Photo: Courtesy of Rook & Raven Gallery.
You mention action painting as an influence, and perhaps how you describe your art. Can you elaborate on what action painting means?
"I didn't coin it. It's a technique that was attributed to me and many others who paint on the ground and dance around a canvas [laughs
]. There's quite a bit of contradiction and juxtaposition in the work which I've always loved, right down to the name of the show. While being very physical, I find painting incredibly relaxing and meditative. It looks violent, but it comes from love. It makes me quite happy. I'm not an anguished artist working it all out. I come from joy. The act gives me such pleasure, but again it is very textured and quite masculine but the [colour] palette could be seen as quite feminine."Could you tell me the other artists living or dead that you are inspired by?
"Some of my influences…de Kooning, Kline, all the 'Ks and 'Cs [laughs
] Krasner, let's see…Calder! In terms of contemporary painters, Mark Sullivan is very interesting."What is the concept for this exhibition? Is this a culmination of your work so far?
"There are a few paintings from 2010, but most of them are new."Is there an overarching theme for these paintings?
"No, I've invited third-party curation. I'm not a conceptual artist. Cinema informs so much of my life as I spend so much of my time in it, and I rather enjoy painting on location — and sometimes on set — for you have this incredible amount of downtime but also this access to fabulous materials and influences. I pilfer the art department [laughs]
and borrow bits and pieces. I use the garden centre as my art store. If I'm on an island... I'll use a marine supply store. There are only so many colours of boat paint available. If I can't find canvas, I'll use a sail or an umbrella awning and each piece tends to be informed by the DNA of a location. I enjoy the improvisation as a methodology."You mentioned you paint on location as and when you can. Has there been a particular film location that's provided the most inspiration?
"I painted about 20 canvases when I was in Africa, doing a sequel to a film called Sniper
. We were in South Africa and I was surprised to find there was a woman down the hill who was stretching canvases and was a great artist. I initially bought one or two canvases as I just thought I was just going to dabble. One of them is other there [points to canvas
]. I was incredibly prolific there and I don't know why. The 20 pictures I shipped back in a crate that I made outside Jo'burg airport; I ended up making frames for the pictures out of that crate they were delivered in."Can I ask you about Seize The Day Bed? When I received the information about the exhibition I didn't know what to make of it.
"Did you laugh?"I did!
"That was the intention [laughs
]. I love word play as much as painting...I'd made some T-shirts that were a mash-up of names like, Boy George Washington, Juliette Lewis and Clark, Siegfried and Roy Scheider. I would just amass this list of silly names and make T-shirts out of them. I painted this backdrop and adhered twelve of these T-shirts…I think Dramaturd was one and Bored of Education was another [laughs
]. I stuck them onto this massive piece and it was kind of punk rock and kind of cool. One of them was "Seize the Day Bed." It was an insight into my character and preferences and the concept of urgent relaxation which is what it suggests. This juxtaposition of…physical painting as a form of personal meditation. This very masculine application coming from a very gentle, loving place. Seize the day bed sums it up in my mind."