The third part of the interview with Enid and Ciaran is about Ciaran, his alter ego PIGSY and his exciting life in Málaga.
Ciaran, what is your art about?
My art is about a lot of things, but at the moment I’ve been painting about some past memories and experiences. My paintings explore different past and ongoing observations of life and how I see the world. I sometimes paint about people who I find interesting, inspiring or both. I sometimes paint about a memory that I wish to understand further.
How would you describe your art style?
I paint in a neo-expressionist style. My work is figurative and hyper gestural along with a grafitti-esque vibe to it. Most of my works are painted in vibrant and vivid colours – even moreso, since I arrived in Spain!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from many different places. It could be a simple conversation with someone that sparks an idea for a painting and then I explore that idea or story in my own way. It can come from newspaper articles, TV, magazines, books, the internet, music, poetry or just a dream. To give you an example, about 15 years ago I saw a painting in Trinity College by the artist Louis Le Brocquy. This painting popped into my mind when I was in the middle of another painting last week. I now can’t stop painting about the subject matter of that painting. The paintings and sketches I’ve been doing since have nothing to do with the experience of seeing that painting by Le Brocquy but are about the person that was the subject of Le Brocquy’s piece – that is one Samuel Beckett. So my next painting will now be about Samuel Beckett! In short I don’t look for inspiration it always seems to find me and I let it take me wherever my inner instincts allow it to. I am a fan of certain artists and my work is influenced by artists such as Purvis Young, Cy Twombly, Karel Appel, Jean-Michel Basquiat,. I am also influenced and inspired by street/urban/graffiti art & music such as Hip-Hop, New Wave, Punk classical and Jazz At the moment the art pieces that I’ve been researching for future art works include Cy Twombly’s “Fifty days at Iliam”. I’ve not seen these particular pieces by Twombly in person, but hope to someday.
Do you find Málaga inspiring? What do you think about the architecture in Málaga?
Yes, Malaga is very inspiring for me. It has given me time to be quiet in thought and I’ve had time to listen to my creative being. I think Malaga has allowed this because I don’t have the external pressures that I would normally have back home in Dublin. Malaga has been a safe heaven for me to transcend further and deeper creatively. Malaga is a very arty city and I love seeing art in all of the museums it has, but additionally there is a great street art scene, and I’ve really enjoyed exploring this. Malaga is also full of creative people and I’ve met some awesome people during my time here. I love to collaborate with other artists or even just bounce ideas and thoughts off other creatives. Being around creative people helps me immensely and is very inspiring. I’m very lucky to be based in La Casa Amarilla where there are lots of artists working on various disciplines in the studios. I enjoy being part of this. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Architects for a friend’s refurbishment project here in Malaga and I found the standard of architectural practice to be extremely high. In general I have seen, like all cities, good and bad architecture in the built environment. Again, this is normally the case in most cities because projects from the drawing board to the built form can, more often than you would think, get demonised by 3rd party decision makers such as developers, local objectors and local authorities. The are fantastic examples of top class architecture in the city, one being the OAM Architects “Mirador de la Acazaba” as mentioned above. The Renzo Piano designed Pompidou centre is also certainly a gem in the marina and the building is an impressive place to showcase an excellent collection of art. Malaga is certainly lucky to have an offshoot of the Paris Pompidou Centre!
Is there a work of art in your life that has particularly impressed you?
There is a painting that I recently completed, it’s a large canvas called “Phoenix Rising” and I’m particularly fond of it. The reason that I’m fond of it is because the person who bought the piece had such a connection with it. It gives me great pleasure to know that someone else has connected to a painting that I have made and that they experience what I experienced in the making of the piece. Another reason that it is so special to me is that it was the first painting I worked on during the pandemic. It is such a positive piece stemming from such a negative time. It is great to see something good being created during bad times. It gives me hope and it should give others hope too.
What do you think about Picasso and his art?
I’ve yet to have met a person that doesn’t like at least one art period of Picasso’s, so like most people, I’m a big fan. I like all of his artistic periods but some of my favorite pieces by him are from when his art started to change from the early traditional form to what we now know his art to be. I love his art pieces where he fought against the standard traditional portraiture of the time and where you can see a distorted hand or other body part appearing. This tells me that the internal urge within him to create a unique style of art was stronger than the need to follow the norm. I love the psychological aspect of this.
What interested you first – painting or architecture?
I was an artist first and then an Architect. So art interested me first in the way, that I think, I was never anything but an artist. However formally studying Architecture allowed me to develop great discipline and structure which then gave me knowledge and confidence to be able to discard the rules when creating art. I had to understand a disciplined form of creativity before I could mature into a creative undisciplined artist. I did not know this at the time but my instincts allowed this to happen and have allowed me to follow my true path. As you can tell from what I say, my architectural and artistic output are very different from each other. However, I see both art and architecture as a way for me to explore my time on this earth and a way to make meaning and sense of who and what I am along with allowing me to develop as a fully formed human. I also hope that I am adding value to the world for others as while I create art for myself I always want it to be liked and appreciated by others who see it. I also want it to help them and add value to their life. I think all art should do this.
When and where will your next exhibition take place?
My next solo exhibition is called “I Went to Mass” and will be on March 27th 2021 at La Casa Amarilla on Calle Santos. If you check my website, closer to the date, you can see that it is going ahead on the scheduled date and not postponed due to Covid etc. https://www.ciaranmccoy.com/pigsy-contemporary-art-exhibitions Also, as mentioned I am active on social media and I put up lots of my art news on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.