Russell Dempster: Inside Out

Show: Inside Out. Russell Dempster.

Tell:Andy Warbol was originally the title I gave this piece, but quickly concluded that having already produced a visual twist of a famous artist’s work, a blatant pun on the artists name was a bit obvious and detrimental to the work as a whole.  I came up with Inside Out; I felt it to be more descriptive and, ultimately just better.

“I created this pencil drawing about five months ago, in March, for the Glasgow version of the art event Papergirl.  The idea for it had been running round my head for a little while previous to that time and when Papergirl came along I considered it a perfect opportunity for me to get it onto paper and try it out.  I was very pleased with people’s reactions to it – both in and around the event.  As the concept of Papergirl really appeals to me I then went on to submit prints to Papergirl Bristol, Manchester and also Newcastle, which is set to distribute artwork very soon.

“The Glasgow event inspired me to plan out a body of work in a similar vein including Duchamp’s urinal, Andy Warhol’s soup tin and Van Gogh’s sunflowers – all with my own spin on their recognizable reality.  I’m currently in the process of producing a series of these drawings for a show in Edinburgh starting in late October 2011 and it will run for six months.

“It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what inspired the idea for this drawing or indeed, what initially inspires any of my work.  The starting point for it was the same as it is for most of my other work.  I must have seen, heard or read something which sparked the initial idea which I then chewed over in my head for however long until I thought I had got it pretty much right and then got down to drawing the finished piece.  Although I’ll also scribble in my note book a rough thumbnail sketch of the idea with a little description of some kind if I can’t start the finished work right away so I can come back to it later.  However, when I’m working from photos I do use Photoshop quite a lot to sketch and distort ideas and to plan compositions.

“I’m motivated by pretty much everything I see and hear and that I am in some way affected by.  I suppose my work is influenced by a mix of classical drawing and painting and pop culture, but with an added darker side to life. Inside Out is obviously influenced by Andy Warhol and eye balls are something that appear in my work occasionally.  Here they are intended to be a surprise and the focal point of the piece but, perversely, I don’t want them to look out of place – perhaps to seem as if they’ve always been inside the Brillo box.

“This notion, combined with the visual impact the piece, has created a whole new dimension to the original, existing Brillo Box artwork and makes it my own.  I’ve tried to marry that mind-set with the overall mood of the drawing.  I want the piece to portray a sense of retro familiarity, a feeling of 60′s black and white nostalgia, and I hope to have captured that aesthetic with the use of tone and the drawing techniques used.

“Because of the open nature of Papergirl there were no real boundaries or limits to consider. Just as long as it could be rolled up and distributed to people easily, you could submit your art. The biggest challenge I faced, and continue to face concerning my work, was getting it finished on time for the deadline. It usually takes me two or three, maybe four attempts to get a finished piece of work right but this time I was lucky and got it first time and after the prints were ready, just made the hand-in deadline – by 20 minutes.”

Info: Russell Dempster is an artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Inside Out is featured in the Papergirl Exhibition at Settle Down Café, Newcastle and prints will be distributed, free of charge, on the streets of the city on Saturday 27 August at 10am.

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Russell Dempster: Inside Out was posted on August 23rd, 2011 at 2.18pm and is filed under Show and Tell. This entry has no comments (yet). You can follow any responses through the RSS 2.0 Feed.

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