Jimmy C: The Interview

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Dearest CultureHe(ART)s – we know it has been a long time since we last posted, so we decided to come back with a BANG! SURPRISE! We got to interview the UTTERLY TALENTED Street Artist Jimmy C! Check it out!

You were born in England but grew up in Australia and studied down under, yet we see so much of your work in London… do you have just as much work up in Australia? What is the street art scene like there? I did used to have quite of work in Australia but a lot of it is probably covered over now. I was involved in the graffiti scene in Australia when I was younger, so painted a lot of walls at that time, mainly along the railway lines. I later went on to do commissioned mural works, so some of these walls are probably still up in various locations.

In relation to the street art scene, I was part of the graffiti scene back then, which was an exciting and energetic new art form at that time. It enabled me to find good friends like a family on the street. From what I have seen, the current street art scene is strong with many good artists, and I will aim to go back soon to visit.

How did you come across your infamous technique of drip/pointillist with spray paint? It looks incredibly difficult to master none the less, yet you execute it brilliantly! Does this inspiration come from Impressionism or did you come across it trying to break away from traditional types of street art? Also, do you create works in other techniques with spray paint or are you solely dedicated to your pointillist/drip technique? Thank you for your comments on this, and I first starting working with the dots when I was doing a lot of community arts workshops and mural projects in Australia. In one project I worked with an aboriginal artist who was working with the traditional dot painting technique and he asked me if it would be possible to do this on a wall with spray paint, and I said, I can’t see why not. I showed him how to make dots with the spray can and we went on to paint a wall together, combining our two styles. This led me to start thinking about dots and how to make images in this way. As my background was in figurative realism, my experimentation with the dots came to resemble a form of Impressionism or Pointillism with the spray can. In 2004 I made a series of work which I titled the Aerosol Pointillist series, but I felt that just working in dots was not really enough, which then led me to experiment with drips. That’s when I felt that I had found something more unique and personal, which I came to call the Drip Paintings, which were images made from layers of individual drips of spray paint. I also use a similar technique with lines that I call the scribble paintings. 

The works we have seen of yours are portraits of people – besides the famous people like David Bowie… who are these people? Do you know them or are they random by standards? What does it mean to you to create a portrait? And why do you choose mainly portraiture as your subject over other subjects? The human subject is the main source of inspiration behind my work, and almost all the portraits I have painted are from people I have met or had some kind of interaction with. The human subject in the context of the city is of particular interest to me, and I am trying to convey an essence of the human spirit through my painting with the consideration of hope, resilience, and compassion. I am also part of a tradition trying to seek new approaches to portraiture through painting.

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What is your favourite city to work in? What is your favourite mural you have done? I like painting here in London, and travelling to paint is always a good experience. I have painted in many cities and have great memories, which is so often connected to the people you meet at the time. One of my favourite walls is at 5 Pointz (a) in New York, as it was an honour to have worked in a place that has always celebrated the culture and diversity of styles from the hip hop tradition. Another favourite wall is in Hasselt in Belgium (b), where I got to form some great friendships. 

A:

66. 5 Pointz, New York 2011 Aerosol sur mur

B:

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How do you define your style? A socio-poetical dripping (he)art.

What galleries represent you/where can your work be purchased?! We would love to know! Also, where can our followers follow YOU on social media? What are your twitter/facebook/instagram accounts for our dear friends to keep up with you on the reg(ular). I work with a gallery in Melbourne, Australia called Lindberg Galleries, and also a gallery in Lille in France called Galerie Raison d’Art. Work can also be purchased directly from my studio in London.

For more information check out Jimmy C’s website, LIKE his Facebook page, and lastly, FOLLOW him on Twitter @akajimmyc and Instagram akajimmyc.

Check out some more of his works below!

City cubist formsGirl with Spheres 3D 2Westminster Bridge1

WOW. WOW. WOW. WOWWWWWWWW. THANK YOU JIMMY C for taking time to participate in the interview and for sharing your he(ART) with us!

XX, DP and the CultureHe(ART)s Team

p.s. Follow us on Instagram: CultureHeARTs

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Paper @ Saatchi Gallery

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Paper. Something we take for granted. Something we don’t realise has such value and importance. Something that gives meaning, purpose, and life, to something such as art.

Saatchi’s most current exhibition, “Paper,” examines different techniques in which artists have used paper as the main medium of their work. From statuesque figures (above), to creating water colour portraits of dictators from around the world (sorry I did not photograph it – it is kind of creepy to look at baby Hitler and baby Kim Sung II, along with Mussolini), the exhibition explores various ways artists have incorporated paper into their oeuvre.

Included as well in the show is something I never thought I would ever come across – an artist has taken paper bags, from McDonalds to Louis Vuitton (below), and has carefully cut out trees from the bag, which stand tall inside. I don’t know how to put it into words. But it is incredible. Such intricate detail in such a small space.

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Two other works in the exhibition caught my eye as well: what appears to be a room with an infinite number of kites attached to one another (below) created in brilliant colours is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the way in which it is created, through varying heights, widths, and such, is absolutely fabulous.

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And last but not least is this incredible maquette city (below). When I first walked by the work, I was like, “WOW. These buildings are so small, yet create such an impression. It is like a paper jungle.” And then, when you look up close, you cannot help but look at the incredible detail… but to do so you must bend down and get super close – or else you basically will have an aerial view of a town or city like you do from an airplane.

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If you are in London this show is a definite MUST. It will be opened till the 29th of September so you have plenty of time if you are in the area. No EXCUSES. The show has something to offer to all kinds of art lovers.

We He(ART) it (especially after seeing that disaster of a show at the RA)!

XX, DP

Walk Around Wednesday: Street Artists You May See on the Reg in London

When walking around London you may have seen some of these works, or works that look similar. Here is a guide to three artists that are seen on the reg from the West to East End.

Mighty Mo: the infamous monkey. Often found in a variety of colours and various facial expressions. If you’re walking around SoHo LOOK UP. Sometimes his work is on top of buildings. Sometimes it’s not: case below – found in Elephant and Castle. But if you come across this animal, now you know it’s MIGHTY MO!

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Christiaan Nagel: known for his ‘shrooms. If you love colour and love shrooms look all over London for this sculptural street artist. The mushrooms vary in size and colour, just like Mo. And, to find his work, you too have to look up to spot it!

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C215: Parisian based artist Christian Guemy’s work can often be found in the East End. Known for his stencil work, he creates elaborate street art that incorporates various layers of colour and incredible detail. While he is best known for his images of his daughter Nina, his subject, well from what we have seen, is mostly people. Truly incredible and inspirational.

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Now go walk it out. Find some art. Embrace it. You never know when it will be gone… That is the beauty of Street Art – at least to me. Seriously, one day it can be there and the next day it has vanished. So take it all in. Take a picture of it. Realise you have been graced by a master of the streets. HOW COOL!!! LOVEEEE IT! LOVE LIFE. He(ART) STREET ART.

XX, DP

Canadian Kris Knight goes Botticielli-esque in His Series “Tragic Kingdom”

The romantic notion of art can be perfectly encapsulated in the Canadian based artist Kris Knight. His whimsical portraits not only portray elegantly painted human figures, but they are saturated with mysticism and romanticism. Yet, what is even more intriguing is how he is playing with sexual identities, voyeurism, psychotropic alterations, and the human gaze. Knight is unlike any other portraiture artist that I have come across so far – his paintings leave you with a sense of mystery and a desire to enter and discover the world that his figures are set in.

My first real interaction with this artist was when I was interning at Katharine Mulheim Contemporary Art Projects. Mr. Knight was to be our next upcoming artist for his exhibition – Tragic Kingdom, 2011. The curator had begun to describe the artist and his works. The show was to display Knight’s imaginary world where the shamed, bullied, and the tragic were to be the subjects of beauty. This secret society revolved around the so-called outcasts of society  – l’etranger (as Camus, ze French philosopher would put it) translated to “the others.” These subjects would live amongst this world in order to “transcend the tedium of small town life for the protection of the enchanted forest, banding together an exclusive and rustic regality.” However, this so called Utopia of misfits would take a tragic turn like the exhibition title expresses. Hierarchies ultimately arise and corruption soon follows. This exhibition not only displays the artist’s beautifully artistic hand, but paints us a fairy tale story rapidly turned sinister and corrupt.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was to see the next day. Yes – Katharine Mulheim had explained the exhibition, but as the saying goes: a painting sometimes speaks louder than words. I was in AWE to open up the parcels of art. Most striking to me, and still haunts me to this day (in a good way) is his painting Fête (pictured above and to the left). The romanticism and mysticism is painted in the dark background as three young men walk quietly, lurkingthrough the dark mysterious woods. I had this unsettling feeling as if I was watching something I was not supposed to look at. I was voyeur preying on these young boys, but I could not look away. Fête had a very Bottecelli-esque feel- it was the contemporary painting of Bottecelli’s Primavera, 1482 (pictured below).  This unsettling feeling permeated my he(ART) and still haunts me to this day.


This artist is a must see, he does not solely paint portraits, but elaborates stories with his brush.

Peace Out, K