Born in 1985 in Lismore, Australia and encouraged by his parents to draw from a young age, Fintan Magee began painting full time in 2009 and has since established himself as one of the world’s leading figurative street artists.
Magee’s large-scale murals create a visual circus of scattered imagery and styles, drawing inspiration from cartoons, children’s books, nature and architecture. Transporting the viewer beyond mundane routines and expectations into a world of unexpected beauty and chaotic balance, his paintings highlight the extraordinary nature of our everyday existence.
Tell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?
I grew up in Brisbane Australia. The scene there really revolved heavily around graffiti and train bombing. So I gravitated towards that at a young age. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I started to explore different subject matter outside graffiti letters. So I have been painting murals for maybe 6 or 7 years now.
What has been your favourite place to paint and why?
Anywhere that is different and out of my comfort zone. I really enjoy working in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists?
I see value in many art forms so the artists I appreciate are way to numerous to list. I have always really liked artists that engage broader audiences and work outside the traditional gallery system. Michael Leunig is my favourite Australian artist. I also love the old social realists, Rivera, Wood, Siqueiros etc.
What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?
I am living in Sydney right now. Unfortunately in the age of the Internet local painting styles have evaporated a bit. I guess my environment affects my subject matter more than my technique.
We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?
My father grew up in Derry and most of my extended family is in Ireland so I like to get back when I can.
How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard?
I am still new to the project and I haven’t visited Waterford in person but it looks like you have some amazing work in a small city.
The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street art’s role in this?
Street artists are often unwitting agents in gentrification projects so I am cautious when commenting or embracing themes like this. I am all for renewal but I just hope that it is economically inclusive.
8. Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for?
I have a solo show in Paris with Gallerie Mathgoth in September. On top of that I am working on a bunch of public art projects in Europe, North America and a couple of counties in the Middle East.
9. Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?
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