Delving into the mundane and swinging between the domestic rituals and the monotonous routine of human relationships, the work of Adam Neate is characterised by a unique multi-dimensional quality that makes this self-taught artist from Colchester one of the most sought-after painters of today.
Born in 1977, Adam began to make a name for himself in November 2008 with The London Show, a guerrilla event that saw 50,000 Londoners pouring into the streets of the capital to search for original paintings the artist had previously hidden around the city. Praised by international critics, his work is now included in major collections around the world.
1883 sat down for a chat with Adam Neate to find out more about his art.
You are a self-taught artist; may I ask what your background is?
From a young age I had always loved to draw and paint. When I went to school the only thing I liked to do was to draw and paint. I never imagined it would be possible to put food in the fridge as an adult by painting. The closest thing I could think of was to study graphic design. I was able to use a bit of creativity and it was nice to be challenged to be creative within confined boundaries of project briefs. When I was working as a graphic designer I would still paint after work in the evenings. During the working day I was being creative for other people. In the evening it was a chance to be creative without any commercial constraints.
Can you give us an insight into your current show at Elms Lesters?
For the past few years I have been developing a dimensional way painting. With this new language I have been exploring different paths and styles within the work. With painting in any new form of language or "ism" one of the main challenges is to be able to capture any type of subject matter.
Where do you find inspiration for your work? What artists do you look up to?
Day to day life is my main inspiration. But I find that traveling to new places and experiencing new environments is a great stimulus for new ideas, weekend breaks are kind of like inspirational steroids. I love to get lost in a new city and try and find my way around it. Your senses go into overdrive as you notice things you may not normally see. My main favourite artist has always been Picasso, I think he always will be in my top 5. As I get older I realise that any artist with a career spanning over 50 years of painting has got to be doing something right.
Can you tell us more about your “three-dimensional sculptural painting” approach?
Around 2008-9 I started developing this way of working as a reaction to how I felt with regard to how people would view work online. With the advent of web 2.0 visual information was far easier to upload and share online. I found myself not bothering to go to gallery exhibitions so often as it was just as easy to view the work online. I decided I wanted to create a way of painting that could not be viewed or understood online. The viewer would have to physically be in front of the painting and move around it and interact with it to fully experience the painting in person. The painting could change colour, shape, form and meaning all depending on what angle or time of day you were viewing it from.
Other than art, what keeps you ticking?
That’s a good question I find I ask myself quite often. I bet a million people have said this already but, I think a world without music would be pretty dull.
As a last question, what have you got lined up next?
I am lucky enough to be exhibiting in the Art Stage Singapore next January, so I will be busying myself preparing for that whilst listening to music!
Adam Neate – Dimensionalist Painter will be on display until 31st October at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, 1-3-5 Flitcroft Street, London WC2H 8DH
Words by Jacopo Nuvolari