Hometown: Born South East London, studied at CSM London school of art, fine art painting, finished ‘96
Where do you now live?: Berlin, Friedrichshain since 2000.
Where would you most like to live?: Anywhere close to friends and family that is not too cold, where you can still see a reaction from the people that are being played. Berlin has been my home now for the last 8 years and its been amazing to witness such a drastic alteration in the face of development from the street floor up.
Who was your first “hero” in life?: A guy called Frank Wilson, he taught me to breathe and introduced me to Tai Chi and took the piss out of me constantly it kept me on my toes.
What is your favorite thing to do on your day off from work?: What work? Absorb new work in the galleries, online, outside my door and in public spaces… generally enjoying the response to the changing world by artists. Getting from A-Z by bike come rain or shine.
What is your favorite color?: Neutral grey of course! In all its splendid variants…but of a similar colour temperature please. Its hard not be able to take a set with me on the plane. El Mac and Ruedione from Montana were telling me last week how you can mix from a hot can to a depressured cold one to get the right mix if you are picky. It was only when I was half way round the world without my cans that I realized how dependent I have become on the grey scale range that I use.
Who (or what) do you love?: My wife, my daughter, the extended family I am part of and the rock solid belief in the gallery that is supporting me, REINKINGPROJEKTE. The rush of doing 40+kmh on a bike in wind shadow and not getting out of breath. A knife with an invisible edge.
Who and/or what are some of your influences? Coffee…I wouldn’t be cutting stencils if hadn’t been for the amazing articulate stencil work of EVOL and PISA73 from CT/INK here in Berlin and I would still be painting in oils if it hadn’t been for Berlins amazing in your face culture on the streets. Coming from London was the best and easiest step to securing the affordable luxury of a studio and a place to live. I’ve said coffee haven’t I? The main inspiration comes from the natural inadequacies and faults of the last piece of work I made. Working with the representation of today’s human figure and its interaction with the space around it pushes me in directions I haven’t seen before in art history, so I am really trying to just respond naturally to the dialogue of how humans interact with one another and tip the balance of a preconceived perception of the figurative image. For instance a man clad in full chemical protection suit relaying info down a walkie-talkie is hardly going to be reading a shopping list of eggs, chocolate, toilet paper, dandruff shampoo… etc. but he could be! My latest piece “the embrace” is a remake of the naked lovers pose from Picasso’s 1903 work under the same title. It basically highlights the barriers we put up globally and shows the ridiculous way in which we hinder ourselves from the basic necessities of love. The past years of thick-skinned politics are in fact highly sensitized to foreign bodies.
Wooster: What other artists do you most admire?
“Of all the street artists my favorite has got to be Bansky” ahh if I had a dollar…! Seriously across the board here, Frank Auerbach, the London school, Vermeer, Holbein, Cranach, Turner, Whistler, Micallef, Nadia Hebson, James Johnson Perkins, Paul Becker, Dimitris Tzamouranis, Moki, Brad Downey, Swoon, The invisible heroes, Bun Zero, Kode 9 and the spaceape, Hyperdub, Mary Anne Hobbs, Ani Difranco, PJ Harvey… better stop now, last but not least the Berlin softcore of course, big up!
Wooster: How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
Post apocalyptic grey romanticism.
Wooster: What other talent would most like to have?
I would love to have the ability to fly so I could get rid of ladders, cables and extensions and have fun making work in all sorts of unreachable spots. It would probably feel like doing a rooftop in the fog.
Wooster: What do you fear the most?
Not being able to provide for those I love.
Wooster: What is your greatest ambition?
Be one of the good ones.
You can see more of Boxi’s work here.