Sunday, 23 October 2011

If you're not busy...

...head to London where artist Joe Simpson is showcasing his incredible musician portraits, ranging from Paloma Faith, to The Vaccines' Justin Young. As the final week of his exhibition begins, Joe spares time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions...

Joe Simpson

What made you want to paint only musicians?
I’d been working on a series of large scale corporate commissions for a year and I wanted to do a project for myself with a series of smaller paintings. I thought about doing a collection of portraits of well-known people for a while, but I felt that it would be stronger if there was a theme. Because I’m such a big music fan I ended up choosing musicians – it would be a chance to meet people who I’m a fan of and provide a rich source of interesting subjects.

Was it difficult to get in touch with every person and was there anyone that you couldn't reach?
It was difficult, I had to use some serious google skills and write persuasive emails. It was often hard getting around management and to ask the musicians directly. There were quite a few people I would have liked to paint but couldn’t end up getting – I would have liked to paint Sufjan Stevens a lot, I’m a massive fan of his music.

Sam Beam
Who was your favourite to paint and why?
They were all interesting in different ways. I liked painting people with beards and crazy hair, Sam Beam was a lot of fun.

What's next after this exhibition closes?
I have a show in January called ‘Everything Is Electrified’, it’s mixed media landscapes with pylons and transmission towers – totally different to the musician portraits, but a nice change for me. After that I’m not sure, I have a few ideas in the pipeline…

Details of the exhibition can be found here
Follow Joe on twitter
Watch 'Musician Portraits - Making a Pop Up' here

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