SNUB23 : JET LAG
Solo show, London
8th until 24th September 2017
PRIVATE VIEW contact the gallery.
Opening times –
Thursday to Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Monday – Wednesday
9 Turnpin Lane, Greenwich Market
London, SE10 9JAA
two-minute walk from Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich DLR Station
Tel: +44 (0)7976 692 751
SNUB23 is an ultra-dexterous artist based in the heart of the United Kingdom. He is peerless, prolific and pushes the boundaries of his work constantly. Our paths crossed, almost fifteen years ago over our passion for vinyl stickers, and all things related to graphic art and graffiti. He has been on a visual assault ever since; Leaving painted walls, buses, canvas and ocean liners in his wake. His newest polyhedron paintings grabbed my attention immediately. I was grateful to catch up with him after he got back from a huge project in China called HKwalls.
Pete: Your latest sketches of human and animal figures are amazing; there is a candid and gritty realness to them. It’s a great contrast to the bright, bold, and graphic cleanness of most of the other characters in your work. Is capturing that human element a natural talent or is that something you’ve progressed to?
SNUB23: Thank you very much, I’m enjoying working with a pencil at the moment. Mostly in the evening when I try and calm my head from the day. It was actually triggered a few years ago when I started to turn my ‘robot’ character sketches into something more 3D and realistic. This started by building the head over a human skull, then modifying the shape. Some of these sketches ended up being painted on walls.
Then my sketches went off on tangents, from animals to humans, with looks or emotions that fit the same SNUB aesthetic. Defined angles and vivid poses.
I’m a very visual person, I watch human behavior and feed my eyes with images daily. If you sketch you gain more confidence plus it adds to muscle memory for when you pick up a spray can.
You have great insight of color relationships, with a graphic “attention grabbing” style that I imagine is in high demand. Have you been able to keep the balance between commercial and independent work lately?
I come from a graphics background, catching the eye is vital. I get physical pleasure from seeing certain colours clash or harmonize. My recent work with isometric patterns has brought about some commercial work but more recently my work in China has given me a chance to mix commercial work with my independent ideas. But between these trips I’m working on a body of work for upcoming solo exhibitions.
I always wonder what the future of technology could mean for the subversion of advertisements. I look at digital billboards now and think, “How do I get in there and change that message?” Are you seeing digital billboards like that in Europe yet? Also, are the eyes in the sky multiplying, or is it just me?
We have those here too and yes I’ve already had imaginations of being able to hack into it. In the future it will be multiplied tenfold and more, visual noise levels everywhere are rising, the chaos of some city streets feels like science fiction. In fact all the comics and movies I digested as a child featured this theme. It’s inevitable that people will be hacking these things in the future.
Are there any collaborations or festivals that are coming up for you? Will there be another Paint and Beer Festival?
We’re taking a break from putting on Paint & Beer this year as efforts are being directed into a new brewery being built on the new site in Amsterdam. I work with a micro-brewery called ‘Friekens Brouwerij’. There will be another but after ten years solid I think a year off is ok.
Other than that I’m working at a couple of festivals and painting at Upfest in Bristol, it’s Europe’s biggest paint jam, this summer. But my trips to China will be continuing so I haven’t really been making plans for other events.
Speaking of beer, you’ve been linked up with DarkStar Brewing Co. in Sussex, England. Can you tell us what fun projects you’ve done with them?
Yes DarkStar Brew Co are one of my sponsors, I’ve worked on many projects with them, recently they have been concentrating on establishing their pubs in Sussex.
I’ve designed beer kegs, delivery trucks, t-shirts, beer mats etc, And painted live at many of their events, I’ve painted the stage for the band the ‘Blockheads’ who played at the brewery. One of my favorite jobs was designing the livery for all the delivery vans, I still see them driving around Brighton.
Over time, an artist will find certain tools that just work better than others, I know you’ve used the same type of knife for many years now. Are there any other tools that are a must have above all else or any tricks you’ve learned while you work?
My tools and techniques have grown along with my style, they work together. Sometimes I discover a new tool or technique that changes my style or an idea for a style required a new tool.
My blade is very important to me, I know some artists prefer a thicker blade but I’ve learnt to use the flex of the Swann-Morton range to cut with. You can’t beat a sharp blade. I see a big part of my work as problem solving, producing artwork on a large scale or onto canvas is a process of translating an idea into a image. There are logistics to painting so big, as much as there are craft techniques used in all my work.
I cannot keep track of all the different and unique mediums you have used – fabricated steel over vinyl, circuit boards, an ocean liner! And of course canvas, bricks and concrete. Is there any work that stands out as your favorite or most fun to do?
I love working with metal but it’s not ideal as I can’t go as big as I’d like, although I may have a chance to work with a sculptor on some projects in the future.
I often find things on the street to paint on, an old discarded rusty sign hidden down some back alley, it’s like taking some of the street home to paint on. Each medium has it own pleasures. Stencils take more time preparing and cutting than than they actually take to paint. Where as painting a big wall is all action and movement, with minor preparation other than gather materials and planning a sketch. So it depends where I want to focus my time, each have benefits and rewards, I enjoy them all.
It is true I use many mediums, I really think it keeps my mind active and ideas fresh, I’m still learning new techniques and imagining new ideas.
The moulded Mongrel masks look really cool, what is going on with those?
The masks are an ongoing project.
The idea of masks in general is one of dual personality and protection. SNUB Armour has always been part of work, I’ve armored a fighter pilot helmet before and with my drawings becoming more humanoid this seemed a natural step.
I have blanks still to work with and artists also lined up to customise some of them.
What sent you on this mathematical path with the isometric patterns and fractal-like layers?
My first ever stencils were cube based, there is something satisfying about the solidity. The SNUB cube is a known geometrical form.
This kind of stuff fascinates me, geometry appears in nature and we are part of that nature so I think were attracted to these shapes – I know I am. There is still plenty for me to explore. Layering patterns and optical illusions have been part of art throughout history and now in the digital age we are even more tuned into pushing visual boundaries. I am one of many artists working in this area, all of us going in different directions but I’m sure all inspired by the master (Escher to name but one). I like to think we’re continuing the work of those that explored this in the past.
Besides art, what are you excited about right now?
The project in China is still growing but plan to have a book published by the end of these visits. But even then I think I’ll still be going back, it’s a very exciting time in China right now.
The solo shows, one in Brighton and one in London with both be very different, one reflecting my travel and painting in China and the other focusing on subject. Plans are still in progress so I can’t say anymore just yet.
Life is very full, with never a dull day and I haven’t felt bored for a long time, there isn’t time. There’s just too much to look at and explore.
For most of December 2016 I spent my days painting in China. At GS Park based in Shenzhen, South China. This is a whole area of the world I’ve never visited before and the whole adventure was incredible. Travelling via Hong Kong to a brand new technology park with huge untouched walls.
A solo show from SNUB23.
POLYHEDRON: One solid – Many facets.
Show runs from April 2nd to April 30th
PLAY DEAD STUDIO,
131 Highland Road, Southsea,
Portsmouth PO4 9EY
Private view: April 1st from 7pm
I answered a few questions before the show opened for VERY NEARLY ALMOST. See it here and below
With his first big event of the year, cyborg heavy-hitter Snub is treating us to POLYHEDRON, an all-new solo show in Southsea, Portsmouth, between the 2nd and the 30th of April. One of the key themes in the exhibition is to capture demonstrate the scope of the Brighton-based graphic artist, as mentioned when we caught up with him for a quick interview about the new show.
“The name of the show ‘Polyhedron’ means ‘one solid, many facets’, this also fits my artwork. Anyone who follows my work knows I don’t stick to one technique. I sketch, stencil, brush, sticker, paste, craft and paint.” He explained, before warning that this new body of work may not be exactly what his fans normally see. “I guess I’m known for ‘mongrel’ the robot inspired by my childhood comic book hero’s the ABC warriors, he appears in this show but isn’t the main feature.”
The show is held at Play Dead Studios, an uncommon merger between tattoo studio and creative exhibition space. Making the most of the unique venue Snub has created a custom set of 10 tattoo flashes to run alongside the exhibition, each to be inked only once by the artists at Play Dead. “The crossover is perfect for my work.” Snub began, “we already have bookings and think some may even be inked by the time the show opens on Friday. I plan to then frame some of the designs.”
“The shift between me painting a fictional character and it becoming something more solid and real happened couple of years ago. I started to introduce a skull into my robot sketches which led to more realistic looking creatures and people. The difference between human and robot in my sketches blurred and they became one.” This metamorphosis between robotic and biological is demonstrated best in HYBRID, Snub’s self-proclaimed favourite piece from the show, “A brushed acrylic piece. It’s either a human being revealed as a robot or the other way round and it’s about not knowing.”
The most iconic pieces from the show are undoubtedly his formidable garrison of overhead masks in all their mechanised glory. “The masks developed from conversations with good friends and a model maker, it started with a full skull and developed into the masks. Firstly a cardboard prototype which is layered with resin, sculpted and sanded. Then that’s the master for making a cast. This is then used to produce more but these are reinforced with fibreglass.” However he was unwilling to take all of the credit for the pieces, stating, “I’m really happy how they turned out but I can’t claim all the credit in their realisation, without Ed Nottingham they wouldn’t have gotten this far. We have other plans for the future and with these new customs even more ideas have sprung up.”
Especially created for the solo show, Snub has released five blank masks to a group of hand selected artists to bring their signature styles to each cyborg head, although through the variety of artists involved some unexpected results arose. “My Dog Sighs has given his an aged metal effect and realistic eyes, which freaked me out the first time I saw it. Also Aremsee is an artist currently working on the Star Wars movies and has blasted one side of a mask painted with actual stormtrooper paint. Nerd alert! I’ve yet to see Fark’s and Betso’s but I know they’ll be killer.”
The show’s opening night is tonight from 7pm and it runs right up until the end of the month so if you are in the south of the country at any point over April it is definitely worth a look. As well as picking up your one-off Snub inking, a limited run t shirts has also been created to commemorate the event so make sure you head on down there, the more the merrier. “A SNUB army would be glorious.”
5th December – 3rd Jan
PV- Saturday 3 December 2011 6-9pm
Curated by Infinity Bunce in conjuctions with Triple X Tattoos
TRIPLE X Tattos – Netil House, Studio 206, 1-7 Westgate Street London England, E8 3RL
PV- Saturday 3 December 2011 6-9pm
5th December – 3rd Jan
UPFEST ‘And Vinyly’
A new group exhibtion of artwork from festival artist on bespoke oversize records. Featuring: 3rd Eye, Acerone, Angus, Andis, Beep Monkey, Boswell, Cheba, Copyright, Dale Grimshaw, Damo, Dekor, Diff, Fake, Gemma Compton, Jody, John Curtis, Lochness, Lokey, Luvm, Masai, Matti, M-one, Minto, My Dog Sighs, Oli-T, Paul Monsters, Shade, Snub23, Soker, Spzero76, Turroe, T.wat, Ulow, Zase + a few more tbc.
This is my submission for the show of oversized records at upfest gallery titled: ‘And Vinyly’.
Upfest ‘And Vinyly’ SHOULDER BOULDER by SNUB23
“I’ve got a chip, it’s like a boulder on my shoulder”
This is part of a movie I worked on in Budapest at the end of 2013, the camera man ‘Brian Loftus’,
who was also cameraman in the classic movie 2001: space odyssey.
This wall I painted in his honour. (In sub zero temperatures)
Anti- Social Movie , released May 1st 2015
Story line: Dee is an anarchic street-artist confronting the system, Marcus is an armed robber on a jewellery store crime-wave. For the two brothers, being Anti-Social is a way of life! Bound by an unyielding family loyalty they relentlessly carve their respective paths – and Dee finds acceptance in London’s art-scene, while Marcus’ smash-and-grab heists amass him a small fortune and his aspirations escalate. But when an ultra-violent gangland war erupts, Dee is suddenly forced to remember who he is – as Police and rival criminals close-in on the family and Marcus’ gang defiantly prepare to take down the largest target of their careers.
After painting stencils for one of the lead characters I had a chance to blast out something of my own.
This year the international graffitti festival Step in The Arena will celebrate their 6th Edition. What back in 2010 began as a festival where young and established talents could meet, quickly grew into the unique international festival it is nowadays.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to be invited, it’s a amazing event.