Hi Rob, it’s been a pleasure to meet you in Bristol. And i’m happy to interview you and present your artwork to StreetARt360 readers.
Can you tell us where you’re from ?
I’m from the UK, I started painting under another alias in Leicester and have been painting in Bristol for the past 10 years, recently I have relocated to London but still try and get back to paint in Bristol when I can.
Are you primarily an artist or do you have another activity ?
I work in the catering industry, and have been juggling full time work with my art for quite a while now. This year I plan to focus just on my artwork and try to really step it up a gear, so that’s going to be a bit of a scary move when it happens. Aside from this I am a skateboarder and musician, but its hard to keep up with everything.
How did it all start ? (when you were a kid ? At school ? later ? )
I have always been into art. My Mums a painter and so is my Gran so Iv always had artistic interest in the family. The interest in graffiti came with going to Radlands skate park in Northampton and seeing full-scale pieces, tags and throwups all in the same context. Around the same time I found a book with a page of Zephyr freights and I just thought that was the coolest thing Id ever seen!
What is your preferable surface to paint on ? Walls, Canvas, …
I like painting walls for the real spontaneous and instant effects, I rarely have a plan and just work with the closest colours I have to my initial idea. But on the other hand I love the draftsmanship that goes into studio work and the fact I can be really particular about the mediums I use. I really want to get into crossing these two different approaches and finding a balance between the spontaneous and the meticulous in both my indoor and outdoor work.
Do you define youself as a classical painter or street artist ? …
That’s up to you! I used to think street art meant turning a road sign into a face or a bin into a spaceship or something. When I started street art would just be a writers character without letters. I love painting and really do study it, and a lot of inspiration comes from older ideas and imagery. I just need to put some more work into the studio side of things!
Where do you find your inspiration ? i’ve noticed you paint a lot of birds.
Painting birds over and over is a bit like writing my name or tagging over and over, it has that feeling of repetition and at the same time it tests the elements that defines a piece and I find I’m exploring new ground by repeating the same idea. I like these images can fall into the narrative of public and social space; the birds provide colour concepts and ideas of perspective. Birds are also magical creatures in the sense they hold meaning and symbolic value to different cultures and generations, and they also hold a scientific value as they are a key to understanding the natural world and thusly ourselves and our relationship with it. My use of source imagery is important to, and I have ideas concerning this theme but so far they are half-baked and not fully addressed!
where can people admire your work at present ?
Bristol, London and HongKong have a few long lasting pieces, from inner city to suburbs, but they are normally found off the main roads and down side streets. I have my own website and I do try to put things on social media every now and again, not everything though, I do like to leave a few pieces out there for people to just come across.
Have you collaborated with any other street artists ?
Yeah, its always good fun watching other people paint and it’s the only way to learn. I was a bit of a lone painter for a long time and as soon I started painting with others I improved.
Is there a particular street artist you would like to work with ?
I haven’t really thought about that, Id paint with pretty much anyone as long as they’re doing it for the right reasons.
What do you think of the street art scene in the uk ?
The art form is getting more public acceptance and more artists are seeing it through rather than just doing it to promote a gallery show or to give them street credit. Some artworks last too long though, its just paint and you cant just ride on old achievements. Illegal pieces should be respected a bit more as someone’s really put their shit on the line for their work, and no one should be sent to jail for painting on things, even if its highly destructive!
Have you had any gallery exhibitions in the past ?
I really enjoy producing studio work, so I do try and exhibit when I can, I have been involved in group shows and open studios with some great illustrators, sculptors, painters and artists.
Do you have a place or city that you dream to paint ?
I want to pay homage to the blues and jazz greats of America, and paint in places such as New Orleans, Mississippi and Chicago. Ill wait four years before I go. And Id love just to travel the world painting what I interact with, and to take in different cultures and see how that informs my work. Otherwise I’m happy trying to find new spots and making use of space that becomes ‘available’!
Do you have any particular artistic projects in the future ?
Yeah, Iv got a couple of body’s of work I want to follow up and put some time into.
Who are your favourite artists ? Painters, street artists sculptor etc …
That’s a hard one. The last show I saw that blew my mind was the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective, the guy just thought and made throughout his life. The list is too broad to really express.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us ?
I guess just remember that a lot of this kind of stuff is temporary; it changes and can sometimes be something you like and something you don’t. It’s a great thing to have this human element amongst the static of aesthetics and the bombardment of advertising. Art is great but the market is just ridiculous, and can create a stigma to works that ends up destroying art for the public, and I hope this doesn’t happen to this art form. Don’t let an artist tell you how to think, if their work allows you to engage in a dialog or just pleases you on a fundamental level that’s all you need. Buy some art if you like it and try to enjoy as much as you can, it’s generally free.
Thanks to all the artists, photographers, appreciators and even the haters for keeping the momentum going.
Thank’s a lot Aspire.
Aspire Artwork Gallery:
Pictures by Courtesy of Aspire