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INTERVIEW WITH URBAN ARTIST ‘Fin DAC’

An interview with one of my favourite artists Fin DAC (DAC stands for Dragon Armoury Creative) aka Finbarr Notte.

From: Ireland

Current location: Dublin

Current happiness levels out of 10: 8

Favourite film: Bladerunner

Favourite musician: Imogen Heap

Favourite artist: Aubrey Beardsley

Favourite book: The Beach – Alex Garland

Favourite colour: Grey

Brief synopsis: Non-conformist urban artist. Creator of Urban Aesthetics

You’re a self taught artist – have you found there is a snobbery between the art school educated and those that have just gone out and done it?

I guess there is… I don’t take much notice. Negative viewpoints don’t affect me or what I do in any way.

You say your work is a modern-day take on the 19th century art movement – can you explain that in more depth?

The Aesthetics were a group of artisans from the turn of the 19th century. Their ethos was that art, and creativity in general, should not be about social or political statements but only to do with beauty. When I was looking for something, to differentiate my work from other urban art, this struck a chord so I came up with the term Urban Aesthetics… a perfect mix of the two.

Who are the women in the pictures?

They are real girls, girls who I have found or who have found me. They come from different countries and places but each of them has played a part in my artistic journey.

fin 3

Why do they have colour splashed over their eyes?

I never tell that… It’s the only mystery in my work so why spoil it by revealing the nature of it. I also like to leave it up to the viewer to decide themselves what it’s about.

Many of your paintings seem to be asian influenced? Why is that…

Mainly because I have been into Asian art all my life: from manuscripts through to modern-day Manga and Anime. But also because I think the Asian woman, as a general rule in the west, is misrepresented as weak and submissive. I wasn’t trying to address that balance but it felt like good subject matter.

fin dac 2

You’ve gone on to paint at the Royal Albert Hall.. of all the amazing places… how was that?

Surreal is the word to describe that particular job. Not just because we were painting at a venue where this type of art would be least expected but also because the 9 artists slept there overnight for 3 nights in a row… Wandering the empty halls at night was weird and spooky at the same time

Do you find you have a varied audience for your work?

I would assume so? I don’t know if my corporate audience is varied but I know I’m capable as an artist to paint in different ways… so can adapt to suit a clients requirement if there is a need to do so.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I came into art from a pretty dark place so, not wishing to return there, is pretty much the only inspiration I will ever need.

Have you experienced a creative block/or black hole?

Not once. On the odd occasion I might get bored with a particular piece that I’m painting but that passes in the space of a few hours.

If so what do you do to get out of it? Tips?

Start a different piece of work, focus my mind elsewhere… I don’t find this difficult at all. Not that I watch TV, but I suspect it’s about as difficult as changing the channel if the channel you’re watching is showing crap.

fin 4

What do you think you would do if you weren’t an artist?

Hard to say… when I look back at my office life I often wonder how I was able to do it for so long as it seems so soul-destroying to me now. I wouldn’t want to return there for love nor money.

If you are self taught how did you teach yourself about the different paints/how to stencil etc.

I practiced, I made mistakes and I never stopped believing that I could get better. Still to this day I think I can get better… and I’m sure I can and will.

I’ve seen several posts about your work being imitated by several high profile brands. That must have been really annoying. Can you go into that in more detail? Did you manage to get any justice with any of that?

It is infuriating simply because it’s so hard to get any justice. Any claim can and will cost a fortune and you really have no idea if it’s going to work in your favour or not. Big companies and small have copied my work but I think you just have to get on with what you’re doing and hope things will work themselves out. I don’t think many artists have the finances to get legal on anyone.

Your favourite current artists?

Etam Cru from Lodz, Poland and Conor Harrington

What is the most important thing in life?

Art… of course

What is the most beautiful thing about art for you?

That I can lose myself completely in it and escape from reality

Do you feel like you’re now on the right path?

Absolutely. I think I felt it from the moment I started painting but was too afraid to admit it even to myself for the fear it might be snatched away from me.

The next big election is coming up in England – do you have any hopes or thoughts on this? Artists can be influential… no?

I have never voted and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Politicians and the political system as a whole are corrupt: set up to feed the rich and starve the poor… literally and metaphorically. The sooner the general population wakes up to the daylight robbery that is happening under their noses the better… we need a sea change.

Favourite quote to leave us on:

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” Thomas Merton

Link to Fin DAC’s work HERE

Enjoy,

Becki Bx

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ART: BEN OAKLEY PRESENTS ‘MARDY’ WITH CARNE GRIFFITHS AND ROWAN NEWTON

The Ben Oakley Gallery continues it’s year long commitment in presenting impressive, dynamic and stimulating two person shows. Hidden down a cobbly side road in Greenwich, London, the Ben Oakley Gallery is a small and cosy gallery and is responsible for curating an endless array of innovative events and exhibitions. This is one of them.

Mardy is a unique collaboration between two young exciting contemporary artists, Carne Griffiths & Rowan Newton (featured previously on ohDearyme HERE). The artists work is sketching & painting the same subjects in response to a studio sitting at the Gallery earlier this year.

‘Griffiths’ work explores fragmented portraiture and is defined by his intricate and delicate pen work combining three dimensional floral symbols, geometric forms and accompanied by his signature abstract marks & spills of ink, tea and brandy.

‘Newton’ tackles portraiture head on with bold strong colours and abstract realism, provoking strong emotion from the viewer. Extending his expressive mixed media technique with spray paint and acrylic to working with oils for the first time in this powerful exhibition.

The gallery will be releasing an exclusive collaborative print at the opening in a strictly limited edition –contact info@benoakleygallery.com for more information..

Preview Evening: Friday 6th September 6.30-9.30pm

 Exhibition Dates: September 7th -22nd

VISITOR INFORMATION

 BEN OAKLEY GALLERY

9 Turnpin Lane, Greenwich, London SE10 9JA

DLR: Cutty Sark Greenwich (2 minutes walk)

Overground Train: Greenwich Station (5 minutes walk)

Thames Clipper (5 mins)

 Opening Times: Thursdays –Sundays 11-6pm | Monday –Wednesday by appointment.

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ART: Städel Museum

Anish-Kapoor-Green-Shadow-2011

Anish Kapoor, Green Shadow 2011

With a press invite to the Städel Museum – one of the oldest and most renowned museums in Germany, I decided to leave the small ‘healing’ town of Bad Ems Germany and jumped on the train to Frankfurt changing at Koblenz. My experience of German spas, whilst certainly interesting  – I found to be more traumatising than relaxing:

“She is wearing her swimming costume! GET IT OFF!! GET IT OFF.. ” a hundred naked old people are stomping towards me.. the sauna is hot and the chants are getting stronger.. louder. I wake up. Time to make like a tree…..

The museum holds almost a complete overview of 700 years of European art history. And I assumed that I would find the contemporary section more appealing (none of that old boring history stuff). However, I found myself completely and totally absorbed in the Old Masters section. Perhaps it’s the stage of life that I’m in right now – but as I read about the ‘Ideal to Individuality’ stages of art I realized. Most artists of their time are under the illusion that whatever they do is revolutionary. Which quite rightly it could be! And actually competitiveness is nothing new. Artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo competed against each other to attain perfection and ‘ideal beauty’ in their work… always trying to surpass each other. And that was teh 15th Century.

As I headed from from the Old Masters down to the Contemporary section, I found myself wondering whether over the decades we might have lost something along the way. I wonder what the Michelangelo’s over the centuries might think of the current state of the art world. The increasing popularity of Banksy, X Factor, Tracy Emin, Vice Magazine, JLS….

Narcissus-at-the-Fountain-xx-Giovanni-Antonio-Boltraffio

This is a picture of Narcissus at the Fountain, 1510. A man who fell in love with his unattainable image in the water and died of grief. The tale is where we derived the word Narcissist – excessive self love.

And so I left the museum. Perhaps a little more at ease. Comforted by the fact that revolutions, disease, disaster, pain, anger, love, control, happiness, temptation. Well. Its nothing new. And the world has survived. I suppose I’m just a little bit unsure as to where we’re at. I wonder. What will our era be defined as?

A really thought provoking museum with an excellent delivery of art – unassuming of one’s artistic background – I definitely recommend visiting the Städel, Frankurt.

Becki Bx

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MUSIC NEWS: PJP, The Deer Tracks, Suns

‘If art sings of Gods, in their silence we must look to ourselves for answers.’ Suns

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Carne Griffiths

Right. I haven’t featured any music for a while. So what is on my stereo o o o ooooo. Well. Here are my highly recommended tracks for April. Setting up for the summer – which I’m predicting will be a scorcher.. for one day at least… here is ohDearyme’s music nuse. News. NeWs…

We’ve featured the Patrick James Pearson band on ohDearyme before and we’re huge fans! Which is why they are featuring again.. I’m happy to announce that they’ve been working on their debut album ‘And So It Goes’– due for release on the 3rd June. Here is their new track ‘Vicious Luck’ which will be released through Ouf Records:

FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

PJP Website

I am also enjoying The Deer Tracks..

TDT 2

…who are Swedish super-duo David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors. Due to release their album entitled ‘The Archer Trilogy PT.3’ on 27th May via The Control Group here is their upbeat dancey track entitled ‘Lazarus’. With eerie underlying dark tones to compliment they’re definitely ones to watch… FREE DOWNLOAD:

They will be performing in London in May. So get on that.

The Deer Tracks Website

I am very excited about this from Empire of the Sun.

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Who I get most of my style inspiration from… (me below)

Photo on 30-03-2013 at 16.57 #8

Is that an elf I can see…?

So if you ever need a triangle player guys. I’m sure I could learn..

And last not least! Suns! Hailing from East London and led by Michael Tyrrell..  I suspect that whilst currently still mainly on the underground scene it won’t be long before they make a sharp peak UP

STYLE TIP: Triangles are in fashion this season. Anything will a triangle on it will get you in.

triangle

Which I’m happy about, because I’ve never really liked circles.

And lastly for all you artists out there get involved with this – set up by Carne Griffiths – an exhibition of artwork and objects from childhood in aid of great Ormond street hospital to be held as part of the Leytonstone Arts Trail – 6th & 7th of July at Norlington Road Studios Leyton E10 6LA- LINK

Get involved!

Enjoy,

Becki Bx

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ART: BEN OAKLEY GALLERY & NO FORMAT PROUDLY PRESENT ‘URBAN BARRIER’

 Picture Ben Oakley ‘Nearly Buffed’

It was an ordinary day. No different to any other. I was walking through Greenwich when I stopped in my tracks. Usually I find nothing more intimidating than being in a small shop or gallery. Just me…and the shopkeeper/owner. But I found the visual attraction too great and my sense of self awareness seemed to dissipate as I curiously wandered into Ben Oakley’s Art Gallery. Camera phone in hand I had gone into auto pilot….

Artist Rowan Newton www.rowannewton.co.uk

And then just like that my imagination bubble was interrupted as my friend shouted me from the gallery door…‘Becks Becks…come here…look look…’

I ran out of the gallery after her…‘What what?’ I exclaimed…looking around. Was it a bird?! Was it a plane! No… no it was a celebrity. Sat in the distance eating their lunch (chips actually. Yes I was almost as shocked as you. Don’t get me wrong..I’m not sneering at the opportunity to watch a celeb eat..). I darted back in to the gallery suddenly alert of our rudeness, apologetic to the gallery owner (whom I now know as Ben Oakley) as I became aware of our intrusive and childish running about. All over the shop. That excitement of discovery – whilst the opportunity is there.. doesn’t happen everyday.

“Western society do to Mogwai what it has done to all of nature’s gifts” Mr Wing – Gremlins

And so with that – I have a ‘not to be missed’ date for your diary!

‘Urban Barrier’ is an exhibition to be held in one of London’s biggest and newest art spaces entitled ‘No Format’ which is a stones skim away from the Thames Barrier and apparently rapidly becoming the new art core destination. It features forty Urban and Contemporary Artists including Guy Denning, Static, David Bray, Ray Richardson, RYCA, Otto Schade, Jef Aerosol, Carne Griffiths, Pam Glew plus many more!

Preview Evening: 7th December 5.30 – 9.30 (After Party 9.30 – LATE: RSVP)
Exhibition Dates: 8th December – 23rd December: Thurs- Sundays 11.30 – 5pm.

The preview night will be: artists in attendance, live & very good music by ‘SOFT WAX’, Art Raffles, Unlucky Dip and some Random Art giveaways.

EXHIBITION VENUE:
No Format – Second Floor Studios & Arts, Harrington Way, London SE18 5NR
Train: Charlton Woolwich Dockyard DLR: Woolwich Arsenal
Bus: 180, 177, 161, 472
All media enquiries/invitations: info@benoakleygallery.com

And if that wasn’t enough – listen to these! Indie pop duo from Sydney  Nolita Knights – who are Dylan Thomas (vocals, guitar) and Kobe Laurence (drums).

LINKS

www.benoakleygallery.com

www.noformat.co.uk

www.nolitaknights.com

Invite your friends on facebook HERE

Have a good day… Becksxx

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