Artista – Interview with Ewan Keenan
HW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
EK: I have always loved jewellery, even when I was really young, there’s photos of me with lots of rings, bracelets, chains haha. Funnily enough, I do now buy and sell antique jewellery on the side of my art practice. You will notice a lot of my portrait paintings have pieces of jewellery on them. So yeah, I don’t think being an artist was in the back of my mind until I got to my early teens, when I started to understand the world around me, politically and socially.
HW: How do you explain your art?
EK: Understandable. I don’t want my art to have some pretentious meaning that only those within the art bubble ‘understand’ or rather ‘pretend’ to ‘understand’. I want people to look at it and make of it what they will.
HW: Who introduced you to…..?
EK: Who introduced me to art? My mum has always painted and been creative so I would say that is where my creativity comes from.
HW: Talk to us a little bit about how you got started…
EK: I couldn’t give you an exact time but I started to take art more serious when I began to grasp the world around me in terms of political and social issues. So early teenage years.
HW: Which musicians/ photographers/ painters/ artists are you a fan of?
EK: One musician that gets played at least once a week in my studio is Cat Stevens, normally on a Friday.
HW: What are you obsessed with right now?
EK: Antique jewellery, in particular roman cameos and intaglios. My knowledge on historical jewellery is slowly growing. It interconnects with my studio practice I believe.
HW: What does color mean to you?
EK: Colour is everything to me! Not just in painting but outside of painting too. I despise minimalism. More is always more in my eyes.
HW: Your paintings represent human beings a lot, how would you describe them?
EK: I wouldn’t give them a particular description. I am just fascinated by the unlimited possibilities of the human face. Two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears. You would think after a while, it would become mundane but the possibilities are limitless and every image is unique.
HW: Where do you get your inspiration from?
EK: There’s no particular source of inspiration. It is cliché and broad but genuinely just the everyday mundaneness of life. Walking past hundreds of different faces on the way to my studio.
HW: What’s the dream?
EK: To live a life where I can continue creating. And for Bolton to win the premier league! Oh and England to win the World Cup!
HW: What is your biggest fear?
EK: Not getting to see the day Bolton win the premier league.. Haha, no seriously, I think it would be not being able to do my art as my ‘profession’. Where another job takes priority rather than my art taking priority. It’s a very real fear and the odds are stacked against me, so I know I have to work incredibly hard to make that fear become a myth.
HW: What is fragility for you?
EK: A canvas being broken in half because of a bad postie.. haha.
HW: What do you think of the link between psychology and art?
EK: Psychology and art go hand in hand. Everything done in art goes back to the psychological state of the artist, the viewer, the subject. People often say art is incredibly good for your mental wellbeing.. true. But I also believe it can be bad, it all depends how you use it, like anything in life.