Posts Tagged ‘street art’

Conor Harrington at the Paris leg of the Underbelly project (photo: Martha Cooper)

Conor Harrington at the Paris leg of the Underbelly project (photo: Martha Cooper)

This fortnight’s edition of Hot Press magazine hit the stands on Wednesday, with a big interview conducted by my good self with Irish-born and London-residing street and fine artist Conor Harrington.

It kicks off a mini-series I’m working on for the magazine about different aspects of street art, where I’ll touch base with some of the key players in the various outdoor art scenes linked to Ireland.

Sometimes dismissed as vandalism, the scene of recent years has not only produced fascinating work in its own right but also launched some remarkably successful careers.

In this issue, Conor spoke to me at length about what drives artists to brave the wrath of the law and paint illegally and how his work took him on a dark excursion into the bowels of the Paris Metro as a participant in the very rare Underbelly project.

Grab a copy of Hot Press to find out more.

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Armitage the Green Gorilla - Acrylic on canvas, approx 30cm x 40cm

Armitage the Green Gorilla – Acrylic on canvas, approx 30cm x 40cm

As Ireland is going through an unusual spell of sunny weather, it was the perfect opportunity to take the painting equipment outside and catch up on some long neglected work. I decided to add to my crazy zoo collection and paint a green gorilla. This project has been on my request list for quite a while now (the animal, the colour – this request was precise).

It turns out that my recent brushes with street art – be they interviews I conducted or a stencil making class I attended with Art Clash – have made more of a mark on me then expected. This gorilla came out in a rushed, sketchy manner, quickly imposing itself as something that was to be kept raw and spontaneous. It felt like I was spraypainting him onto the canvas rather than painting him. He just emerged, made of just 3 colours, nearly in spite of me.

I called him Armitage. He’s a futuristic cybernetic creature in a digital world skating on the Sense/Net ICE. Inspired by probably the best book ever written: William Gibson’s Neuromancer. If you haven’t yet read it – do. I cannot recommend it enough.

Armitage already has some fans in the Crazy Zoo target audience, as I returned from a break to find that our young neighbour had interrupted her gymnastics practice on the grass and had sneaked up to the canvas that was drying in the sun. She was just standing there and staring at him. Very cute.

Up next is a very peaceful donkey. He’s 99% complete.

Art Clash - ADW stencil art session - photo karl martini courtesy of Art Clash

Art Clash - ADW stencil art session - photo karl martini courtesy of Art Clash

Creativity and art have resurrected in Ireland, with increasing amounts of art-related entertainment and activities emerging from the gloom.

Art Clash is one of the latest creative initiatives on the Dublin art scene, offering a series of night classes, covering topics as varied as burlesque performance, stencil art, video performance art and clothes customisation.

Curator and watercolour artist Áine Macken is behind the concept: 10 events running from March to June, designed to make art accessible to everyone, to “shake up the concept of what an average art class should be and turn each attendee into an exhibited artist.”  (more…)

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. (more…)