Mixed media on bespoke wood panel.
Acrylic paint, fly-posters, ink, block cut.
When it comes to understanding the influence my years in the financial world has on my style, one need look no further than works such as these. My daily fix of City life has given me a hunger and fascination for street life, urban culture and the metaphors they create.
The raw magnetism of London, where high-flyers rub shoulders with grime and decay, is mirrored in these mixed media works. Utilizing a number of methods, they combine harmony with chaos, depicting raw, honest snapshots of specific points in time of City life.
At first glance such large, carved, collage paintings appear a pandemonium of scrawls and cuttings. This initial interpretation is intended, for the art represents what is essentially the polar opposites and multiple tiers that make up life in the metropolis.
Many of the collage elements are taken directly from the street where they were first displayed. Posters, flyers and street adverts have long held my fascination; the artwork of the original posters being constantly overlaid by others, and the passing of time means layer after layer of designs creating an ever-transforming art of their own. These dynamic street displays are both decaying and vibrant, a piece of history yet brand new each day. Choosing which to tear down and juxtapose back together is a vital element of the finished product, somewhat like a dated 1960s office block being demolished in order to make way for a shiny new offering.
The art teases and invites the viewer to explore the story before their eyes. As a whole, the piece resembles the sensory overload that we all feel when immersed into the mayhem that is London life. Colours, noise, smells – all the human senses assaulted by that very moment you stand within the melting pot of street life. But when you begin to explore further, you realize that what you’re actually seeing is a snapshot of a specific moment in time, forever captured within the art.
These are pieces that, like the posters, flyers, symbols, fonts and texts within them, are an ever-changing story to be explored time and time again – because, the same as each and every one of us, we need to determine, understand and re-work exactly what is represented. In short, the pictures are a metaphor for the layers that make up the human psyche. We rip, tear, heal and change – transforming over time into something deeper, beautiful and fascinating.
I use a combination of methods in the creation of such a piece. From collage to brush strokes, carvings to power tools, the patchwork of colours and mediums challenges the viewer to fall deeper into the time capsule of London life and work out it’s dynamic meaning for themselves.