We both own at least 1 item of leather clothing. Her trousers being far more controversial than my jacket.
+ We both fumbled a recent bout of public speaking.
My fumbling being over my Pecha Kucha. I was extremely disappointed when I didn’t manage to get half way through what I’d planned and forgot pretty much everything I was meant to say so I’m going to summarise now.
This is Judge Death leaving the recently possessed PSI Anderson. I coloured in the page aged 9 and Judge Dredd the comic its in and Brian Bolland the artist who drew it have remained life long influences on me. Judge Dredd is a story from comic book magazine 2000ad. I always enjoyed 2000ad’s ability to create imagined futures using exaggerated versions of the best things around at the time of their creation.
This is an image hand painted on the side of Old – Fred a world war 2 Lancaster bomber at the Imperial War Museum in London. Such light hearted images ending up on a killing machines under the orders of superior officers fascinates me. Its proof that in the darkest moments art can bring a smile to people’s faces. Its unrealistic to say art should always make people happy but I’d I believe the best art should improve people’s lives at least for the moment they are looking at it.
This is a US soldier’s embroidered souvenir or tour jacket from the Vietnam war. I have always had an interest in vintage, particularly military clothing and the act of customisation. By pairing this garment with this one off image (most likely sewn by a vietnamese villager) the function of it becomes more than clothing – its a means to share your unique life experience with all who see it. As with the traditional Punk, Metal, biker and gang leather and denim jackets from the 70s and 80s customising clothing could become an expression of who the wearer was. In that time it was an extremely varied and complex form of outsider art that perfectly documented sub culture.
This image is by John Heartfield from 1936, he.. “was an artist and a pioneer in the use of art as a political weapon. Some of his photomontages were anti-Nazi and anti-fascist statements.” There was or is a particular room in the Tate Modern where a few of Heartfield’s prints were hung that first made me think about collage as a tool in my work. You can’t help but be amazed at how ahead of his time he was stylistically and how influential he still is within graphic design.
This image is a front cover of the Black Panther news paper designed by legendary artist, designer and activist Emory Douglas. Emory Douglas talent of conveying disturbing and harsh messages through imagery that remains beautiful is an enviable skill. He was able to communicate messages with singular simple images that whole books could never convey. He created a coherent visual language using a vocabulary that anyone could understand.
This image is a close up of an huge installation by Ibrahim Mahama. It isn’t necessarily representative of him – his work is good but of no major influence on me. Its more that I found this 4inch cartoon image as soon as I entered the room in amongst a huge instalation. It was like a tractor beam to my eyeballs. I suppose an interest within in my work is to put these kinds of disposable miniature images into the forefront. I’ve always enjoyed using tiny images used in advertising in the backs of old magazines or on fruit boxes and elevating them to the main event of an art piece, poster or t shirt design.
Vandalism is something that fascinates me. I’m interested in the arrogance of the person who wrote cunt on this otherwise chirpy chef hand painted outside a cafe in Norwood. Just by adding a few simple lines they have completely ruined the original feature of this image. Or have they added a new one – humour, it is pretty funny. Graffiti as a whole is of no real significance in my work but the act of changing the way people view a place, an image or an item quite dramatically by simply adding a small mark to it is something I often think about.
This is from the recent exhibition of prison art at the Southbank centre. I firmly believe in the therapeutic power of art and how it can be used to get things out into the open for people don’t feel comfortable talking about. Art doesn’t have to be for the sake of art it can be for the sake of a conversation even between just 2 people. Or not even – it can be just for someone to get something off their chest there and then.
Both George Orwell’s take on the future in 1984 and his approach to language in Politics and the English Language had lasting effect on me. I honestly believe things are going to end badly and 1984 is without doubt the most realistic prediction of what lies ahead. Secondly Orwell’s portrayal of even his most complex thoughts are always explained in simple language – good ideas should be understood by people of all levels of intelligence for them to be successful.
This image represents my passion for Japanese animation, particularly but not exclusively from the 80s and 90s. The back bone of my practice will always be drawing and these films give the best examples of talented draftsmanship and creativity within cinema. Akira and Ghost in the shell (and countless others) defined everything that was cool for me as as a teenager (although I’m pretty sure I first watched them when I was 20). Again the idea of the future has always been more interesting to me than the present. I suppose something to do with that in these films was imagining being younger and aspiring to be one of the characters from the films and enjoying that moment of abandonment. The kind of no fucks given cyber punk attitude mixed with incredibly painted scenery, extremely complex storylines and really impressive animation just before cgi took over made films from this era so good. Again, like 2000ad the idea of exaggerating your present in order to imagine a future is something I find so fascinating.
These are from John Carpenter’s The Thing and Ken Russell’s Altered states. I am always captivated by Pre CGI special effects and these two films in particular. To achieve the levels of this real life virtual reality required such a huge sense of artistic creativity. Although I am a lifetime away now this mastery of the sci fi aesthetic is a bench mark to work toward and bring into my art practice.
Jodorowsky’s Dune is a documentary about the pre production of his version of Frank Herbert’s book that was never made. Alejandro Jodorowsky is responsible most notably for without doubt the most creative looking and sounding film ever Holy Mountain. This film explores his plans for what would of been a historic piece of cinema starring Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali soundtracked by Pink Floyd. Although you don’t get to see the film Jodorowsky and all the other people involved’s enthusiasm for it is completely inspirational. Whats most impressive is the way the documentary tracks the creative team behind the film he got together and how they went on to influence so much major Sci-fi later down the line. Most notably a lot of the scenery for alien was based on HR Giger’s original drawings for Dune. What I take from this film is Jodorowsky’s unfettered enthusiasm for the project even now. I suppose what influenced me most is the ambition of the whole thing and how important it is to aim high, higher than perhaps is realistic in order to really push yourself.
This image is a piece from the 2013 Wellcome Collection show: Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan. This was most probably the best exhibition I have ever seen. The innocently free from preconception creativity I saw in it is something I will always be in awe of.
Tattooing in a tribal sense is something I’ve always connected with. Although modern tattooing is 99.9% disgraceful I believe its an extremely reliable way of tracking pop culture through the ages wether you like the imagery or not.
For the past few years I’ve collected African and Asian folk art. I think its important to surround yourself with interesting objects as a creative person to keep you inspired.
The Haitan voodoo shrine at the Hornimann Museum. The notion of using found objects always troubles me. Sourced is a far better word than found – having an arsenal of objects to use in my work is essential. I often collect things I have no use for at the time that always come in handy later down the line.
Keith Haring outside his ‘Pop Shop.’ I believe art is a product of a brand that an artist creates around themselves. I think its always important to keep sight of merchandising, making t shirts has always been a massive part of my practice and I hope it will continue to be. Not everyone can afford to buy art so thinking of other ways to spread (and sell) your imagery is important.
This is the cover of a book about famous ibiza Balearic club and brand perhaps even movement KU. Balearic beat in its original sense was about extended DJ sets based around the concept of grouping all different types of music that shared a similar feel and worked well together regardless of who made them. What I take from this movement is the importance of putting together influences from all over creating a personal combination that only you can take ownership of.
This flyer represents my passion for self promoted, self published printed matter using existing imagery to create your own personal message. Sometimes by having confidence in how passionate you are about imagery that doesn’t belong to you can raise the most interesting conversations within your work.
Aba Shant I is probably the most famous english Dub sound system and producer. Reggae and Dub music and it’s artwork up until the 90s when done right, it was very often done wrong, is something I always reference in my work.