In a relatively short, but exceptionally busy, urban art career, Fin DAC has defined and perfected an atypical paint/stencil style that ignores the accepted visual language of street art almost completely – he calls it Urban Aesthetics (a modern-day take on a 19th century art movement).

He calls Cork (Eire) home but has lived the majority of his life in and around London, and has been exposed to the variety of good and bad street art London has seen over the years. Self-taught and non-conformist, his influences range from dark graphic novels through to the works of Francis Bacon and Aubrey Beardsley.

He has painted and exhibited alongside respected artists such as Nick Walker, Jef Aerosol and C215 and when not out in the streets painting, he fills the hours with his job as Artistic Director at urban/digital art brand ‘Beautiful Crime’

UKB caught up with Fin in between trips to France to paint for the Paris Free Walls project (and a few extra walls on the side, see pics below) and jetting off to sun soaked Ibiza for the Urban in Ibiza event.

Urbankultublog (UKB): Having had quite a short street art career, what was the impetus behind getting involved in the scene?

Fin Dac (FD): I was simply unhappy in my life and needed something to drag myself out of it. I used to draw as a child and really enjoyed it but have no training and so hadn’t pursued it. I saw enough bad street art in London to consider that I could do better if I tried… so I did.

UKB: The piece you did in East London really caught our attention, and you’ve painted some great work since for the Paris Free Walls project. How did this come about and what about this project in particular appealed to you?

: I met the guys from PFW (Paris Free Walls) last year and got on with them famously. When they heard I was planning a Paris trip they got in touch and we chatted about the possibility of painting with them. They found walls that I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get permission to paint by myself so it was a win-win situation.

UKB: Your work in London and France appears to use the same subjects? Is there any significance in the girls you paint?FD: I use 2 different models or muses: Nicole Wu for the very pretty/flowery pieces and Meghna Lall for the more edgy/rockier stuff. They are both people I found through Flickr. The shift towards more asian influenced themes in my artwork coincided with a seismic shift in my output and interest from the outside world… but I don’t ever think about the significance of that.UKB: A lot of the public work we’ve seen until now has been similar in that it’s notably your work, yet different and engaging. However these new pieces in Vitry (and unknown French country side town) are a lot different. Is this a new direction? Where do you see your work going/how do you see it evolving?

FD: I don’t think it is a new direction… just a continual evolution and perhaps an improvement in my approach and technique. For me it is all quite logical even though I know other artists don’t see what I do as logical at all. Perhaps there is method in the madness?! As I have been traveling so much lately, I think it would be great to tailor my work towards the various ethnicities of my destination country or continent… but we’ll see.

(Main: Fin DAC painting a brand new piece in Vitry, France; Gallery: Fin DAC Vitry piece finished, another wall in a secret location, and some pieces from PFW)

UKB:I’d definitely like to see how you’d adapt your work like that! Aside from providing us with great work in the streets, what do you want to get from painting such beautiful pieces in public? Is there a message or theme running through your work?

FD: I paint because I have to… it is the thing that turned my life around and made me happy. My style (Urban Aesthetics) is all about putting beauty and decoration in an urban setting and I have strived to ensure my work is unlike anyone else’s both in terms of style and content. Painting in public and getting instant reaction/feedback is quite a unique thing and I really enjoy it.

UKB: What artistic, or otherwise influences do you take into your work? Are there any specific artists just now that you are inspired by or admire?

FD: Obviously I am mainly influenced by Asian art but its more about the aesthetic than any particular artist. My tastes run the gamut of Asian art: from old vintage stuff through to Manga and Hentai graphic novels. I love Audrey Kawasaki’s work but, like most artists I like, it doesn’t have any bearing/influence on what I do.

UKB: So where to from here? Paris Free Walls is over for you now, where can we see new work in the next weeks and months?

FD: I’m heading to Ibiza next week for the Urban In Ibiza exhibition where I will be painting live and maybe doing a surprise street piece. And then a couple of days after I get back I’m meant to be doing this years See No Evil in Bristol… so its all go.

It was great speaking to Fin, and very much appreciated during this particularly busy time for him. Having not seen much of his work on the streets, it’s with great anticipation that we await his work for Urban in Ibiza and especially at See No Evil, with such a fantastic line up of artists already confirmed. The next month will be very very interesting indeed! UKB

Images courtesy of and Fin DAC


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