April is here and spring is in the air, the weather is getting warmer and summer is just around the corner. To get us in the mood I want to share with you the colourful, vibrant, powerful and energetic work and mindset of this months artist of the month, London based artist Darren MacPherson.
|Self Portrait - oil pastel on canvas 12" x 9"|
"My aim is to communicate energy, passion and desire."
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I've always painted and drawn, although I never went to art school, its just always been a part of my life. I had my first child at 24 and painting took a back seat for the next 10 years, returning with sporadic notoriety on occasion. In 2005, after a trip to New York, it just sort of clicked in my mind and I thought, now or never. So I started to seriously paint, about 3 years ago I decided I wanted to paint for a living which is what I’ve been doing for the last 18 months or so.
How would you describe your work?
Fundamentally its neo-expressionism. Colour plays a huge role in my painting. I have a strong interest in people and the human condition, so my work can be described as figurative, but there’s often more going on than a viewer may first notice. I often use text and layer upon layer of paint. My aim is to communicate energy, passion and desire.
What does being creative mean to you?
Exploring parts of ourselves that have been forgotten or have been latent. We are creative by nature, society drives it out of us. I like to experiment creatively, pushing my own boundaries and those of the materials I’m using. I’m a painter, but what does that mean? Should I be confined to paint in a conformist way? I’m kind of into anti-art in the way that painters in 1980’s New York were.
What inspires or motivates you?
I’m heavily into dereliction, for example the layers of years of posters or graffiti on a wall; old peeling paint and so on. I find it a challenge to replicate this decay in a modern, contemporary way that is manipulated in a studio environment. I can be quite brutal with my work in order to try and make it as authentic as possible. I also seek inspiration from artists both well known and not so well known, it’s about tapping into that vein of creativity that lead an artist to create what they did and trying to learn from it.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Right now I’m listening a lot to Outkast. They really fit their name as an outfit. They have a fantastic formula for creating original, off the wall tracks whilst maintaining a mainstream appeal. If it’s not Outkast then a whole range of music does it for me from Reggaeton to Moby, Pearl Jam to Tinie Tempah; gotta be loud though.
See more of Darren's work by visiting his website: www.darrenmacphersonart.com
Follow him on Facebook.
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