, Chelsea etc. Whereas people love my work when they see it, I have found on many occasions a wariness to me, or my authenticity.
Race can be the obvious factor. However my class and the preconceptions of me regarding this are huge contributing factors. I allow the quality of my work and presentation to dispel the frowns, or in some cases disbelief that I produced the work. I do not conform to a tribe, and this has caused difficulties. I am my own person, and by being so comes with it an element of being an outsider.
You have been a working artist for many years. What positive changes have you witnessed, and what negatives, if any have risen to the surface?
Positive changes are that I am seeing more black people attending art fairs as well as showing work at at them. There will always be the underlying vibe of feeling unwelcome when attending a private view in Mayfair for example. This is life to anyone who has stepped outside their normal confines of their postcode.
Unconscious bias will always be part of the many hurdles to jump; Whereby early on in my career I would become angry, I am more wiser now in how I deal with it.
This factor now drives me.
The written word often comes into your work. Where do these statement come from, and is writing a part of your life in general?
I listen to music a lot in the studio, and sometimes a line of a song that I am listening to may find its way onto the drawing or painting. I also watch a lot of documentaries about history and I cross reference information that I may hear by writing it down in a notebook.
As one of the heads of a special school for 4 years, I was always attending meetings and note taking. I need to write things down, things that need to be done, things I have seen. Some of these observations may then end up in a painting or drawing.
How would you describe your general emotions and state of mind?
I am deep. I am a thinker. I am reflective. I am resilient. And I am very passionate.
Mental health is a big topic, and thank god a very much open conversation these days. Men especially struggle with mental health due to the lack of openness regarding their own difficulties with communication and the perception of men. What advice would you give to our readers about coping with issues of the mind?
Mental Health issues are very normal. I have worked in Adolescent Mental Health for many years, working with young people with behaviour orders etc.
Mental Health is a big topic, but the issue of being able to have an open dialogue regarding personal Mental Health is still very difficult.
Masculinity in the 21century has many constraints and pressures. Statistics show that Mental Health affecting men is huge. Through my work in the education system I am alarmed to what degree Mental Health in young people is on the rise. But seeing the pressures young men are faced with today, it's quite understandable.
A key to promoting positive Mental Health is to have effective communication with others, and surrounding yourself with people who are not about to judge you.
Also, owning your differences, and educating yourself regarding your own behaviour, this information can be key. Understanding what your triggers are, and what are the cause of these triggers. Knowing one's own Mental Health issues are key to positive personal growth.
Your studio is in East London. On a basis of your working time at the studio, is this a structured day or is it quite casual, and do you have a social element to your work space, or are you more comfortable being isolated?
What is the soundtrack to your studio generally?
My studio is on the cusp of the canal in the Olympic Park and it overlooks the canal, so I see the water whenever I arrive. It a haven for me. A studio day would begin around 10.00am ( depending on my mood ) I do have a routine. 15 minutes reflection in my space. I switch on LBC Radio pending on the vibe, or I listen to one of my many House music tapes dating back to 1987. There is one tape I have on ‘repeat’ that is 90 minutes of orgasmic mixing and tunes that elevate me back to an era long passed. I love House Music, it’s in my DNA.
Isolation is therapeutic. I have no problem being on my own. As long as I have materials and music then I am inspired and I can create.
What advice would you give to young artists from diverse backgrounds?
Celebrate your uniqueness, and the generation you come from. There are issues of race no doubt, but that shouldn't hold you back from kicking down the doors!!
The art of African people has inspired artists for centuries, it has a deep soul. My advice is to find your own voice, whatever that is. As a black man of Jamaican parents and raised in East London, I have been inspired by my surroundings, my heritage, the experience and observations of my life. This has informed my practice, and it resonates through my work.
Your works have a playful visuality to them, but your underlying message is one of a political nature. Can you elaborate on the political message you comment on
I do not have a specific political message, I comment on what I see. My work in part is autobiographical, therefore the work I produce is based on experiences, observations and personal interest. Blackness is a theme that is consistent throughout my work. However there are a lot of historical references in the material I produce. I am often exploring the role of a black-man in Georgian London, as well as men regardless of their colour in Urban London. The work of the boxers is an exploration of masculinity and pride, and is often a narrative I work from.
I communicate visually with underlying message in my works. If this encourages you to think, laugh and question, then my job is done.
What’s the film that has most influenced you as a person?
Boyz in the Hood – I remember seeing this is a young man and thinking ‘wow’!
Favourite five songs?
1. Love is the message - MFSB
2. Love Hangover – Diana Ross
3. James Brown – Payback
4. Maze – Twilight
5. Total – Can’t you see.
Favourite place to find some space?
Dungeness – KENT.
Show runs from 30th May until 8th June 2019.