Hi My Dog Sighs, it’s a great pleasure to meet you. I’ve always been fascinated by your “Eyes” murals, your “naive” little characters that can also be giants sometimes. As well as the reason for your painted tiny cans, i would like to ask a bit more who is the artist with such a strange artist name and with such poetry in his art .
Can you tell us a bit more about your artist name? We’re curious about why you’ve chosen it and its origins?
When I first stepped into the street art game there were no artists, only ghosts. Images on walls with with a moniker to tie them together. The London police, invader, obey, d-face, toasters. No one saw them paint (or sticker or paste up) you just saw the work arrive. Usually overnight. Illegally. Mysteriously. (So different from the street art scene today with paint festivals and opportunities to watch artists paint live).
I liked the idea of that anonymity. My life outside art was as far removed from the street art I was producing as you could get so I wanted a name similarly removed. (I don’t own a dog, never have. Not a dog person at all really).
I’ve got a terrible memory so knew I’d need something that will stick in anyone’s head. As a teenager, holidaying with my parents, I remember seeing the phrase my dog sighs scribbled on a fence and for some reason, maybe the sheer surreal nature of it, the phrase stuck in my head. If a split second looking at it could place it in my memory then I reasoned it must stick in most heads.
It also had a wonderful melancholy that I was really drawn to. Little did I know that 15 years later the scene would evolve into one where I paint in public; where I’m known as ‘Mydog’ or the ‘sighing dog man’.
Where are you from ?
I’ve been in and around the south coast of the UK for most of my life.
When did you start painting ? At school ? Later ?
I was always the kid scribbling at school. It was my thing. Some kids ran fast, other could kick a ball. For me it was a pack of felt tip pens. My parents encouraged me to get a steady job but art was always involved in my life. In the early 80’s when graffiti hit my town I’d be scribbling pieces on the cover of my exercise books, I was the go to kid when the metal heads wanted iron maiden covers painted on their leather jackets and I’ve painted a good few UV backdrops in he heady rave days. when I stumbled across street art I knew I wanted in. I love the fact it wasn’t curated, that it was so immediate, so accessible and driven by people with a passion and a need. I’ve been painting on the street for close to 15 years now. Mainly with my free art Friday project (google my dog sighs TEDX talk to get a better background of that) but also with laser ups and sticker and to some extent walls.
Your artworks are often melancholics . Can you tell us why ?
We all carry our fears and worries around with us and sometimes to recognize that we’re not the only one can be a comfort. Art is supposed to mirror our life’s and get us to question our every day existence and that’s what I do with my work. Initially my lost cans mirrored the homeless guys so frequently seen on our streets; once useful and now discarded. As time has moved on my Every man, like us, swings between moments of pure innocent joy and the lowest depths and my eye paintings capture hidden moments within their reflection. It’s funny, I’m not particularly a melancholic person but particularly enjoy visiting those places in my work.
What is or are your source(s) of inspiration ?
Music plays a large part in my work. The studio is filled with music pretty much all the time. It is such a pure art form and has the ability to lift your soul or share your darkest hour. Much of the text in my work comes from song lyrics.
Is there any specific message you want to give to the public through your artworks ?
My work obviously has themes. Loss and love, reaching out for help, environmental issues. Pretty much all aspects of live we deal with everyday. Art, that strange mirror that forces us to look at and question ourselves.
Do you have a current exhibition and any upcoming in the near future ?
– I’ve got a print release coming out in October (date tbc) via my website My Dog Sighs
– I’ll be showing at a paste up exhibition with Well hung gallery in London from 26th October 2017.
– Nelly Duff gallery in London will be releasing some new original works on paper in October 2017.
– I’ll be at SCOPE art fair in Miami for Basel in December being represented by Paris Next Street gallery.
And I’m excited to announce a solo show at Vertical gallery in Chicago in early February 2018.
Do you have several street art events, Fests … in the near future ?
If you’re quick to publish the interview I’m lead artist at the Cheltenham street art festival this week painting a large mural. After that it’s heads down in the studio getting all he work ready for the mentioned exhibitions.
Do you have an ideal dream location (city, country, building, … ) you would like to paint on ?
I’ve been crushing and painting cans for a while now, getting bigger with oil drums and trying new things with spray cans but my ultimate goal is to crush, up end and paint a lorry petrol tanker. I wouldn’t mind doing this at Burning Man festival in the US too. What do they say, you have to dream big right!?
Thank’s a lot My Dog Sighs.
My Dog Sighs Artworks Gallery:
All Pictures by courtesy of My Dog Sighs ©mydogsighs