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Art attack: Dan Pearce interview

Dan Pearce
Written by Steven White

We spoke with artist to the celebrities Dan Pearce on life in the studio, parenthood and big paintings.

Pop quiz: what do Anthony Joshua, Lewis Capaldi and will.i.am all have in common? Answer: they’ve each personally commissioned a unique work of art from mixed-media artist Dan Pearce. In Joshua’s case, it was a profile portrait of him with the Union Flag radiating far out from his head, sprays of red, white and blue irreverently leaking down an otherwise gilded frame.

London-based Pearce calls his work a, “A cocktail of mixed mediums and an experimentation of mixing digital art with spray paint, screen printing, hand cut stencils, paper collages, 3D objects and bright, vivid colours.” While his aim is to ‘reveal the unexpected’ by creating tactile artworks to be admired from a distance or up close in minute detail.

When asked which of the many artworks he’s most proud of, he describes to us how Jim Sullivan, son of Only Fools and Horses writer John Sullivan, commissioned a piece. “I’m a huge fan of the show and I wanted to go with something that had a sentimental connection to Jim. We decided to keep it simple and go with a vibrant yellow van in front of the dreary Peckham background, an illustrated scene that you see on the credits at the start of every episode. Jim also requested I hand write a note in the corner ‘This time next year…’”

Primary art

Pearce grew up in Merseyside but was born in Australia. It was back in his birth country, where he returned to after college, living in Sydney for seven years, that his love of urban art was born. He’s now married with two boys, 12 and nine, and believes in promoting art in children as early as possible. “Enthusiasm for art should really start at primary school – by the time students reach year seven, attitudes about what matters in education will have already been established.”

His boys, of course, are taken by some of Pearce’s commissions, especially when it comes to Premiership footballers such as Wilfred Zaha and Jack Wilshere. The youngest is even Pearce’s photographer. “He comes into the studio and takes photos and films me working and I then post it on Instagram. He’s a budding David Bailey.” Yet family life wasn’t always so harmonious. “I used to work in the city for 10 years, lots of travelling, team managing, long working hours and not much family time.”

Read the full article here in the winter ’20 issue.

All images are credited to Dan Pearce.

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