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.
“I grew up in Brisbane. My city always had a reputation as a cultural backwater so the street art and stencil craze really took a long time to reach my city compared to Melbourne and Sydney.” It is in this idea of “cultural backwaters” that drives Magee’s latest body of work, debuting at Galleria Varsi in Rome next week, titled “The Backwaters: Stories from the Endless Suburbia”. The theme of the exhibit, which will also include a companion mural nearby in the Primavalle suburb, is the artist’s childhood memories of his native Australia, and tells the stories of the people living in the 90s through the eyes of a child.
Though informed by his real life, Magee’s style of painting also carries illustrative and surrealistic elements and prefers to call it “Contemporary Muralism” over street art. “My works are embedded with my politics and personal experiences. They are just not as clearly worded as some of the other artists out there. I think when you are working in a public space you often absorb your surroundings into your work so I think most murals develop a pretty distinct local style whether it is subconscious or not,” he explains. “Everyone has a story worth telling. Be tolerant and understanding of others.”
Fintan Magee’s “The Backwaters: Stories from the Endless Suburbia” opens at Galleria Varsi in Rome on April 29th, 2016. All photos courtesy the artist.