Below is an interview with Luke Forster. Luke makes collage and illustration and we are proud to show them both on StormFineArts.Com and StormClassics. His illustration is shown on StormClassics.com (here) and his contamporary collage is show on StormFineArts.com (here)
Where are you based and has this influenced the development of your practise?
I am based in Hartlepool, North of England. I don't think where I live influences the kind of work I make at all. I don't have any affinity for where I am based right now and find very little artistic culture in the town that interests me. My images tend to be more conceptual.
Were you trained as an artist and if so, where? Also, why did you choose to become an artist
I did my BTEC National Diploma in General Art and Design at Cleveland College of Art and Design. A fantastic college that enabled me to experiment with all different kinds of visual mediums - Illustration, Graphic Design, Fine Art, Photography, Digital Art, Sculpture. I then did my BA Honours Degree in Fine Art at Teesside University, where I began to make more personal work and started developing a style. I didn't make a conscious decision to become an artist, it's something I have always done. I've always expressed myself through imagery, it's a big part of who I am.
What was the reason for developing into your collage work?
Collage is the ideal medium for the bleak and uncertain 21st Century. A destruction of logic and reason. The medium is a visual combat and when working quickly and without hesitation, I believe the best images are created, and that gets it's message across quickly. If you look at the pioneers of this medium, DADA and the early 20th Century photo collagists, they really cut to the point with their propaganda pieces and got their messages across fast.
Who were/are your influences?
My influences are far too many to mention, but some are, Andrzej Klimowski, Hannah Hoch, Edward Hopper, Tom Lovell, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Joel Peter Witkin, Jon J Muth. But I can be influenced by anything - a film, a story I read, a conversation, a piece of music, everything gets filtered through my brain and comes out in my work.
Your work blurs the boundary between urban and pop to quite a large extent – is this something you have done on purpose or is it a result of circumstance?
I think that comes through in my work and its by circumstance as I tend to use contemporary imagery. I want my work to be contemporary, to be relevant and reflect the world around me.
If you had to associate yourself with one artistic movement (pop, urban etc) where would you put yourself? If you want to define your own, you are more than welcome!
I don't particularly associate myself with any specific artistic movement. I happily use the visual language of all the great art movements and innovators that have gone before to inspire me and my own work. Some in particular are DADA, Surrealism, Realism and Pop Art.
Can you list your favourite band/musician, artist, movie and snack?
I love all kinds of music. When I'm working I listen to a lot of film soundtracks, people like Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Hermann, Philip Glass, Jocelyn Pook and Howard Shore. I also like a lot of electronic music, people like John Baker from The Radiophonic Workshop and Patrick Cowley's ambient instrumentals. More mainstream people I like are John Lennon, Mazzy Star, Nick Cave, David Bowie, Eddie Reader. I also write and record my own electronic music. It's hard to choose a favourite film as I love so many, but I would have to say Eyes Wide Shut - I've been analysing and enjoying it since 1999. My favourite snack would probably be a ham and cheese sandwich followed by a cup of tea and an M and S chocolate Viennese biscuit. That goes down well any time of the day!
Is there any thing you would like to see changed, as regards the artworld, and do you think you could change it yourself?
I think galleries should put their faith in unknown artists more, and Storm Fine Arts seem to be doing exactly that which is great. If artists have talent, vision, determination and are serious about what they do, galleries should have the faith to take a chance on them. Some galleries tend to just go for an established name or an artist who is seen as a brand name. I also think funding for the arts in the community should be realistic as it can help people that really benefit from it. Places like care homes, hospitals, schools and day units. I'm not sure one individual can make these differences, I think it is a general attitude that will probably take a long time to change.