Asbestos is a street artist hailing from Dublin, Ireland. He specializes in mixed media artwork, combining mediums like photography and painting onto found objects (often wood). He then installs these pieces either back onto the streets, or consigns them to gallery wall spaces.
I’m not clear what his exact process is but the end-results are truly incredible. The photographs he incorporates really add a sense of realism, while the wood he uses (found in the streets) really gives the artwork that worn look and provides great texture and contrast.
Street art is a little bit like Asbestos. Asbestos is all around us (in the walls and in the fabric of many buildings), but it often goes unnoticed. When we realize that it’s there it really gets our attention, it gets under our skin and we question it, it gets discussed. When I started putting work on the streets that what I wanted my work to do, to become part of the fabric of the city and to cause a reaction that makes people aware of their environment. So hence the name Asbestos.
– from Artasty interview
Portrait of Conor Harrington, on floor boards found in a skip on Camden St, Dublin, painted onto pages from Vasari’s ‘Lives of the Artists’. There are rusty old nails hammered into his foreheard, found in the same skip. The piece is 1.5m x 1m (59 inches x 39 inches)
Retreat of Reason – 140x190cm (55 inches x 75 inches), mixed media painted onto 5 separate pieces that are built from nearly 40 smaller triangles of wood found on streets and beaches in Dublin, Belfast, Kerry and London.
My background was in art history, studying in Dublin and Rome, but all the time working on my own ideas and skills. I never went to art school, so I’ve had to learn everything off friends or worked it out myself. But I do find it essential to know what came before me and to draw on the these influences. Caravaggio was a great influence as was Velasquez because his skin tones are mesmerizing. But I’ve also been influenced and inspired by the Pop art of Warhol, Raushenberg and Rosenquist
– from Artasty interview
From left to right – Amsterdam, East London, Venice
“Tagging is the life blood of a city. A clean city feels as if no one has any freedom, it feels as if a population has given up on expressing themselves.”
– from Alarm Press interview
The pieces (above and below) are available for sale at the Zero Cool Gallery. It will cost you though!
Vadercide – Star Wars Celebration Europe, July 07