artnet Asks: Dimensional Painter Adam Neate

The street artist discusses why he can't live without music and David Hockney.

Adam Neate Photo: by Sarah Lee courtesy of Elms Lesters Painting Rooms.

UK–born former street artist Adam Neate got his Bachelor’s degree in design at Suffolk College before moving to London and picking up painting, beginning with aerosols and found objects collected from the street. In the largest presentation of his seminal style, Neate worked with the gallery Elms Lesters Painting Rooms on “The London Show” (2008), an art happening whereby a team of people randomly distributed 1,000 hand–screen printed paintings among London’s streets during one night in 2008. The total value of the artworks was £1 million ($1,692,725).

Making the transition to a more traditional gallery setting, Neate began to combine street materials with the angularity of cubism and the color language of fauvism to produce a unique style he calls Dimensional Painting. He has a solo exhibition at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms opening on September 5, and will be featured at Art Stage Singapore 15.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I have always loved to draw and paint. At the age of three, I won an art competition at my school nursery. It was a painting of a woodpecker bird on a tree branch. I always found it far easier to express myself through drawing and painting than writing words.

Adam Neate, Ship of Fools (2014)  Paintings, Mixed media on board Wooden frame, glazed with UV, non-reflective Perspex 42.9 x 42.9 x 7.1 in. Photo: courtesy of artist and Elms Lesters Painting Room.

Adam Neate, Ship of Fools (2014)
paintings, mixed media on board
wooden frame, glazed with UV, non-reflective Perspex 42.9 x 42.9 x 7.1 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Elms Lesters Painting Room.

What inspires you?    
Everything! But a good catalyst is traveling to somewhere you have never been before. Somehow your senses go into overdrive to deal with a new unknown environment.

Adam Neate "Man in a Corner" (2012) Paintings, Acrylic, aerosol on wood and metal, with watch 27.6 x 28.3 x 5.1 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist and Elms Lesters Painting Rooms.

Adam Neate “Man in a Corner” (2012)
Paintings, Acrylic, aerosol on wood and metal, with watch 27.6 x 28.3 x 5.1 in.
Photo: courtesy of the artist and Elms Lesters Painting Rooms.

If you could own any work of modern or contemporary art, what would it be?
Too many to choose from, but if I were really forced to, it would have to be David Hockney’s masterpiece Large Interior. I think it’s a painter’s painting, if that makes sense. The language of the brushwork is truly masterful, the composition and flow makes every part of the painting interesting. The colors will zing and pop into eternity. When I first saw the painting at the MoMA, I sat transfixed by it for over an hour. No other painting has had that effect on me since.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have a new exhibition coming up at my gallery, Elms Lesters, in September, so I am in the well-known “finishing touches” stage of that.

Adam Neate "Lilac portrait with dimensional movement" (2013) Paintings, Acrylic, aerosol and metal on board 24 x 29.5 x 5.3 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist andElms Lesters Painting Rooms.

Adam Neate “Lilac portrait with dimensional movement” (2013)
Paintings, Acrylic, aerosol and metal on board 24 x 29.5 x 5.3 in.
Photo: courtesy of the artist andElms Lesters Painting Rooms.

When not making art, what do you like to do? 
I’m a big music lover, I listen to anything and everything. I love the buzz you get when you discover something new. Only two days ago a good friend of mine put me onto Charles Bradley. I urge everyone to read this guy’s Wikipedia page and then listen to him sing.


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