I love surreal art, Dali is one of my favourite artists in fact. So when I discovered David Faltrego’s work at Medway Open Studios last year I was excited to find a local artist creating surreal artwork. I thought everyone would be interested to find out more about David, who lives in Medway, so here is a little interview with him…
So David, tell us more about your background and how you ended up creating surreal artwork?
Just prior to leaving school I was briefly interviewed by a recruitment representative from Maidstone Art College who wasn’t impressed. I had insufficient supporting grades, my portfolio was apparently of an unexceptional calibre and my “bolshie” attitude probably sealed my fate! I seriously doubt I would have lasted the course anyway as I don’t listen or rather I take on board only what interests me.
Today I paint whatever I please, as and when I please…
Other than an “A” Grade O Level, I’ve no further art qualifications. I have no awards and since I never submit to competitions I never will. Paradoxically my greatest delight in winning any award would be in politely declining it!
As a surrealist it can be a struggle both selling work and gaining acceptance into a gallery, since this particular genre is generally frowned upon and receives little credibility within the art world, particularly in the UK. Never the less I continue to plough a lone furrow quite simply because this is what I enjoy.
I began painting as a hobby, doing quite a lot of commission work throughout the 1980’s. However, by the end of the decade I’d become thoroughly bored with it all, I never really enjoyed commissions – but it funded some travelling at the time. This coincided with several galleries declining to show my work, leaving me totally disillusioned with the Art world. It was a further 12 YEARS before I picked up a brush, following persistent badgering from an ex work colleague who was into the “arts”. This time I was determined to do it differently – No more commission work and no appeasing others tastes. Self-indulgent? Absolutely!
I gradually amassed a small body of work to compliment my older material. By chance in passing, I stumbled upon the Nucleus Gallery in Chatham and I asked if I may hire their gallery for an exhibition. For the very first time I received a positive response without the stuffy, elitist attitude.
I had my first solo exhibition in May 2010, followed by two more in 2011 and 2012 and the feedback has generally been very good. Of course I cannot hope to please everybody, after all art is essentially subjective. You wouldn’t expect an opera lover to attend a punk rock concert but it’s still all music of sorts.
Is your art your main income?
I know I’ll never make a living from painting, therefore it has always remained something I do in my spare time because I enjoy it. To pay the bills I have always worked in the printing industry as a Finisher, for a number of different companies in Kent.
Who inspires you both locally and universally?
Locally I would have to say several people connected with Nucleus Arts who have offered me encouragement particularly at the shops in Rochester and Maidstone.
On a much wider scale – since much of my work makes references to my childhood growing up in the 60s-70’s then my parents must take some credit. We certainly never had the material things but we did have everything that really matters, resulting in some of the best times that live on in my memories and sometimes resurface in my works.
Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!
Inspiration maybe stretching it but my art tutor at school could take some credit for allowing me virtual carte blanche to express myself rather than push me into the “traditional” route as he did with most others – although I’d have probably done as I please regardless! Universally, Artists I admire – Dali and Magritte (obviously), also Brueghel, Bosch and Vermeer who weren’t surrealists.
The music of the Beatles (post 1967) and Pink Floyd has influenced my thinking certainly. I’ve long since found inspiration from the surreal humour of Python and more latterly Eddie Izzard as well as the dark tales of the Brothers Grimm. Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!
What are your plans for the future?
The future?, who knows. Currently I’m nearing completion of a whole new set of work due for exhibiting in August 2013 at Nucleus Chatham. Ideally I would like my work to be acknowledged with more credibility but I won’t hold my breath. A wider audience would be nice – that’s all.
Are there any other skills you would like to learn?
Other skills – not really. I’ve already discovered what I enjoy most and indeed what I do best. I simply wish to continue improving on what I’m already doing. As long as I have the ideas and desire to paint I will do so, but if or whenever I feel my standards are falling or I become disillusioned again, I will stop.
Are there any website you enjoy looking at?
I view Deviant Art, Red Bubble and Saatchi Gallery from time to time.
Thank you so much David for talking to us, we are really looking forward to seeing more of your work at the exhibition in August!
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