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IDEALISM-ART Interview 11 January 2013

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Idealism-Art Dublin

IrishStreetArt.com caught up with IDEALISM-ART, to find out a little more about the established Dublin graffiti writer, his roots and what has kept him active all these years.

IDEALISM-ART, Explain the name?

At first the name I used was simply “IDEAL” as these are the letters that I use to form most of my pieces. Then a few years later I considered a change of name but thankfully never went down that road. Instead I added on the “ISM” to give my name more substance. Finally in recent years the “-ART” bit was added simply as a way of making a quick and effective statement, “I am an artist, not a stereotypical delinquent with a spray can”.

Idealism-Art Dublin

How would you explain your style?

This is tricky question because in my eyes I am constantly evolving and trying to push my style. I think it is important and healthy to continue pushing yourself style-wise because it keeps you motivated and driven. Without a challenge it would become boring and monotonous very quickly. I guess, if I had to pick a few words to describe my style, I would say sharp, clean-cut, balanced and lively. In my eyes I am still on a journey style-wise of which I am still only halfway up the path to where I want to be.

Idealism-Art Dublin

So how did you get into graffiti?

It all started in the mid 90’s when I started taking the train to secondary school, that was my first real exposure to graffiti. There was a writer at the time called ZINC, his stuff was up everywhere, it was full colour, clean and complicated in terms of other stuff I had seen. He was the GRIFT of the 90s.. It was this new exposure to something I had never known that excited and amazed me. I knew this was for me, I had to do it. I was an absolute disaster for the first good few years, I didn’t have an artistic bone in my body. Out of frustration I contemplated giving up many times during this period but something kept me going.

I remember the first time walking down Windmill Lane, It was surreal there was full colour pieces by writers such as Maser, Rask, Kube, Artz, and Jor. Another place that blew my mind was Blackrock Baths, I remember walking in and seeing full productions by writers like Kube, Rask, Sek, Jor and Maser etc. This set me of on a journey that I am extremely glad I continued on, painting gives me something that nothing else in life can,it is my Zen.

Idealism-Art Dublin

What’s kept you in the game for the last 13 years?

This is my passion in life, I am deeply in love with it. I am an out and out addict constantly in search of my next artistic hit. It has been a love/hate relationship with lots of ups and downs, smiles and cry’s along the way. I have considered walking away at certain points but I love painting too much to ever leave for good, I’m a lifer.

Painting allows me to be free and clears my mind of all thoughts. My hunger for painting has grown year by year and shows no signs of slowing down. I don’t need others to motivate me I motivate myself out of my sheer love for what I do, if I want to paint then, BOOM, I go and paint, if not then I don’t. Writing has always been something personal for me, I have never felt attracted to any scene that may go along with it, I am happy painting, painting with no drama, I let my pieces do the talking. I am more than Happy to hook up for a paint with other writers but it is and never has been a priority. I have no interest in the politics and the who knows who, that bores me. What I am interested in is who can paint, who is active, who has the hunger and who is making visual noise etc…

Idealism-Art Dublin

What do you think of the state of the graffiti world in Dublin at the moment?

Over the years I have seen many writers come and go, some of which I imagine it was just a hobby which they grew out of like rollerblading or collecting coins, it simply stopped being cool. There are a handful of writers in Dublin,many of which started painting well before me, who have kept active and continue to push themselves harder and harder. They clearly share the same passion for graffiti that has kept me going. Those writers are a true inspiration and I admire and respect them all for doing their thing.

There is a lot of nice stuff being painted around Dublin. It is always great to see people putting work in producing good quality work many of which I would like to paint with. I am more than impressed by lots of talented writers around the city at the moment, some truly mind blowing stuff.

Idealism-Art Dublin

Who have been your biggest local/international influences?

Maser has always been my favourite Irish writer hands down. His stuff is always so clean-cut and flawless. He sets the bar very high and yes it is fair to say has been a strong influence in what I do.

Jor is another favourite of mine, his work is always so different and out there when compared to the usual more traditional pieces. He does things his own way and is not afraid to step outside of the norm. He made me realise that there are no rules, you can paint whatever you like. I don’t really spend time on the computer drooling Over amazing pieces done by international writers, I prefer the act of getting out there and painting as much as I can. A few writers that impress me internationally would be the likes of VODKER, PREYS, TEASER and ENOS. I have learned that you must paint for yourself, not to please others as there will always be haters. So my advice to other writers would be keep your head up, paint what excites you and don’t let others bring you down.

Idealism-Art Dublin

Shout Outs?
A big shout out to all Irish writers working hard, pushing themselves and keeping their head’s up. Special shouts to Phish, Deneb, Apt and Led.
P.S: Don’t forget to have fun.

For more visit Idealism-Art’s site or Idealism-Art on Flickr or follow him on facebook

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Street Art For Mental Health 2013 3 January 2013

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Morgan - First Fortnight 2013

This year’s First Fortnight Festival is taking place from the 2nd to 12th of January. The ‘First Fortnight‘ 2013 line up includes Friz, Solus, Morgan DMC, Will Saint Leger and ADW. Since its inception in 2009, First Fortnight’s key aim has been to challenge mental health stigma and prejudice through the creative arts. A charity-based organisation, First Fortnight is run entirely by seven volunteers.

‘We believe the arts allow us to create a space where people can talk about mental health issues in a very non-scripted manner and help to change people’s perceptions about an issue that effects us all.

Visit firstfortnight.ie to see more beautiful photos and revealing interviews from the street artists or check out First Fortnight on Facebook

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Inside Out: Book Launch 11 December 2012

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Inside Out Irish Street Art Book

Visual Feast Productions presents ‘InsideOut’ the new title by Rua Meegan and Lauren Teeling. InsideOut follows on from 2010’s ‘A Visual Feast – Irish Street Art‘ and features a photographic collection of street art from around Ireland between 2010 and 2012. It features work and comments by Irish artists such as Conor Harrington, Maser, DMC and ADW as well as International artists D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Phlegm, Mark Jenkins and C215 to name a few. This book is a celebration of these artist’s pieces framed within the Irish landscape.

The ‘InsideOut’ book launch will take place in The Bernard Shaw, Dublin 2 this Thursday 13th from 7PM. There’ll be lots of live painting, with the lads from ThisGreedyPig DJing, mulled wine and drinks promotions.

For more visit visualfeast.ie

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Adrian + Shane Interview 7 December 2012

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Adrian + Shane have been churning out pop art since 1998. IrishStreetArt.com caught up with the Drogheda couple to find out a little more about the Adrian + Shane brand.

Adrian and Shane Street Art

When did you two start making art together?

It started soon after we met each other. We got very drunk one night in Glasgow and started messing around in a sketch pad. We did ten pieces that night and have been collaborating since then.

When creating a piece what does each party bring to the table?

The process of making varies all the time, depending on the project. When we originally started making art together, we would take turns working on a canvas, and keep swapping it back and fourth until it looked finished. We didn’t know what we would end up with. Nowadays pieces are planned out and we rely on each others strengths towards creating a piece, especially if we are under pressure.

Fans of Irish Street Art will no doubt be familiar with your Iconic stenciled work have you a favorite piece?

We love our ‘March‘ image. It’s the image that people would associate with us most. The image was created during a ‘self-portrait’ photo shoot we did for a magazine a few years ago. It’s been manipulated countless times. It’s been the subject of many of our paintings and prints. And it’s the main image we’ve used on the streets, in paste up and sticker form. People regularly send us photos they’ve taken of it on the streets world wide. We love that they recognise it when they come across it even though there’s no text attached saying that it’s Adrian + Shane.

Adrian and Shane Street Art

How does the title ‘Ireland’s Gilbert and George‘ sit with you?

We’re really flattered. They are really successful and respected artists. Being compared to someone like that is a great compliment, we really like their work. Our work isn’t similar. We use different techniques. And create a very different product. They are two men who use themselves in their artwork and so are we, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. We don’t plan to use piss and shit in our work anytime soon.

What was your personal highlight of 2012 and what can we look forward to from A + S in 2013?

We moved to London for a few months in the Spring to get some inspiration for new work. It was a really exciting time. Spending everyday exploring the city, visiting galleries and museums, meeting other creative heads, taking bucket loads of photos. Just really soaking up everything London has to offer. We made lots of new friends and connections.

Earlier in the year we did a range of T-shirts based on our stencils and they were a massive success. We sold so many all over the world, it was great to have such exposure and interest. We are currently planning several Adrian + Shane exhibitions for next year. We’ve been approached by gallery owners in London and New York. We’d also like to do a Dublin show. Watch this space.

Adrian and Shane Street Art

If anyone is interested in getting their hands on Adrian + Shane’s art, there are small canvases, prints and sticker packs available in their online store: adrianandshane.bigcartel.com To keep up to date follow A+S on Facebook,A+S on Twitter or Instagram: AdrianAndShane.

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Meep – Fresh From Donegal 4 December 2012

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meep-bundoran-street-art3

Budding Irish stencil artist, Meep told IrishStreetArt.com ‘ I draw inspiration from everyday characters and hope my stencils make people think of the story behind the person.’ Originally from Omagh, Meep now resides in the coastal town of Bundoran, county Dongeal. I’ve always had a passion for graffiti. I took to stenciling because basically I can’t draw and couldn’t draw my hand, but love the smell of spray cans and photocopy toner.’

meep-bundoran-street-art2

His most recent pieces are quite large, using material such as NAMA for sale signs as his canvas to be installed at a later date. ‘This allows me to complete in studio and drink tea in between layers and not freeze my nads off. Meep explained how location is an integral part of the final piece; ‘I would never post my stuff on the main street. I try to pick quite obscure, run-down, overlooked places to post my work. Just to bring a bit of life to such areas and make people open their eyes now and again.

Meep Bundoran Street Art

At the minute there are not too many of my pieces about, mainly due to their size and time they take, some slackness on my part and also some thievery. But hope to pull the finger out and post a few over the coming months along with some prints. Meep would love feedback on his work, to contact him directly email meep153@yahoo.ie.

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A Night Painting in Dublin with Solus 27 November 2012

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Solus - Dublin Street Art

Dylan Hansard brings us a quick peek into Dublin street artist, Solus and his after hours’ adventures with paint and paste in the video below. Check out his new site solusstreetart.com or facebook Solus here.

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Chris Cunningham – Clean Cut Visuals 20 November 2012

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From his live showings at Whitewash to exhibiting at ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ at the Little Green Street Gallery in Dublin, 2012 has been a very busy year for, Christopher Cunningham. The Belfast stencil artist describes himself; ‘First and foremost ‘I am a painter, although I do like to think of myself as a bit of a jack of all trades and dabble in other forms of visual art.’

Cunningham, who for the most part, produces his work on canvas, tells us ‘As a stencil artist I painstakingly take blade to card and cut clean and precise marks to produce layers which are sprayed with aerosol paint to build up each line and colour on the canvas.’

‘For me everything I create from paintings to small vinyl toys have to have a crisp, clean cut machine like aesthetic. Although everything I make is done by hand I want the viewer to be mystified at how each piece is produced and ultimately question if it is machine or man made. Each piece I make is done so with this clean cut approach and ethic.

‘Thematically as a painter I heavily focus on my contemporary surroundings for inspiration and ask people to question certain ideals that people sometimes take as fact and not opinion. Advertising and media feature heavily in my work along with unquestioned ideals of capitalism and government ruling. I don’t profess to give any answers through my paintings I merely subvert and provide my own social commentary on contemporary issues in order to show other perspectives and open a dialogue for the viewer to draw their own opinions, and hopefully question the social norms that we are force fed by todays media outlets and governing bodies.

Most recently Chris has been creating for Canvas Galleries‘ ‘Christmas 200‘ exhibition which runs from Saturday 24th November 2012 until 24th December. With 20% of each sale going to mencap (supporting people with learning disabilities) the show is well worth a visit if you’re Christmas shopping in Belfast in the coming weeks. For more visit Canvas Galleries on Facebook For more great stencil work from Chris pop over to his portfolio site; Clean Cut Visuals or check out Chris Cunningham Art on Facebook

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ADW- There Is No Justice, There’s Just Us 19 November 2012

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There Is No Justice, There's Just Us - ADW

Here the prolific ADW brings us his latest time-lapse video; ‘There Is No Justice, There’s Just Us’. ADW recently spoke to Redmonk of Rabble.ie about his altercations with the Gardaí, when trying to paint the same stenciled piece, at the ‘Kings of Concrete‘ event in Dublin‘s Grand Canal Dock. Rabble is a non-profit, newspaper from Dublin city’s underground. It’s collectively and independently run by volunteers. Well worth a read. For more from ADW visit adwart.com

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Olde Norse – Conor Harrington 13 November 2012

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Conor Harrington in Norway Street Art Video


‘Olde Norse’
sees London based Irish artist, Conor Harrington‘s visit to the far reaches of Norway this Summer. The video is the third collaboration between Harrington and cinematographer Andrew Telling. ‘I think this is by far our best film.’ Harrington explains ‘Pared back and super minimal [Telling] really captured the atmosphere of one of the most Northerly and isolated parts of Europe. This is one for the headphones, the music is composed and performed by both Andrew and Lucinda Chua. Watch the film for the music alone, I guarentee it’s worth it.’

For more on Conor Harrington‘s Nordic journey visit ConorSaysBoom!

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Geppetto – Engage 2 November 2012

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Geppetto - Phone Box Installation
Geppetto Phone Box Installation

Paul Mahon of Geppetto fame was commissioned as one of six artists to re-design a public phone-box in the capital in September as part of #engage ran by TANK Collective.

“…The boxes were once an integral part of the fabric of our streets buy now are invisible, neglected. We want to make them visible and vital once more. This project seeks to re-engage people with the telephone boxes…”

The Dublin based, Visual Artist from Kilkenny tells us ‘My concept was to engage the viewer/public back again with the boxes by making them actively search for that one point where the box would become invisible.’

Geppetto - Phone Box Installation
The otherside of the same phone box.

The installation featuring, Ussher Library, was digitally printed onto vinyl wrapping material and installed across from Trinity College Dublin. ‘The technique used to create this illusion is called perspective anamorphosis, first used in the early Renaissance and more commonly seen on chalk drawn street art to make it look like there’s a hole in the ground.’

Geppetto - Phone Box Installation
Vinyl Wrapping Sections

Post installation, Mahon was asked “When did you take the photo on the box when there was no cars”… He explained ‘There’s two answers to this: 1. The photo on the box doesn’t exist. It is Impossible to take the exact photo of what is on the box because there is a phonebox in the way… and 2. The photo you see printed on the box is a photoshopped comp of a few photos, which I took in between traffic.

For more creative visual art visit Geppetto.ie or follow the Geppetto Blog

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Shutter Scape – Culture Night Belfast 16 October 2012

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danleo - Culture Night, Belfast

Culture night 2012 proved to be a massive success this year and nowhere more so than on the streets of Belfast. The video below shows Shutter Scape, a street art event which took place on Belfast‘s lower North Street as a part of Culture Night. The project aimed to revamp areas of the city centre that have been abandoned and left to decay by embracing Urban Art and Belfast‘s history for public art. Shutter Scape featured Friz, danleo, Dare (HCR), dlb, KVLR, NOTA, Praise (HCR), Solus, ThisMeansNothing, TMN Crew, Verz and Visual Waste. The video was produced and edited by Adam Ruddy, Andrew Burns and Christina Maher.

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Friz Interview 20 September 2012

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Fresh from her monster piece ‘Godzilla Vs The 15′ Luchador‘ on the Lisburn Road in Belfast, Friz hooked up with IrishStreetArt.com to share a few stories. Enjoy!

Lower Garfield Street, Belfast - Friz

Why the name Friz?

I grew up near the graveyard where W.B.Yeats is buried and we used to spend lots of time hanging around there in the Summertime when we were little( there’s a tea-house and the owner used to give us free ice-cream). Just as you’re leaving the graveyard there’s an old headstone with the name ‘Frizzelle’ on it. I used to take note of names I liked and found interesting to name my characters and I’ve always loved that one. I’ve been using Frizelle (my memory obviously leaving out the second z) for years and just shortened it to Friz for convenience.

How would you explain your technique and style?

I studied classical animation so that’s had a huge impact on my style, with Western and Eastern influences. My work is usually stylised and illustrative, I tend to break the rules of anatomy for my own needs when it suits. Technique-wise, when I’m using spray paint, I’m currently going for an animated cel-shading look with defined shadows. I just like to keep it clean and sharp, with lots of cut backs. I’ve been meaning to experiment more with tonal shading so that’s where I think my stuff will be heading down the line. I love me a skinny cap.

Rapunzel - Friz

What brought you from Sligo to Belfast?

I was actually in Edinburgh before moving to Belfast. I just felt like a change and my boyfriend was based in Belfast so I figured I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did because the music and art scene here is so energetic, don’t think I would have started painting murals if I’d gone anywhere else.

Could you tell us about the SPOOM Collective?

SPOOM came about pretty organically as a collective of artists/mates who frequently collaborated on large scale pieces. I did a ‘Street Art’ course in Belfast run by Trans when I moved over originally, that’s where I met KVLR (who was facilitating), Redmonk, Horsegoat and Lucas. Eventually expanded to include Bad Seed and MarcaMix. The line up changes with each piece but it’s all SPOOM. There’s also a host of other collaborators we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Members are pretty spread out over Ireland and the UK at the moment: Belfast, Dublin, London and Edinburgh. I love that everyone involved has a really unique style so the challenge is to make a piece look harmonious.
Up The SPOOM!

Peace line Belfast, Friz

You seemed to have a crazy productive summer can you fill us in on your highlights?

Yeah, happy to say I’ve been busy! Highlights I guess would be revisiting a wall in Belfast with KVLR as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival that we’d painted a few years back, it was nice to give it a facelift since I’ve gained confidence using spray cans and the original piece was only the second time I’d spray painted anything. Hit a few festivals this year, Kings of Concrete, No Place Like Dome, Glasgowbury and Bray Summerfest. There’ve been two epic Whitewash events this summer run by the mighty DMC, always lethal craic with good people. Also particularly happy with the two pieces I did in my hometown this Summer, both steeped in local myth and legend, one of which was on 500′ of hoarding. Painting on the Peace-line in Belfast is also up, it’s such a historic wall and there’ve been some amazing pieces painted there. Got a chance to collaborate with some old and new faces as well, KVLR, Verz, DMC, JMK, Rask, Art by Eoin and This Means Nothing.

Grainne & Diarmuid, Sligo - Friz

What can we look forward to from Friz in the future?

Really excited about the Fesitval of Urban Art Sandyford 21st-23rd which I’ll be painting at on the Saturday and Sunday. The line up is immense. Culture Night in Belfast the Friday before is setting up to be epic as well, going to be lots of artists live painting on the day. Also going to be collaborating with Conor McGrath (FALL Longboards) and Kieron Black on an exhibition early next year in Belfast where we’ll painting on skate decks, yeo!

Ballast Quay, Sligo - Friz

Shout Outs?

Adam, KVLR, Redmonk, BadSeed, HorseGoat, Bore, Lucas, MarcaMix, Doc, Danleo, Mick Minogue, DMC, JMK, Rask, Verz , This Means Nothing.

For more Follow Friz on Facebook or visit ‘ThisisFriz.com

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Festival of Urban Art – Sandyford 20 September 2012

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Festival-of-Urban-Art-Sandyford Flyer

This weekend Sandyford in Dublin plays host to a Festival of Urban Art. With a line up as good as you’ll see in Ireland this is a must for all fans of Street Art and graffiti.

For more visit fuas.ie

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Drogheda’s Graffiti Bridge Jam on Video 22 August 2012

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Drogheda Graffiti Jam 2012

Richie Hatch beautifully captures the painting and final pieces from the pick of Irelands graffiti writers at this year’s Bridge Jam. The ‘At The Wall’ video combines incredible HD timelapse with a slideshow and gives us a real flavor of Drogheda’s legendary gathering. Enjoy!

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Fintan Switzer – Realism on Killarney Walls 15 August 2012

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Fintan Switzer Street Art Killarney, Ireland

Fintan Switzer has received much acclaim of late for his breathtaking art on walls. The Killarney based artist told IrishStreetArt.com ‘I have been drawing and painting for as long as he can remember but only began taking it seriously at about sixteen when I started painting portraits.’ Switzer explains ‘For me, portraiture became quite tedious and I always hoped to paint my own scenes and thoughts. So putting work up outdoors seemed the furthest I could get from the familiarity of portraiture – so I gave it a go!’ The realist painter added ‘There seems to be such a rapid growth in street art. The bar is being set higher and higher every day, which is a great motivator. On Tuesday I might finish what I think is good a piece but by Wednesday some bollocks in Beijing might smash my piece and I’m back to square one – street art has to time for ego! For more visit Switzer on Flickr or FintanSwitzer.com


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