ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SAN PIERRESeptember 24, 2015
San Pierre likes to mix it up.
Not content with sticking to one medium, the London artist creates pieces that incorporate hand-painted elements, digital trickery, and geometric manipulation. The work is built up in layers, creating subjects that seem to lurk out from alternative dimensions, reaching you through some kind of invisible barrier.
The artist is a fairly new face on the scene but has long been pumping out design work from the belly of London’s fashion and advertising industries. He started creating his paintings (we’ll call them paintings, though they’re not in the traditional sense) as a way to express ideas that his commercial work couldn’t hold. We caught up with him to find out more.
UO: What’s your story so far- How did you first get into art and then how have you become an artist?
My background as a designer and my need to be creating something are probably the predominant factors.
I’ve been a freelance designer for years, working in the advertising and fashion industries and I’ve loved all disciplines of design for as long as I can remember. Although I love what I do in these industries, I’ve always wanted to produce something ownable, something that I can say is truly mine and creating art seemed a logical response. The first piece of art which I produced was only around 2 years ago and it was created as a birthday gift. It was an experimental piece to a certain degree as I’d never produced anything like it before, but due to the experience and knowledge I’ve picked up as a designer over the years, it kind of evolved quite naturally. Once I’d finished that first piece, I thought maybe I can have a go at this.
UO: What ideas are you most excited about spreading?
All of my artwork to date is derived from a concept, generally something that is personal to me, an experience I’ve had or just how I feel at the time, happy, sad, excited or whatever. So I don’t have an overriding message or idea as such which I am trying to project. I simply use art as a platform to express how I feel or my views on a subject which is important to me at the time.
UO: You’ve developed quite a distinctive signature technique with the mathematical curves and pins and threads. When did you start doing that and what’s the story behind it?
I actually studied 3D design at university, so it seemed natural to create something that combined 2-dimensional graphics with some kind of 3D element. The first time I used the string art technique it was incremental to the design and the concept of my first piece, but I found myself fascinated by the result and I thought that it should be something I should continue to explore. It’s amazing what you can do with one piece of string. I love the precision, symmetry, patterns and geometry that string art produce. I really wanted to explore that technique and push the boundaries to see what could be achieved. I still feel like I’ve not even scratched the surface.
UO: What do you look for in a subject for your work?
I generally tend to draw upon personal experiences or whatever I feel strongly about at the time. I try not to restrict myself and I get carried away in a concept. Ultimately, I need to create something that appeals to people on a commercial level but I tend not to think about this when I’m kicking ideas around.
UO: Which artists do you look up to?
There are many artists that I admire, more often than not for completely different reasons.
I love Dan Baldwin’s work because of his imaginative compositions and his extensive use of print techniques. I also admire Vania Zouravliov- I feel he is an incredibly talented technical artist with a wild, dark imagination. Both of these artists generally produce art with a dark subject matter which I tend to find myself drawn to.
Ultimately, I admire all artists that are out there giving it their best shot. It’s extremely difficult trying to make a success of being an artist and I admire anyone that can make it happen.
UO: What’s inspiring you outside of art at the moment?
My biggest inspiration is how I feel from day to day. Ultimately all of my work derives from this. Inspiration for me can come from anything at anytime, anywhere.