Inside the Studio

Pure Evil

Favorite materials to work with?
Spray paint is my preferred medium. I like how it’s usually unpredictable. It can spray quite smoothly and then suddenly, it starts splattering everywhere. It’s kind of chaotic.

How many years as an artist?
Started painting crocodiles when I was 4, so around 40 years.

Where is your studio?
I have two at the moment: one is being renovated and looks like a nail bomb has gone off in a paint shop. I’ve just moved my cans into the new one; it looks promising. I’m also scoping out another one in a run-down WW2  building next to an old airfield. Who knows…

What themes do you pursue?
The death of utopia and the myth of the apocalypse. Scratching the surface and finding darkness underneath, a bit like a David Lynch scene in Blue Velvet, where an ear is found in a nice lawn, covered in ants.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I love hearing music while I work… CAN , NEU, Conan Mockasin. There’s an amazing blog called LES MAINS NOIRES that has awesome mixes.

Where can we find you outside the studio?  
Columbia Road & Brick Lane markets early on a Sunday morning, looking for cool stuff to paint on.

What’s around the corner from your place?
Crackheads and hipsters.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  
It’s not getting to the top of the mountain that’s the important thing; it’s how you climb the mountain that counts.

Art school or self-taught?
A bit of both… I did an A Level in art, and then switched and did fashion design, because I was well into street-wear. I would say “father taught” actually; he is also an artist, and I grew up around paintings and exhibitions and art books about Pop Art. That was the best introduction to the art world.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I’d like to be a porn star… I really think it would be a satisfying job.

Day job?
Artist and accidental gallerist.

What do you collect?
I collect Pop Art from 1968, some Rosenquist pieces and Richard Hamilton.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?  
Can I have Guernica, please ? That is transcendental artwork. 

Favorite brush?  
A bit fatty boom boom Windsor one; it’s a beaut.

Use anything other than paint?
Yes: neon, metal, collage, KRINK, Solvite, Glue, Blu-Tac, and things I find in Brick Lane Market, or junk I can paint on.

Palette knives?
I prefer wooden palettes… stretch a canvas over it. BOOM.

Monet or Manet?
I reckon Monet, he was OUT THERE, man. If you had an alien race intent on destroying the planet and they wanted a reason to spare us, we could show them Monet’s water lily paintings and they’d probably let us live. I might try a bit of Led Zeppelin, too, if they weren’t feeling the Monet paintings, just to be safe.