Interview with Charlie Anderson


Charlie Anderson is a painter. He celebrates the throwaway nature of contemporary culture by painting images from sources such as magazines, flyers, advertising and political campaigns. By painting image on top of image and fragmenting the discernible text and forms, Anderson draws parallels to the fleeting nature of life. The process of manually reproducing images from mass media echoes the history of painting as a form of documentation, and his use of the female form recalls the tradition of figurative painting in art. Anderson has been awarded the British Airways degree show (2009), shortlisted for the Jerwood Contemporary Painters (2010), and been awarded the Meyer Oppenheim Prize by the Royal Scottish Academy (2010). Notable collaborations include Ringo Starr, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Speedy Graphito and The Dirty Tees.



Hi Charlie, today MoW selected 6 of your artworks inspired by music. Can you tell MoW what inspired you to create them ? How music inspired them ?

There weren't any particular songs that inspired them, but I had heard something Thom Yorke said in an interview about the way he made songs. He said how he started with a small idea, and built it from there into something bigger. I was thinking about that when I made these paintings, starting with a limited colour palette or line of text that focused the composition. From there I had a point to experiment with more complex ideas to build out the composition. 

Why is music important to you and your art?

I think it's interesting how they relate.  Music and art have been so important throughout history, and I often wonder about their role in society and life. I think in many ways they're the same thing. Apart from that painting can be a very isolated practice, and music is one of the few things you can experience at the same time. 

If you had to choose between the artworks presented today, which of your artwork would be your favorite ?

They're all important to me for different reasons. In most cases each painting will direct some element of the next one.

Can you tell MoW more about the techniques you used. How old is your technique? How did it start? How long does it take you to make an artwork?

It's something I started doing in 2009. I was very preoccupied with trying to make a painting that looked like it was ripped up collaged paper. It took me a while to get there and I'm still refining it, but once I worked out some techniques the content of the paintings (in terms of imagery) became very important. The process involves painting layer upon layer of imagery, allowing sections of each layer to show. The paintings here took around a week each to make.  

Do you have plans on creating new artworks insipired by music ?

I'm always listening to music when I paint so on some level every painting I do is inspired by it. 

Do you listen to music when you’re working ? If so, what kind of music ?


What is the song you liked the most lately? The album ? What was the last gig you went to ?

A song I've been listening to a lot lately is "Cigarettes In Hell" by Oasis.

The album is "Amok" by Atoms for Peace

I have not been to a gig in ages. 

Are you a musician yourself ? 

I play the piano a bit, used to be pretty good on the drums. Just for fun though no projects planned.


Find out more about Charlie Anderson here :