– Could you tell us about your process of creating the Sneaker works – do they require a lot of planning, how long does one painting take to complete…?
Each of the paintings in this series requires a long period of planning. My first consideration is the ratio of colours and surfaces, followed by compositional sketches. I work on multiple pieces at the same time and the relationships between these determine the final body of work for an exhibition and series. Alongside the larger canvases, I also make smaller works on paper as independent artworks, though some of these become enlarged in painting form later on. As I always say, my best works always take the shortest time to produce. I think it can happen easily to overwork a painting, and then it completely loses its energy, its radiance.
– How does the Pop, cartoonish style of these works tie in with their subject matter? I’m thinking particularly of its social commentary aspect, which is also a feature of Pop Art.
The sneaker as a status symbol and token of the current Zeitgeist is a very simple and conspicuous object that can appear in countless shapes and colours. The fact that they’re so ubiquitous and fulfil an identity-defining role is an exciting twist for me, because my works are rooted in a traditional painterly practice. This can make the works contemporary at the same time as timeless, depending on how people view them. Craft, precise sizing and organic materials have been essential to the shaping of fashion culture, which are now being increasingly replaced by the opposite – synthetic materials, futuristic design and an inaccurate sizing. I’m reflecting on this curious and often shocking aesthetic shift through my newest paintings.