ANDREA TYRIMOS BRINGS FINE ART TO THE STREETS OF LONDON
Play….. how can I make a painting more playful?’
This was the question I asked myself whilst studying ‘Fine Art’ at Central Saint Martins a few years ago, the question that led to the creation of my BRICK project – and which sparked the idea for me to create a hidden painting. I camouflaged my first BRICK painting into the surroundings of the wall it was hung upon, which gave the piece an element of interaction, as many viewers struggled to find the piece, and as a result went on a hunt for it. It also touched upon notions of 'trompe l'oeil', and the hidden beauty that can be found in the unexpected.
The concept was put on the back burner, until a studio fire a few years ago left me without a suitable space to paint – I saw this as one of life’s opportunities and decided that this was the ideal time to continue with my BRICK series of works.
So I’ve expanded the concept behind the initial painting into an entire project; where I take to the streets of London and create hidden paintings (using only traditional oils and brushes). The project marries street art and fine art in a new way, and combines playful and interactive qualities which are not normally associated with paintings. I’m becoming more and more interested in what I like to call changing public space – looking at urban environments and exploring how art can alter people’s experience.
From street art festivals and graffiti laden walls, to swanky hotel lobbies and East London apartments - my Brick project allows me to explore London in a unique way…. my London. I often reference the environment in these pieces, as I feel it’s important for the history of a place to come through. I see the cracks and flakes on a surface in the same way I do wrinkles on a person’s face – filled with history and life.
Where possible I like for there to be cheeky additions to each piece, to inject a fun, unexpected, and signature neon element; so that the neon giraffe, or the tropical flower bursting through the grout in the brickwork may tickle the curiosity of passers by.
So far I’ve created twelve BRICK paintings, here are some of my favourites.
Battle Wings (oil on canvas)
‘International Alert’ invited me to create a #BRICK painting for their ‘Talking Peace’ festival. I created my ‘Battle Wings’ #Brick, which was exhibited alongside Yoko Ono and sold on the opening night – all proceeds, went to International Alert. The image of a child soldier holding a gun, while wearing fairy wings, underlines a loss of innocence and the ever increasing need to be ‘talking about peace’. The fact that it’s on street art poster echoes the propaganda and indoctrination that often takes place during conflict. It feels like conflict and war have become the norm, the fact that this piece is one of my #Brick paintings and camouflages itself into the background reflects this. ‘Battle Wings’ has been sold.
The Hoxton Brick (oil on canvas)
I was asked to be The Hoxton Hotel’s Artist in Residence in the run up to my solo show at the Curious Duke Gallery. This piece hints on society’s obsession with celebrity culture. ‘The Hoxton Brick’ has been sold.
This #Brick painting was painted in situ for the Whitecross Street Festival. I was immediately attracted to the blocked windows that appear a long the side of the Peabody Estate. I decided that I would paint a new window in this space which would remain a ‘hidden’ painting, and the public were asked to go on a ‘hunt’ for this piece during the festival, making it fun, playful and interactive. ‘Stir Crazy’ is currently available. 71x127cm, £1750
Another BRICK piece created in London’s East End. As always, capturing the character of its wall with my signature neon style. Dripping paint and torn posters sit next to crumbling brickwork. ‘Got the Hump’ is currently available. 70x70cm, £950
Ziggy’s Brick (oil on metal utility box) Watch a video of me painting this piece here.
This painting was commissioned by Southwark Council. Located at the entrance of Pasley Park, in Southwark, the council felt that the utility box was an eyesore. As with all of my #Brick paintings I was inspired by the environment and area. To reference the park’s history, I painted a meerkat, (as the park used to be a zoo) who acts as the ‘Park Patrolman’, in the same way that meerkats have ‘sentries’ in their gangs or mobs (a play on anti-social behaviour)…. I named the meerkat Ziggy as this was one of the many dog’s I befriended during the painting process; as this was a public art piece I felt it was only right to honour the park’s residents! Ziggy’s Brick is a permanent public piece and can be found at the entrance of Pasley Park in Kennington.
The Dingley Den
A bespoke commission created in a beautiful East London home. I painted the scene so that it appears as though you are peering through the wall into a trendy, atmospheric London bar. The couple are originally from New Zealand and said that if they ever leave in the future they will now be able to ‘take a piece of their London home with them’. ‘The Dingley Den’ has sold.
You can currently find me painting a genuine London telephone box on Southampton Row! This is in collaboration with ‘Public Space Jam’ and ‘Treebox’.
To find out more info and to keep up to date on future projects and paintings follow Andrea on:
Instagram: andrea_tyrimos Twitter: @AndreaTyrimos
For commissions and sales enquiries, please email eleni(at)curiousdukegallery(dot)com