After getting his start by mural painting in and around Brisbane, artist Fintan Magee has since grown on an international scale, and his figurative murals and fine art can now be found around the world. Featured here on our blog, his art draws influences from his childhood, where he links his personal experiences and nostalgia to broader social issues like climate change or class struggle. “In some works, I feel like I am telling stories that I don’t fully understand, there is definitely an element of chaos or the subliminal in my work as well,” Magee says.
Brisbane based Fintan Magee, featured on our blog, became a part of his hometown’s graffiti culture in his early teens, but his strong interest in classical painting made him change his creative output. After years of mural painting in and around his homeland, Magee slowly built his international resume, and his surrealist figurative murals can be found around the globe. The images in his large scale murals, paper, and canvas works depict our everyday being through photo-realistic details, juxtaposed with less detailed, sometimes expressive, elements. Covering the relationship between man and nature, his paintings often tell stories of struggle, loss, migration, conflict, with an individual and global state of mind. Magee’s upcoming solo show, “Water World”, which opens on December 4th at Blackwoods Gallery in Melbourne, revolves around the 2011 floods in Brisbane.
For the upcoming group show “PROTEST” at M16 Art Space in Canberra, Australia, Fintan Magee created a video work based on an ephemeral installation he created in a Sydney warehouse. For the piece, Magee wanted to speak out against conservative bias in Australia’s news media, which he says spreads racism, homophobia, and Islamophobia. He created a wire sculpture and stuffed with with Daily Telegraph newspapers, a publication owned by ultra-rightwing media mogul Rupert Murdoch (who also owns Fox News here in the US). Magee set the sculpture in front of a mural and set it aflame. In a video included below, he explains that the man and dog in the mural represent the master-lapdog relationship between the media and its unquestioning followers. Titled “Man Bites Dog,” the multimedia piece will debut at M16 Art Space on March 26.
Though they tackle different subject matter, Askew One and Fintan Magee each address social issues and cultural identity in the context of a globalized society. Their two-person show “Oceanic” will briefly be on view for a pop-up exhibition at RexRomae Gallery in London July 24 through July 30. With their shared backgrounds in street art, both artists will be covering the walls of RexRomae with site-specific murals for the show.
Whether in Buenos Aires, Bogota, Baton Rouge, or his hometown, Brisbane, Fintan Magee’s massive murals have been popping up on abandoned walls all over the world. The Aussie street artist finds space that is often hidden or vacated, otherwise unnoticeable — walls that are slowly wearing away, cluttered with broken-down furniture and abandoned plywood — and transforms them into giant narrative murals.
A few weeks ago, we gave readers a small taste of the many, enormous murals that went up at We AArt Festival in Aalborg, Denmark (see our coverage of Aryz, Escif and Kenor’s walls here). The festival was envisioned as a way to bring more public art to the mid-sized city and featured international artists with a penchant for large-scale work that Hi-Fructose readers will recognize. Interesni Kazki, a duo from Ukraine known for their storybook-like murals, split up and tackled two separate walls. Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz typically draws inspiration from the natural world for his depictions of hybridized creatures. His piece for We AArt depicts a skeletal horse encased in an armor of tree branches with an ink-like technique atypical of outdoor work. Other artists included Jaz, Liqen, Don John and Fintan Magee. Check out photos of the murals below.