INTERVIEW • ALEX GAMSU JENKINS
Where are you from? Has this had any influence on your work or yourself as an artist?
I am from Penge in south east London. It’s a pretty boring suburban place. A little run down in parts but with a typical British high street with standard chain shops. I think characters and mindsets have definitely helped to influence my work along the line.
Where would you like to be?
I would like to be somewhere slightly dangerous and hot, like Latin America. That would be more exciting.
Were you formally trained in art?
I studied an illustration BA at Camberwell College of Arts, part of UAL in London.
How would you describe your work?
Sort of grotesque, a bit ironic and with a pinch of humour.
How did you develop your style?
I think elements of the style have been there since I was a teenager. But probably influences seen in the last seven years have helped it. The catalyst was looking upon Robert Crumb and those underground comics artists.
What influences your art?
It can be everyday things like boring routines or it can be things I see in a book or television programme. It all depends on the day.
Which artists have influenced your work?
My favourites are artists such as Robert Crumb, Goya, Dix, Ernst, Grosz, Bacon, Munch, Guston, and Di Chirico. These are ones that first come to mind.
Had any weird dreams lately?
Lots, I had a dream last night I poo’d all over an old colleagues power tools. He was angry to the point there were tears in his eyes. Luckily there was no feces when I woke up.
Interested in politics?
I would like to be far more involved but I naively and ignorantly flitter on the outskirts of interest.
Any advice for upcoming artists?
I would say to keep drawing like a maniac, get your work out there and get in touch with people, do not hesitate on that. Become as immersed in it as possible.
I used to want to be a world champion boxer (I’m a huge boxing fan), then I tried it out and realized I was bad at it and didn’t like being punched in the head.
Can you describe your artistic process?
The hardest bit is coming up with the idea. Once that daunting part is out of the way the drawing part is fairly straight forward (drawn and then coloured digitally).
Can you talk about the use of colour in your illustrations. It is ironic that the content of your work is often grotesque and yet you use a variety of benign pastel colours.
I think I automatically seem to go for those colours. I’m not too sure as to why though. I think I like to keep it colourful and vivid and also keep the cartoon aesthetic.
What themes do you explore in your illustrations?
I try to mix it up. I’m not sure this is successful but I do try.
How did you develop the characters in your work?
I draw a lot of bald characters, but I think this is because they are pretty androgynous and maybe people can apply themselves to the character. A bit like those old crash dummy toys.
Any future projects?
I’d love to do a few solo shows with new work. Oh and one day I would like to try animation.