Photo by James D. Kelly

FAULT: How did you become an artist?

It ended up being quite late for me to be honest. It’s not like I went to art school and dreamt of one day becoming one, far from it! In short, I guess you could say it’s the only thing I’m any good at or maybe the only thing other people think I’m good at. It was the case of one piece I made having got quite a lot of attention and then building it up from there.

FAULT: What was the first piece you ever created?

It was probably at school. In my science class I made a woodlice land, a village for 4 Woodlice. It totally went over the teachers head and I got told it was    rubbish, but I thought it was great at the time!

FAULT: How does London compare to New York in terms of making art…has it differed in any way?

I made very little art when I lived in New York so that’s hard to answer.  I think the art worlds in both cities differ totally though; the New York scene, to me, is far more open minded and youthful.  In London things feel pretty dated and the majority of art and artists is stale, it’s like going to watch a Scunthorpe United game or something over here. Although there are a few young artists who are on the cusp of changing the face of British art I feel – Me, Sarah Maple, David Richardson, Miriam Elia & James D. Kelly. We’re all close friends, we’re young and work in totally different mediums. I feel New York is ahead of us at the moment in art terms and I feel it’s up to us to bring it back. We will too!  We’ve got a group show in London and New York next year, so we will see, I guess.

FAULT: Your work varies, which medium do you prefer?

It changes from day-to-day and week-to-week. My next show on 1st December is mainly collage and that’s where I’ve had most of my success. That, along with my photography. I’m definitely not a photographer though, it’s just something I’ve done in the past and I have a large back catalogue of pictures that I’ve taken over the years. It just so happens that people have related to or liked my photography, but you will rarely see me with a camera. I like the freedom and range that making short films gives me, it’s something I’m going to come back to. At the moment I have 3 on my website; a Tryptic of some kind. They’re all linked in many ways. I just don’t think that I could stay with one medium, I’d go mad! I get too many ideas, for instance,  I really enjoyed making my Carebear Ouija board.  I did a set of children’s ouija boards; a Transformers one, He-Man…etc. I like the fact I can change and come up with a total new project or direction. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to art school? It gives me the freedom to do as I want. I definitely think my best ideas are yet to come.

FAULT: What are the sources of inspiration behind your work?

This totally varies. Mainly putting Young British Artists back on the global map again, that drives me a lot. Jazz music is a big inspiration to me; Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and some others, but mainly because it’s something that I really don’t understand. It creates such a void in my head as I listen to it that I go into auto-pilot and make up my own meanings for the songs or even the gaps in the songs. Listening to Charlie Parker play is like watching someone paint a movie in my head and I run with it from there. MF Doom, J-Dilla and Madlib give me the same feeling, although I can relate more to this and and it doesn’t dictate my thoughts. I’ve had my moments in the past too, really low low points, so not going back there is also a major inspiration to keep doing what I’m doing.

FAULT: Which do you think is your most successful piece so far?

Probably my “I LOVED YOU (You just couldn’t see it)” pieces. Everyone has been in love or had their heart broken at some point in their life, so it’s a piece that most people can relate to. I have a photo of a “Girl in the Bath”, that’s been really successful too. People I really respect and who are respected in the art world have told me that in 10 or 20 years time that will be an Iconic image, so that’s a nice feeling when someone says that because it’s quite a statement. It was probably one of the first photos that I ever took.

FAULT: Your black and white photos are extremely powerful. Is there a secret to embodying someones character through them? 

No, its all just natural, no photoshop, always film.  I guess it’s just being in the right place at the right time and having a camera with me.  I wish there was some sort of clever science that I could guide you through to explain how I capture each image, but unfortunately there isn’t. Sometimes I have found myself in difficult situations but I’m used to those situations, so for me it wasn’t a problem. There is a lot of sadness in my photography, but there’s been a whole lot of sadness in my life, so I guess the honest answer is it’s all real and how I see the world, especially London. It is Grim here! It’s not LA or San Fran or wherever.  There’s nowhere like London and I believe I capture the real essence or the things that most people may choose to ignore, but they are there and always will be.

FAULT: As an artist, how do you maintain inspiration?

Surrounding myself with like-minded and creative people helps. 90% of my mates are creatives of some sort, mainly musicians and they’re all right at the top of their genre/game, whatever. My main inspiration is to drag the young art world, or at least my crew, up to a similar level, but on art terms.  Like how the 90’s were in this country, with the various bands and artists. It’s happening now, I see it everyday.  James D. Kelly could be shooting one of our friends bands album cover.  I’ve recently started to see things being written about us as “a movement”, which is nice.   It wasn’t the new YBA’s, it was something like “LFYC – LONDON’S FINEST YOUNG CREATIVES or BRITAIN’S FINEST YOUNG CREATIVES” (The Wu Tang Clan of the young British Art scene!) When you see things like that you realise it’s starting to happen. We’re all involved in various group shows together in 2012, so I guess more shall be revealed then.

FAULT: Is there any other artists’ work that you admire?

Yes there is, Miriam Elia, I think she is a Genius! There’s nothing much more I can really say about her. We’re artistic soulmates, our heads are in exactly the same place. Miriam is going to blow up next year!  We have a show all ready for 2012 and she has a show on the 9th December. Sarah Maple again, for me, she is totally amazing and I love her ideas and what she represents.  We are the same in the direction of where we want to be going. Again in 2012, Sarah, Miriam and I have two shows: One in New York and One in London. Her paintings are amazing! I love James Unsworth. His Ninja Turtle Project was mind blowing for me. Seana Gavin’s work always blows me away, her collages are so cool man! David Richardson’s photography is really at the top in my book, he photographs the London/England I know and totally understand. It’s a generational thing with David and he is documenting the London dream or nightmare, whichever way you want to look at it. It always starts as a dream, I guess! David has the knack of also getting glimpses of the other side of the coin and no one does it as well as him.  My mate, Charming Baker, is killing it right now on every level!  Brett Walker , he gave me my first camera and still remains a big inspiration to me. James D. Kelly, he is already at a certain level but captures the opposite of what David does. I’ve Known James for ages and we have a very exciting project that’s going to blow people away in 2012. James is a true craftsman, a real photographer, that’s why I don’t feel as qualified to call myself a photographer, because I’ve seen how he operates. Shorvon & Hunter are great craftsmen and I love what they’re doing. I have friends in New York too, who I love to bits, like Scott Campbell and Asger Carlsen.

FAULT: What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just finished and I am in the framing process for the New Artist launch on December 1st at Maggs Gallery, Berkeley Square, with Shorvon & Hunter. I’ve also just finished a project for Eastpak, alongside Johnny Marr, to design three Bags and all the money raised for the bags goes to the H.I.V & AIDS Foundation. Then there’s the group shows with my mates L F Y C, a solo show New York and Berlin in 2012, a show with Sarah Maple and Miriam Elia, a big photographic collaboration show with James D. Kelly (It’s still really under wraps but is going to be really cool when we’re finished) and there will be a book to accompany that show also.  I really wish i could say more on it, but I better not. I’m currently deciding on a brand to collaborate with, there are a few that are really interested but I’m taking my time on this one and I’m going to make sure that I make the correct choice. I also have a show two weeks before the Olympics start based on my Jesse Owens piece that was in the Tate Modern in 2010.  With the Olympics being in London and already having made three Olympic based collages, it only seemed right that I follow it up with a show.  There’s loads more but that’s all I can remember at the moment.

FAULT: What will you be showing at the New Artist exhibition?

All new works, more family photos and suicide note collages, two flower installations, ten polaroids and three photographs. The show’s going to be great, I’m really looking forward to it! It’s in such a historical venue on Berkeley Square. Also, keep an eye out for the  New Artists afterparty just around the corner at Le Baron.  It’s going to be one of the best parties of the year, I can feel it! We’ve got an amazing line-up of DJs, I’d tell you now but you would think I’m having a laugh or taking the piss – it’s going to be a great night all round!

FAULT: What is your Fault?

That my mate Jamie is £200 out of pocket. The other day I told him that a horse was a dead cert at 7/2, but it came 8th and he had his rent money on it. That is my fault and I hold my hands up…sorry Jamie!


New Artists – NA presents Richie Culver and Shorvon & Hunter at prestigious Maggs Gallery in Mayfair. 

Guests are invited into one of the world’s oldest and largest dealers in antiquarian and rare books for the private view of the inaugural NA exhibition.This will be the first opportunity to see the artists exhibiting alongside one another and each has promised pieces that have never before been shown. 
Richie Culver will be exhibiting a selection of his collage series that initially gained critical attention after the Jesse Owens Have you ever Loved Anyone debuted at the Tate Modern, as well as photographs from the controversial Ray series.

Launch of New Artists (NA)
Curated by:  Paddy Barstow and Arthur Hobhouse of New Artists
50 Hays Mews
London W1J 5QJ
United Kingdom 

Private View 1st December
Opening:  December 1st 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Show runs: December 2nd – December 5th