+1 ::: When did
you first realize you are an artist?
I was a kid, I was brought up in a family
of artists - my father was a poet, my
elder brothers loved to draw, but somehow
I had to find my own way - I believe I
did; I wandered around my home town and
spent hours just drawing and painting
the landscape before my eyes. It was a
bleak, cold, industrial landscape, but
I loved it.
+2 ::: Could
you tell us some more about your work?
evolved a lot. At first it was about drawing
- taking something from an objective vision
- and then handing it over to be viewed,
seen and understood by others; later it
became about my own story, instead of
what was in front of me. Scale is another
thing about my work; it just keeps getting
bigger. When I was 20 I got commissioned
to make average sized works, then in an
almost spooky way every consecutive commission
I got required slightly larger work. I
don't know when it will end.
I like that. And I like that work evolves.
To see its roots, to know where something
comes from gives a kind of validation,
a proof that the work isn't phony. That
it's true to the maker. It's like looking
at family photographs of someone you love
now but didn't know when they were growing
up. We see the things that we love now
existed way before we were in the picture.
It validates our affection, reassures
us that we're getting the real deal and
are right to feel the way we feel.
::: How do your drawings relate to your
there are similarities; negative space,
composition, structure. Also drawing is
a great starting point - it's good preparation
for an idea that might never come, but
still - the fact one is thinking about
it is what counts: it keeps the mind ticking
::: What artists have influenced you,
Guttuso for his passion and will to influence
Picasso, in his later years, for his advancement
Karl Weschke's early works for his mastership
of 'semi figurative' (something I normally
have little time for)
and more recently west coast American
artists; Larry Bell, Ken Price, Peter
Shelton, Ed Moses, Ruscha - all for their
love of color and/or dimensionality.
For more off beat kooky; Gaynor Evelyn
Lee Bontecou and Ana Maria Pacheco tick
all the boxes.
There are too many to mention, lists are
always too short.
::: What other interests do you have outside
read a lot, sometimes have too much fun,
love to drink a little and see friends
or family. I try to keep mind, body and
spirit healthy and live a full life, rich
with experience. Historically this has
meant a contrary life. Somebody once told
me I had Champagne tastes but beer pockets.
I'm happy to indulge both, a binary life
appeals to me, mixing things up. Louis
Roederer vintage Cristal with Tacos. Cheeseburgers
at The Wolseley...
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
people that I love, places that I love.
Love, I guess, is what inspires me; to
try to recreate something true and beautiful.
Some of my work is about recording, documenting
or capturing, making something that is
still in time, a freeze frame eternal.
A diary of a life. The inspiration for
that, I imagine, is to crystallize and
keep a moment alive. To make 'now' solid.
I live in 'the now' a lot, its intangibility
bugs me sometimes. Now passes too quickly,
but if it didn't it wouldn't be very now.
Art can go some way to resolving that
When it gets tough it's only my own fault,
so I focus and listen carefully, or let
things play out and be patient.
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
but bad. Not a great answer, I know; but
whenever I'm good at business I'm bad
at painting. Make the choice, find the
necessary balance I suppose. The money
and business thing has always been a problem
for artists. The main thing is not to
gripe about it; 'nobody likes a whinging
artist' said a fellow painter when I was
living in Tribeca. He's right, we're artists
because we choose it. Enjoy it always
and accept as best as you can the fact
that business and money will always be
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
accomplished at what I'm doing now but
also more open minded; branching out into
new forms and always, always learning.
Right now I'd like to get into really
large scale paintings (bigger than I already
do) or sculpture for public areas. Also
technology fascinates me, it's moved on
so much. Things like this website open
up art to a wider public, adding extra
dimensions and understanding that only
a few years ago would have been considered
::: What's the best and worst parts of
being a full time, working artist?
best - living a true life, learning and
experiencing anything and everything,
going wherever I want and having reason
to. It connects me to the earth, the city,
nature, people, the Divine buzz of existence,
all of life; on and off the planet.
The worst -The constant need to sell work
and stay ahead of the game. The business,
I aint whinging, promise.
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
hard, become so good in your work that
you believe in yourself, enough to make
you go on for a lifetime. I was going
to say 'driven' instead of 'go on for
a lifetime' but lately I'm finding it
a higher respect for work that is not
so driven. Driven means someone else is
doing the driving. Usually an ego with
Also, it helps to find people that believe
in you and what you're doing... that takes
a long time.
Patience, tenacity, effort and the love
of what you're doing.
They all help to fuel you, from now into