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Interview (english version)  (Shoreditch, Londres)  mars 2019

Cold February morning in Shoreditch. I'm set to meet my friend Angry Dan and spend time with him while he paints a mural outside the Griffin pub.

A good 7 hours out in the sun. Colours, music and passers by punctuated by pit stops for coffee, tea, snack and I confess, soup.

I don't know much about street art. I'm an art lover, member of Tate Modern but that's where my show stops. I didn't study art, and pretty much like music, I need to feel it.

I decided to write an article about Angry Dan, not because he's a friend but because I'm always touched by his works. He is extremely talented and witty and the world needs to know about him !

I love poetry. I'm a music snob. Naturally when that guy read that poem at the wedding I attended 5 years ago I was wowed and desperately needed to know who wrote it. I didn't manage to speak to the reader at the wedding but a bit of social networking can do miracles. The poem was read and written by Angry Dan. Our friendship started. He writes poems, he draws poems.

I got introduced to that form of poem I had never heard of: limericks (Irish origin as the name suggests).

He started to write them a while ago and as he had no one to draw them for him he started to draw himself. He puts them on Instagram on an almost daily basis, and he recently started to paint them on street walls, commissioned by art galleries and organisations. I spent several hours observing the work in progress from the 1st drop of colour to signature. Chatting, listening to (good) music. A real privilege. After that some words rather than questions came to my mind so this is not an interview but words I threw at him and his relationship with them, in his own words :

Poetry

Angry Dan : I enjoy the classics, when I make the effort the delve into them, but I don't really read that much serious poetry. My writing tends to fall into two categories : either I'm trying to amuse myself, or I'm saying exactly what I mean in the simplest way possible.

Limerick

Angry Dan : I've written them on buses, trains, boats, and planes. I've written them on the sides of mountains and while swimming in the sea. I've written them in supermarket checkout queues and during important meetings. I've written plenty while lying awake in the middle of the night and I've written plenty more whilst sitting on the toilet. They are my most faithful companion.

Music

Angry Dan : Music is my first love. My voice, as a writer, developed by writing folk ballads on the guitar and piano.

Nick Drake

Angry Dan : I saw a picture of Nick Drake in a magazine when I was about 15. I bought Way To Blue, the introductory compilation, in my local record shop, and I've been listening to him since then. His fingers and his voice are so strong. If I really try to describe the way his music makes me feel, I'll just sound like a soppy idiot.

Radiohead

Angry Dan : They have everything.

Colour

Angry Dan : I'm colourblind, so I have a funny relationship with colour. I certainly don't enjoy the view any less, but I do have to ask people what colour things are on a regular basis. That's one of the reasons why lots of my work is really bright, because I turn the saturation up to 100%. That way I know what I'm dealing with.

Art

Angry Dan : I don't really mind whether people think my work is art. I just want them to look at it, and if they enjoy it, then it's done what it's supposed to do.

Street Art

Angry Dan : Working on the street has been the most effective way to get my work seen. When you see work online, it can be difficult to know how you really feel about it.

Wall

Angry Dan : Now, when I'm walking down the street I'm constantly analysing surface texture, and spotting potential places to paint. It's similar if you're obsessed with skateboarding, and you see the city as a playground.

Words

Angry Dan : For me, everything starts with words. Whether it's a painting, or film, or song, it's all words in its first incarnation.

Instagram

Angry Dan : It's easy to get carried away.

London

Angry Dan : I grew up in the sticks, and moved here when I was 21, which was mind-blowing. I think people can be more inclined to let you down, and relationships seem more transient, but it gives you the chance to reinvent yourself over and over again, hopefully for the better.

Painting

Angry Dan : I love the feeling of turning up to a wall early with a rucksack full of paint and half an idea of how to do the piece. All day I'm making decisions and solving problems and trying not to make a mess. I feel the same urgency to paint now, that I did when I was making electronic music in my teens. I haven't felt like this for a long time.

Technique

Angry Dan : I'm still learning about nozzles and stencils and how different paints behave. I've met tons of really nice people in the scene who are more than happy to share the wealth of their knowledge.

Art School

Angry Dan : I didn't go to art school. In fact, I didn't really draw at all from primary school 'til about 3 years ago when I started to draw my poems. That's why they look the way they do; because I don't really know what I'm doing.

Work

Angry Dan : My work ethic is the best it's ever been.

Camden

Angry Dan : I slept on a sofa in Camden Town for about 4 months in 2006. I wasn't studying, but the people who lived there were mostly at Central St Martins doing Fine Art. Although it was a relatively short period of time, I met so many people who I still know now during that period.

Shoredtich

Angry Dan : I worked right next to Old Street roundabout for 6 years, so I've spent more time in Shoreditch than anywhere else in the capital. It's a mixture of creatives and galleries and suits from the city, and you get a good smattering of weekend warriors from out of London who just come to get drunk. Lots of people complain that it's full of dickheads, but everyone who's ever come up to say hello have been really nice. It's a great place to paint if you want to get seen.

Progress

Angry Dan : I've got this mantra about getting things done. It's called "Not not doing it". It's exactly as it sounds. Whenever you find yourself not doing what you should be doing, stop that and start doing it.

 
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En savoir plus :
Le site officiel de Angry Dan
Le Facebook de Angry Dan

Outside : open your eyes when in Camden and Shoreditch !

Crédits photos : Jasmina Vulic (toute la série sur son Flickr)


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