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on the cover…‘Looking West’ by Hush

How did you go about creating the cover art?

The cover image is based on a painting I made in 2010. I like to revisit my work with a different vision and make it more complex or take it in a new direction. I like to experiment and work with a variety of mediums: I’m as interested in layering and screen printing as I am in painting. This piece involved a long process of construction and deconstruction.

What is the thinking behind the piece?

I always like to use the female form in my work. It’s a reference to beauty, life and power. I’m also interested in cross-cultural influences so I end up with lots of interesting combinations which often get lost in translation, leaving the viewer with a code that needs deciphering. There’s often a strong Far East theme in my work which comes from the time I spent there – it had such a big impact on me. A lot of my work is autobiographical and I often reference the things I love. There are elements of graffiti and tagging in my work but I like to take tagging out of context by adding it to figurative pieces. Tagging is usually seen as being ugly or destructive but by putting it into a different context it’s seen in a different light. It can quite easily be viewed as beautiful or as an abstraction of form.

What are your views on the arrest of graffiti artist Tox on 7th June?

If you bomb the shit out of everywhere you’re going to pay but he should definitely not get a prison sentence for painting. No one should. People commit serious crimes and don’t get the time others have had for writing. The government should wake up. Painting is not a crime. I can understand him getting community service but that’s all it deserves.

 

Having lived in the Far East, how have you reacted to the unfolding crisis in Japan? 

It was shocking. Natural disasters like this seem to come more and more often. I was leaving for San Francisco the day before it happened to do a few street pieces and a large indoor painting. With San Francisco having a large

Asian community it seemed appropriate to pay my respects there. I added praying hands to the planned composition I had of a Japanese girl’s head and called it ‘Praying Hands’. I talked to a few guys out there from the Japanese community and they appreciated the sentiment. Art is never going to save the world but it can cross cultures and can become a world language.

Do you think enough is being done to continue raising awareness about the situation in Japan, or has the spotlight moved on?

I don’t know enough to comment on whether enough is being done about the situation, but I doubt enough is being done. The media always seems more interested in stories on celebrities’ bodies, unfortunately.

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