Interviews | May 1, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Jim McKeown

Interview: Jim McKeown
Luca Curci
talks with Jim McKeown during the 10th Edition of LONDON CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR, at ELEMENTS Contemporary Art Space.

“I have a background of 30 years in the film industry, I have worked on films including James Bond, Jurassic World, Star Wars, and Harry Potter in all, about 50 films. Some of my work can be seen at I’ve spent all these years bringing other peoples’ ideas to life and always been working on my own art. Making time to produce my own art work has been a great outlet for my creative drive. It is more recently that I have had the drive in getting my art out there and to produce a limited edition print run of my favourites”.

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Image courtesy of Jim McKeown

Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Jim McKeown –
I am currently working on the continued ampersand collection which I exhibited one of in your exhibition. The Octoampersand is just the beginning, the 2D limited edition print in 3 variant colours I am now starting a 3D sculpture version of. Then there are the cactus and pineapple variants of the ampersand. To some, the 27th letter in the alphabet, and has many diverse forms with its beauty and simplicity. The symbol can have different meanings to different people. To many it symbolises togetherness and bringing together. Using such a classic iconic recognisable form with another beautiful shape, the octopus Ampersand is then presented in different colour variants you would not expect from these shapes to create different emotions. Celebrate everyone – inclusivity. When you see the octopus, pineaple and cactus versions, all are beautiful and not what you would expect to see.

I am also continuing with my Pop art pieces , being bold & colourful, this is a style I have been a fan of for many years. Being a big admirer of the style has alway struck a chord with me. Historically challenging the traditions of art by using imagery from popular culture, in such a simple and bright manner with great effect, has always been held in high regard. This Pop Art collection – Jimenstein (Lichtenstein through my eyes), influenced heavily of memories from childhood and Saturday morning TV. These are what I have always imagined them to be.

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Image courtesy of Jim McKeown

LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
JM –
The current artistic practise has gathered momentum over the past few years and I have consciously made more time for it as work in the film industry is all absorbing and this has made me find more balance and the creative outlet does help on many levels. Hearing feedback and comments whether positive or negative does definitely help drive and direct the work. If its not someones style or taste that’s fine, but also it does help raise points which I may not have thought of and maybe things I wouldn’t want to admit to myself about parts of my own work. I will still make what I want to but do take onboard other opinions. Sometimes these opinions do shine a light onto ideas that improve it.

LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
– It would be nice to have feedback on any visitors to the exhibition, as an exhibitor not physically present, you don’t have any feedback so it would be useful to have some.

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Image courtesy of Jim McKeown

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artwork?
– Trying to communicate across the ideas I have into a form that others can enjoy can be difficult, for me I started with a digitally 3D item and am making into 2D which is very much liked by others but the common theme is how people would like to also see it in 3D, as a sculpt, which is now what I am expanding into. I make everything in 3D in my day job so why not continue in my other avenues!

LC – Your last artistic production attracted us, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
JM –
The artwork was recently made and when I saw the opportunity to share through your exhibition I jumped at the chance. This is the beginning of my collection with this theme and just wanted to get it in front of people. I did like the style and openness of your exhibitions and themes so when I was given the opportunity I understandably took it. To have a collaboration with you would be amazing, with the spread of your galleries and network it would be quite a diverse collaboration which would be amazing to see what is possible.

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Image courtesy of Jim McKeown

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