An interview with Ian Law – by Roshan Langley

Heres a few quick questions from Ian Law! With a background in Architecture and a growing interest in our surroundings and “how our surroundings shape us” Ian Law’s pieces are diverse yet apparent in topics of the modern day. Join ianlaw-neukolln.jpgus at our International Women’s Day show!


Who would you say is an inspiration behind your art and how have they impacted it?

I’d say my earliest influences were superhero comic books. I spent much of my early teens copying the works from the pages of the X-Men and Spiderman series. I also remember Alphonse Mucha had a big impact on me so I guess its the level of graphic draughtsmanship that appealed to me. My love of painting came really later on when I discovered the works of Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville. I love how their subject is almost solely about the human body. There’s something very pure in that. Other painters I admire are Sebastian Schrader, John Singer Sargent, Euan Uglow and Diarmud Kelley. to see what works and what doesn’t.

What do you think is different about your art?

ianlaw-painting-art-jessI wouldn’t say I’m making a conscious effort to be different right now in any way. My priority is on learning how to control paint technically and

What is it you really want to say through your various works?

Right now I’m drawn to a sort of social documentation and how our surroundings shape us, I think it has something to do with my background in studying architecture; and something that is a growing concern is how difficult it is to work as an artist in London. Rising rent pushing artists further and further out. The housing crisis is a similar thing and we can all see first-hand how these issues affect people.  These are things I would like my work to speak of in some way. I think some of my work (particularly the Berlin series produced in 2009 against the backdrop of the global recession and the 20-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall) manages to do this.

How do you see your art developing over the next 10 years?ianlaw-portrait

Over the last 6 years or so I have been painting occasionally under the pseudonym of ‘Clyde’. His work is more colourful and many references are drawn from pop-culture. Clyde’s name is derived from the orangutang  from the 1978 movie ‘Every Which Way But Loose’ where he is the playful counterpoint to Clint Eastwood’s gruff central character. In 10 years time I see more of a synthesis between Clyde’s work an my present work.

What would you say is the purpose of your art?

The primary purpose is for myself.  Its the freedom of expression that excites me. It is something not done for any commercial value so I have the freedom to do as I please and the slow process of painting can be a sort of therapeutic antidote for this fast-paced city.

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