much is his character also a part of you?
Very little, although I have found myself in similar situations,
both of us have been on the run from the police, both of us grew
up around violence. My way of handling this is different from
are your experiences and views on violence (this is obviously
a painting which shows a violent confrontation)?
Violence is always ugly, but sometimes necessary. It would be
unrealisitic not to acknowledge this. Violence is intrinsic within
my family and I've always loathed it. Whenever people think of
violence they usually mean the physical kind, it doesnt have to
be like that. We are all violent people inside, its a question
of how to express it.
lot of your work shows the dark side of life. Does painting it,
perpetuate it or exorcise it?
It's not possible to exorcise your shadow without denying or killing
part of yourself. You'd be a mug to do that. Painting should be
illustrations of a personal struggle, an attempt by the artist
to embrace himself/herself and come to terms with previous behaviour
in a way that shows understanding of the self and empathy with
it has a beneficial effect for you, how do you think it will affect
Embracing the shadow is not easy. Not everyone is comfortable
being faced with behavioural analysis within art. If my work instigates
some kind of self confrontation on my own behalf and from the
perspective of the observer, then that's a good result. The artist
must challenge himself, the observer must do the same.
you've finished a painting, is it something valuable for you as
an object or has the main value of it passed?
A painting is always valuable to me. Anything which evokes feeling
are your influences on your ideas?
Fear has influenced me the most. My attempts to understand my
own fear and the effects of fear upon my behaviour.
are your influences on your way of painting? How did you evolve
your technique and style?
I have very few artistic influences. I dislike galleries and the
hollow materialistic aspirations of conventionalism within art.
As far as technique goes, when I did my first paintings, I couldn't
afford to buy too many colours, so I bought what was necessary
and mixed them together to get the colours I wanted. I also watered
down alot of paint. Things havent changed much. I'm still painting
the same way I did fifteen years ago.
you explain your method in this painting? It seems to involve
Painting like this was done mainly to save paint, but has ended
up as a technique useful for shading and creating shadows and
tones. I went through a phase of using acrylic varnish on some
of my work, but I got fed up with it. Some of my acrylic paintings
look like they are done in oils. I dont know how that happened.
use a very limited palette. What colours are in it and how did
you arrive at them?
I usually use red, yellow, brown, blue, black and white. Again,
because I couldn't afford to buy more varied colours, but in the
end I didn't need the extra stuff. Anything you can't make out
of this isnt really worth having in a painting.
lot of people have been impressed by this particular painting.
Do you think there was anything that you put into this that was
different to other paintings?
No, Its a painting about how I saw my Grandfather, and how I still
see him. It deals more with the fear of him than anything else.
you be happy if this painting became the one that symbolised your
It's certainly a very important piece for me painted at a difficult
time. If people remember this painting when they think of my work,
then Im very happy about that.
you done other paintings of your grandfather, and do you plan
any more of him?
There are several other paintings of my Grandfather, I did them
at different times in my life, but mostly in the same style. To
date "My Grandfather will fight you" is one of the two paintings
in a fighting style. The others concern my memories of him as
a Romany and as a Grandfather. I constanly revisit my past when
painting, revisiting the subject of my Grandfather and my relationship
with him is inevitable.