Christian Newell works is a multi disciplinary artist, he’s worked for companies like Adidas, exhibited in major galleries in London and New York and all at the tender age of 23! We caught up with him last month to grab some food and see his new work.
If someone jumped me on the street and screamed ‘Describe Christian Newell’s work in two words,’ I would firstly say 'Chaotically beautiful,’ closely followed by 'who the hell are you and why are you wearing no trousers.’ Whatever the situation I would choose a similar collection of words to describe a lot of christians work. Combining a loose painting style, with areas of such intrinsic detail, his work is certainly not something that washes over you.
You may well already be familiar with Christian’s face and been completely unaware. It’s been popping up in various Adidas advertisements in London as 'The Pride of Southwark,’ having recently 'Taken the stage’ with designer Jimi Crayon for the Adidas olympic campaign.
Christian’s work with Jimi has been plastered across a London billboard for all to see, in itself an incredible feat - but no surprise when considering the exceptional quality in his collection of work.
- What sort of thing really gets you out of bed in the morning, what are you striving for, what inspires you?
Haha I find it so hard to get out of bed, recently red bull and a lot of pantera! I’m striving to finish university at the moment, got a couple more months till I finish my 2nd year at camberwell. Napoleon dynamite and a huge pile of magazines and books that I’ve just been buying out of impulse have become my inspiration at the moment!
- Are you one of those artists that plans a painting, or do you just get a feel for something and run with it?
I used to plan a lot of my paintings when I was younger, but recently I have just been going with the flow, I’ll just paint and try to figure things out on the stop.
- How did the 'Take the Stage' opportunity come about, and what was your initial reaction?
My friend Jamie Rothwell introduced me to a Youth Agency called 'Ruby Pseudo’ and they were involved with Adidas and that’s how it came along! I was unbelievable stoked, but not really fussed about it at the time, but it’s blown up more than I could imagine, was kinda scary!
- Tell us about 'Last Night In Paris.’
Last night in Paris! We’re a collective of creatives! We’re self efficient with the making of our own beats, covers, songs, artwork etc. Changing the game! Best collective in LDN
- How much of your life is reflected in your artwork?
A lot of my life is reflected in my artwork! It is my life
- Are there any other creative fields you’d like to have a go at in the future?
I have been jumping in and out of directing music videos and short films for myself. I really enjoy doing it, will definitely keep pushing that!
- Self motivation aside, are there any iconic figures in your life, or perhaps in the industry that drive you to succeed, personal heroes perhaps?
My father is a really iconic figure to me, since he passed away i have not stopped working. Tyler the creator, lil b, Last night in paris and my friend Sam Rowe are inspirational people to me, very very hard workers! Connor Harrington and Anthony Lister’s work have had a long lasting impression on my work so far! with 'Ian Francis’ blowing my mind out at his new exhibition at Lazarides. Regarding personal heroes i would have to say Picasso, Francis Bacon, old masters like Caravaggio, El Greco. Erm, Franz Kline is pretty rad. I went to see a Gustav Klimt exhibition in Venice that was pretty good! And Egon Schiele! And JIMI CRAYON!
- How would you describe your ideal workspace.
My ideal workspace would have to represent my way of working, messy but neat at the same time! I find order in chaos, most of the time! I have not had a desk for a whole year as my family moved house, so all I’ve had to work with is a bed and an easel! So I’m unbelievably stoked to have a desk! Artists will understand!