Roxy Rhinestone as a naughty Snow White at the Dublin session of Dr Sketchy's, March 31st 2012

Roxy Rhinestone as a naughty Snow White at the Dublin session of Dr Sketchy’s, March 31st 2012

If you’ve always wanted to try drawing and sketching but are put off by the dreaded “art”word and its expectations, why not try “anti-art”?

Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was set-up in a dive bar in Brooklyn in 2005 by New York girl Molly Crabapple, a self-proclaimed “22 year old art school dropout” who had also worked as an art model herself.

“She was tired of the sterile classrooms and quiet settings, where the artists drawing had almost no interaction with the models and models were expected to be devoid of personality,” says Melissa Dowell who coordinates the New York branch.

Melissa explains that the ethos of the group is to hire as many alternative performers as possible; burlesque performers, fetish models, drag queens/kings, sideshow performers, contortionists, derby girls and more. Participants are a diverse bunch, men and women, seasoned artists and first-time drawers.

“Artists love it as an addition to their usual studies, where they can let their hair down and relax when drawing,” says Melissa. “We like to promote ourselves as an alternative, not a replacement, to traditional life drawing and we’ve found the community to be incredibly inclusive of our work.” Read the rest of this entry »

I cycled across Dublin in the sun this week to pay a visit to Vincent Kelly, co-owner and director of Gallery Zozimus, an atypical gallery tucked away on Francis Street in Dublin.

Gallery Zozimus has just rounded off a successful three weeks exhibiting Irish street art in a show aptly named “Now That’s What I Call Street Art”, featuring artists like Solus, Fink and ADW alongside permanent pieces by the likes of French street artist Jef Aerosol.

View some of the pieces that were on display and find out how the exhibition lead Vincent to dedicate a permanent gallery space to street art in this on-the-fly video report.

An interesting fact for anyone technology-minded is that I compiled it using just my smartphone and the Youtube video editor.

MORE: Using stencils as a weapon: Irish guerrilla artist ADW strikes again

Richard Carrie drawing on Chattam street today

Richard Carrie drawing on Chattam street today

Today I met Richard Carrie from Australia on Chatham Street. Richard is drawing for a living, in the literal sense since he has been officially homeless for about six months now, living in hostels and homeless shelters.

Richard explained to me that he has been in severe difficulty for about a year. Having spent 12 years in Ireland, he admits to having “not been smart with money” and has now fallen foul of the dreaded recession. He’s a freelance illustrator and says drawing is his sole purpose in life. Read the rest of this entry »


poliTHICKS, photo courtesy of ADW

poliTHICKS, photo courtesy of ADW

Somewhere in Dublin, a furry black and white gorilla may or may not still be crouching along the bottom of a dark grey wall, holding a paintbrush dripping with fluorescent pink paint. He’s admiring his guerrilla gorilla handywork. And on the bottom right, three letters: ADW.

When ADW calls me he sounds exhausted and admits to having stayed up all night completing this latest “illegal” outdoor piece. He placed the gorilla on “his” wall, near the Portobello bridge, where he first put up the now infamous Bertie Tiger stencil, depicting former boom-time Taoiseach Bertie Ahern sporting the face of the now defunct Irish celtic tiger.

ADW is an Irish stencil and sometimes guerilla street artist, originally from Dublin. His irreverent designs started popping up on the walls of Dublin over the last few years, identified with those three letters at the bottom of gratingly ironic images with politically charged messages.

Read the rest of this entry »

With the business and banking sectors buckling under the weight of the recession, it would be understandable for young artists in Ireland to feel daunted about their future.

But people like Jennette Donnelly, an artist and graduate of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), are grabbing the future by the horns and are creating opportunities for themselves and their sector.

First, she set up the “Ormond Studios” on Ormond Quay in Dublin with a group of friends after her graduation in 2009 and acted as their chairperson, before leaving to launch her next venture: “Art for Art’s Sake”.

“Art for Art’s Sake” is an online space for emerging contemporary artists with links to Ireland.  The unique feature of the site is its virtual gallery, which will showcases all types of art, from painting to performance art. The site currently features art by artists Adam Gibney, Bláthnaid Ní Mhurchú, Louise Farrelly and Alan Corbett and the virtual gallery is hosting an exhibition by Meadhbh O’Connor. Read the rest of this entry »