Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Ivan Twohig is a painfully talented Irish Artist and Sculptor based in Dublin. He has the motivation, talent, curiosity and drive that (in my opinion) great art stems from. He incorporates a wide range of media including electronic art, video, sculpture and installation in his work.

Twohig studied in GMIT and emerged with a distinction in NDAD and then a BA in fine art sculpture. He went on to graduate from a MA specialising in Art in the Digital World in NCAD. He has exhibited in France, Norway and Ireland and has worked on public art commissions and design websites for art related projects.

He uses technology in ways that i find fascinating, for example his piece 'Wallpaper Player' which featured in a recent exhibition in Clare. Wallpaper Player' allowed visitors to the exhibition to 'play' wallpaper like an audio tape. Using a DIY aesthetic visitors used a drill to scroll the wallpaper past a web cam which then translated the pattern into piano keys that played out through a loudspeaker. Literally translating an visual image into an aural noise.

I spoke with him recently and asked him about his influences amongst other things:

Any artists in particular that influence you?

Ok So... I am going to list a number of artists that I think have exerted the more influence over my aesthetic than others. These are the names that I return to over and over. I must note that every artist I see influences my work. And I look at so many artists work on a daily basis if I could even produce 10% of the number of images i consume I would be happy, but at the moment I think that percentage is more like .0000001% of the images I consume. So I guess I am unhappy right now. Also when I say 'image' I use the term in its widest possible sense, so the term artist is not just visual but encompasses other art forms, but I will stick mostly to visual artists.

My Father's obsessive compulsion to cover any surface with objects and my mother's frenetic desire to construct and deconstruct the family house. These have been the two most psychologically formative influences on me. I'm not trying to be melodramatic or over-Freudian. This is simple fact. I am the product of my environment.

Gary Hill for his piece crux in which he attached a video camera to each major joint on his body. This triggered my fascination with the bodily relationship to mediated space and recorded space.

Mona Hatoum has to be one of the most amazing sculptors ever! Her mastery of visual metaphor blows me away every time. I saw her work in a retrospective of 20th Century Art at Tate Liverpool last February and her work was more powerful than anything else on show.

Marcel Duchamp's art identified and reflected the paradigm shift in artistic production and mostly because he exposed the illusion of and originality.

Jeff Koons because he embraces and criticizes capitalism at the same time.

Maurizio Cattelan has to be the greatest contemporary sculptor in my book.

Brody Condon/Cory Archangel made me realise that my cultural heritage is more Mario than Michelangelo.

Buckminster Fuller: I grew up designing space ships based on the geometric structures of Buckminster Fuller. The book Order in Space by Keith Critchlow is probably the most important book I have ever looked at. Its all about Geodesics and Fullers mathematics. I finally saw his work in New York this summer.

Haruki Murakami is probably the greatest writer ever.

Umberto Eco: Travels in Hyper reality, that's why!

Jean Baudrillard/Marshall McLuhan I believe are the most important thinkers of the last century. Everything they have predicted is becoming reality and not many people seem to care (which ironically they predicted would happen)

David Lynch because his crazy movies make so much sense.

Inspiring places or spaces?
Transit, Non space is the most interesting space. I think I define myself best through the displacement I feel. The longer I am in a space the less it inspires me so I like to keep moving or either changing the space. Stasis is death, Dynamism is Life.

What do you do when the going gets tough in the studio?
There is so much cool stuff in the world and so many people don't seem to care about it. They just take it for granted that things have their place in the world and that's that. I just like to tease out the other potentialities of everyday things. When things get tough I run away, the faster I run the more endorphins are released and then I feel better.

How would you life change if art was no longer a focus, if you were no longer allowed to create art?
I would have loads of money and a respectable job and a girlfriend and I would be content to while away my days doing mundane but pleasing things and enjoy my life probably more than I do now.

Ultimate goal as an artist?

To one day have someone tell me I am no longer allowed to make art.

Ivan has been awarded a residency with IMOCA and is currently working on a new project.

All photos are from pieces 'The Unfinished Fall' and 'The Fall'

For more of his work: http://www.ivantwohig.com/


Darragh said...

Looks very interesting indeed. Good interview too, though I'll freely admit to not having much of a clue about art. I wouldn't have a clue if someone asked me who my influences were.

Oh to be talented!

Green of Eye, Sharp of Claw said...

He's one of the most interesting people i know and has a wonderful curiosity about the world around him. I'm looking forward to following his progress over the next few years!

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