This week’s ‘Artist At Home’ is with no other than Dave Buonaguidi aka Real Hackney Dave! Scroll down to read all about his lockdown, a peek into his home and what he’s been working on!
Open Edition, £95
My name is Dave Buonaguidi, and I am an artist based in Hackney. I began my art career very late in life. I was fifty and did the one day workshop here at Print club and without sounding too dramatic that workshop changed my life. After 35 years of working in advertising, I had just had enough of the people and lack of creativity and decided to do everything I could to become a full-time artist. In January this year, I jacked in the day job, and finally achieved that ambition. What a year to do it!
I live about 100 metres from Print club, just off Shacklewell lane. I have lived in the area for almost 20 years, and I needed to be near my kids who live in De Beauvoir with my ex. My place is part of a converted bible factory and is a nice bright open space on the ground floor. Right now it’s stuffed with all the framed work that I was going to try and sell at various art fairs and shows, that have been cancelled this year. I have a long wall full of my favourite art and a studio workroom where I keep all the maps and ephemera that I print on, and all the editions that I have printed.
Outside my front door is a beautiful courtyard surrounded by the rest of the factory building. It’s very colourful and very peaceful, and then 100 metres up the road I am in the middle of my favourite area, full of noise, personality, eclectic people and creative inspiration.
I love to print onto found ephemera, maps, love letters, playing cards, pattern cutting templates, blueprints, basically anything that is flat and has a rich and evocative back story. Because of my background in advertising, I like to use words and messages in a playful way and create a reaction in the viewer. I print my type layers onto these found objects in a vibrant shock fluorescent pink, with a red drop shadow. I have always been inspired by the pop artists. The colours, the subversion of imagery, the sense of passion and revolt and cultural noise, and also the mass production through screen printing aspect of certain works by artists like Warhol, Rauschenberg and Peter Blake.
I got the virus in late Feb early March, and I got really sick, and by the time I was feeling better, the lockdown had started. I felt like the wind had been taken out of my sails, and because all the shows I had prepared framed works for had all been cancelled or postponed, I had no enthusiasm or motivation to do anything, but I decided to try and lift my spirits by creating stuff inspired by the lockdown itself. Before it all kicked off I did 700 NO SNOGGING face masks with Jealous Gallery and then did lots and lots IT’S GONNA BE OKAY prints with Print Club that we gave to NHS workers, that I did a bunch of giveaway prints KEEP YER CHIN UP.
This lockdown has been a truly unique experience, and also a cultural event. I always want to create a reaction with my work, and I thought this was a good opportunity to motivate and inspire as many people as possible, all of who were feeling the same was I was. My motivation returned and I am in the studio everyday printing like crazy, I’ve never been busier.
1. My motorcycle. Everyday I ride it to my local post office to drop stuff. The roads are empty and it’s sunny, and I make as much noise as I can.
2. WIFI. I don’t know what I do without it.
3. Jaffa Cakes. I don’t know what I do without them.
I have been making really healthy food during the crisis, except for the odd packet of Jaffa Cakes or two, or ten. Right now, I am really into a simple salad of red onions, kidney beans, red pepper and feta cheese, with balsamic vinegar and oil.
I’m very lucky, there are some great artists at the club who also happen to be really nice people, which when you have worked in advertising as long as I have, can take a bit of getting used to. The other thing is that all the artists have completely different styles and techniques. I really like Donk and his beautiful and elegant street style, and Davey Newton with his amazing bold and colourful designs.
Open Edition, £70
Kissing someone. Like a proper dirty, slow kiss.