How did you start off with your career?
In a very slow fashion. I think grit is one of my best characteristics, I am like a dog to the bone. Just make another painting because why not. I applied to open calls, I was in group shows, slowly growing my network.
I started off in a very slow fashion. I think grit is one of my best characteristics, I am like a dog to the bone.
Clearly humour plays an important role in your imagery. Can you explain how important this component is in your work?
Humour is really a survival mechanism to me, a way of being and seeing the world. The world is tragicomic, which carries with it, consolidation and humility. I make paintings about that. In fact, I don’t actually set out to make comical paintings. I usually dig where I stand and my surrounding is my smorgasbord, where I pick and mix the goodies and the baddies. I like the way painting can be an illusion and representation of something, but also it is just paint and materiality. The paintings have depth but then they are completely bathetic simultaneously. I am glad the world is clumsy.
I like the way painting can be an illusion and representation of something, but also it is just paint and materiality. The paintings have depth but then they are completely bathetic simultaneously.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up and have breakfast with lovely coffee, on a silver tray in my bed. Then I am lucky I can walk down to my studio in 15 minutes. I usually just work on one piece at the time. It goes through different stages, the first few layers are a real pain, then it becomes fun until I have to make critical decisions and I have no idea how it will go. Towards the end things pick up again, haha. I eat plenty and listen to a lot of House. I guess my routine is pretty solid. Then I usually do a class at the gym since I am a complete endorphin junky and the exercise resets my brain.
Your first exhibition – Hilarious and Hideous at the Hospital Club in London in 2008 . Please tell us something about it.
Hilarious and Hideous at the Hospital Club in London was curated by Chloe Zeegen. She saw my degree show and liked it. It is a really cool place in Covent Garden. I mainly had small paintings of gorillas, Bichion Frises, tights and traumatised faces nicely mixed with the private club interior. I remember we had a Haggis night, it was brilliant.
Can you tell us about the projects you’re working on right now?
I was just in a beautiful show, House of Togetherness, curated by Daria Borisova at Harleseden High Street. It was a disused gym in Covent Garden. We managed to have the opening but then a few days later, London went into lockdown so the show is still there. I am now finishing big paintings for an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea at Space K curated by Zack Jang-Uk Lee. It will open mid July hopefully. Then I have some other projects in the pipeline, but I always have a painting on the go.
One day in Vienna. How would you spend 24 hours in Vienna?
I cannot believe I haven’t visited Vienna (yet), even though I travelled all over Europe. It is on my bucket list of things to do. I would like to have cake with Venus of Willendorf.