07 August 2013

Dominic Beattie


Can you briefly describe what you do?

I paint abstractly, on modestly sized pieces of board, I use unconventional materials to quickly make works that fit somewhere between hard edge and expressive abstraction.

What drives you to make work?

It's the most enjoyable activity I do. It's challenging, and it's very rewarding when people get what you are trying to do.

Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?

I get to the studio early and begin by looking at works made at my last visit, I start trying to make them better, maybe cutting them up and re-gluing them back together in an alternative configuration, or just spray painting over the whole thing and starting again.
When the work interests me enough, I stop playing with it and put it away.
Sometimes it's a fast process and the painting's surface will be flat, other times they are very layered and have gone through many transformations before they achieve any sort of quality.
I generally have no idea how a painting is going to look finished when I start it.
I work on multiple pieces at the same time, so aesthetics will be shared among a certain grouping and then fade away when I have a new idea, or get bored with a mood.
I leave the studio if I can't get into a productive mindset.
About a quarter of my creative time is spent sourcing materials. I mainly use cheap things like tape, marker pens, paper, household paints or found junk, so I'm always on the look out for something new to work with.

How long have you been working in that way?

I started working with the materials I now use, about two years ago when I didn't have a studio. I worked at home so the pieces had to be small and fairly tidy. I made a decision to work as cheaply and as quickly as possible because I felt pretty disillusioned with the amount of money and effort I had previously expended, compared to the results of my labour.

Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?

Patrick Caulfield, John Wesley, Nicholas Krushenick, Tomma Abts, Chris Martin, Richard Tuttle. I'm inspired by artists who have a very singular practice and do pretty much the same thing repeatedly for years, regardless of fashion.

What, outside visual art, informs your practice?

My paintings aren't really informed by visual cues, I never look at something I find aesthetically pleasing and think I can emulate it in a work.
I am inspired by certain attitudes or vibes. Music and sound is really important to me, especially electronic music and repetitive sound or samples, it switches me on creatively.
Also reading about esoteric beliefs or discovering unusual theories about any number of subjects seems to make me want to create, and probably informs my stuff in ways I can't really explain yet.

How would you like people to engage with your work?

To look at it, and use their personal aesthetic values to enjoy it, or not.

Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?

The Caulfield show at Waddingtons was surprising, I had seen most of the paintings before but the sketches and maquette/constructed pieces were great to see, they were scrappy and had lots of charm.

Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

I have just started some formal collages that are exciting to me because they are very quick to produce and feel fresh.
I'm showing some paintings at New Order II at the Saatchi Gallery in October, and I have a solo show at Fold Gallery next year.