Artasty interview with Jonathan Darby
What’s your background? Art school? Self learner? Art for Dummies?
I went to a really nice hippy Steiner school, it was awesome, I think I loved it, but I got expelled. I didn’t pursue art seriously at that tender age but one day when I was sketching Bart Simpson riding a massive wave I decided that I wanted to take on something more challenging. So I applied to Central Saint Martins and did a foundation course and then a BA in fine art.
How will you describe your art for somebody who doesn’t know your stuff?
I make large images, always figurative (faces mostly), depicting people in a socio-political context of manipulation by external forces. I paint people who have been exploited/conditioned by mega agencies such as the political war machine and corporate commerce. I am currently focusing on children in my work. I believe that the future is very much determined by the experiences that children are having today. This is the subject matter that my current work deals with. I find that combining the innocence of children with the devastating realities in which they live in very profound. Therefore, I often juxtapose and intertwine symbols of human distress with beautiful images of people.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have always been absolutely obsessed with drawing the human face. I have such a strong impulse to portray human emotion/life. I still find it incredible that one can make a living thing or produce life by making a few marks on a surface. It still blows me away and gives me the same excitement as ever. This impulse combined with the satisfaction is why I make art, I need to have that feeling.
Living as an artist is sometimes difficult financially, any part time job?
Best Gallery in the world? and why?
Hmmmmm….very very tricky. PASS!>>
Best City to paint outside? and why?
Black Rock City, Burning Man, Nevada. No matter how bad the dust storms and hurricane winds, you will never ever ever be lacking inspiration in burning man. Never.