A couple of weeks ago, I visited Dan Jamieson at his home and studio in Walthamstow, London. Dan is both a long-standing friend and member of the Broth Art stable, so our meetings are just as much a discussion of upcoming projects and new work as they are a chinwag. This time was no different, after a good old catch-up over coffee, Dan and his dog Felix were keen to show me something new and exciting in the garden. Just a few steps from his backdoor and positioned very neatly in the right angle of the hedge is Dan’s new studio. Up until now, Dan has been making work in the second bedroom of his flat, so this is big news! From the outside, it looks like a garden shed but don’t let looks deceive you, the inside is light and airy with gorgeous matt orange fixtures (sockets, light switches and even the radiator!) and a terrazzo patterned floor to boot. I think Dan will be very happy here.
Following the studio tour and a chat about upcoming projects and shows, Dan talked me through a selection of new pieces. Known for his playful and often satirical pictures of famous faces with their tongue-in-cheek puns, Dan’s new portraits are more serious than before (subjects include John Steinbeck, J.D Salinger, Leonard Cohen and female virtuosos Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’Keeffe and Dolly Parton).
Omitting the text, he’s not setting an agenda and instead letting the viewer decide on tone and character. Still staying true, however, to his trademark style- an amalgam of bright colours, line and frenetic mark-making- Dan’s compositions form biographical profiles. They incorporate symbols unique to the subject, like the long-legged spider seen perched subtly in the background of the Bourgeois portrait (significant for the artist’s prolific use of arachnid forms), or the paper serviette with the words ‘So Long, Marianne’ in the Cohen picture, referencing both Cohen’s famous song and love of writing lyrics on the back of napkins. This attention to detail is discreet and only reveals itself upon further inspection, fostering a close engagement with the viewer as if a secret is being shared. Love, love, love these works and am very excited to now have them on the website. View them here.
To end the meeting, we decided since it was Thursday- and basically the weekend- that we must go to the pub. And so, we did.
I’ll be seeing Dan again at the opening of his forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Just Play The Fucking Hits’ at The Social (5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD) on Wednesday 9 February. Dan will be presenting brand new A2 prints of his most iconic music themed works- like Tina Turner Round Please I’m Trying To Talk To You, Belton John and White Van Man Morrison to name just a few. What’s more to play up the music theme (ie music inspired art in a music venue) Dan and his amazing band Stragglers will also be playing! To learn more click here.
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- Tags: Artist Interview, artist studio, celebrities, dan jamieson, digital drawing, Dolly Parton, Georgia O'Keeffe, JD Salinger, leonard cohen, london, louise bourgeois, photo-montage, portrait, portraiture, satire, solo exhibition, the social london