20 January 2012
'CRAZY DIAMOND <> DAIMON DOWNEY'
Sonya Rothwell visits Daimon Downey 'MC DD' of Sneaky Sound System in his Sydney studio for a sitting for her Archibald Prize portrait submission :
Sonya's thoughts about this portraits :
This painting of luminous musician turned artist, Daimon Downey is part of a portraiture series of phosphorescent people in my life that SpArKLe ! I love that only imperfect diamonds are colourful^ : These portraits celebrate our imperfections, our darkness and light, our multifarious, colourful, complex and brilliant individuality :
Daimon Downey who is best known as 'MC Double D' of Sneaky Sound System is a sanguine, creative free thinker who lets his light shine bright – he's one 'crazy diamond' : When I asked Daimon if I could paint him like the crazy diamond that he is, he said he'd be honoured, which I thought was kind, humble and generous of spirit : The second thing he said was; "Can it be pink?" :
Pink, the colour of love, of candy floss, flamingoes and happiness : It's the perfect colour to describe Daimon Downey's positive, open and easy going attitude : Downey uses a lot of pink in his flamboyant works, which are like him – colourful, energetic and full of life :
Downey is a multifaceted, multi-talented and resourceful person with many balls in the air : He's a muso/entertainer/artist/curator/promotor/product designer/mover&shaker/club owner and life of the party : His gutsy move from stage to studio affords him quieter moments for painting and contemplation : Downey still throws shapes, but on canvas : Shapes dominate his work : Downey sees his paintings as 'positive reflections' or maps to help him navigate his busy life : His 2D and 3D arcs are 'mental bridges' representing positive ways of getting over things :
Every artist has a secret weapon, at the moment mine is water and lots of it; Downey's is house paint : He leaves the tins open because he likes it to get thick and gloopy : Downey uses a lyrical array of beautifully balanced fluros, primaries and pastels. He is obsessed with balance. Downey carefully choreographs lively, dancing paint to a melody of vibrant hues : I wonder if he realises that, like the late abstractionist David Aspen, he is a 'composer of paintings' :
It seems that art, life, environment and self are intrinsically bound : We are what we paint or do we paint what we are? Downey's art and music are testament to this, as is his delightfully busy, sunny and colourful studio :
Amidst all this positivity, passion and exuberance there is balance : Our light is countered – there is a dark side of the moon^^^ : Human nature is complex and imperfect : When we accept imperfection in ourselves and others, judgement falls away : By judging others we hold ourselves up to the impossibly high standard of perfection. Since this can never be reached, we can never be happy until we accept imperfection :
To emphasis this equilibrium, I have blended warm soft coral pinks with cold acidic magentas : The paint meanders like rivers forging their way : Melding tones collect in murky pools of dirty raspberry tinged with fluorescent fuchsia and brilliant light :
I hope I have captured the complexity and starry eyed wonder of a dreamer, entertainer and visionary who relishes life with zesty abandon : If life is art, getting it right is a fine art indeed : I think anyone who is brave enough to follow their heart and live their dream comes pretty close :
Come on you dreamers, you weavers, you devas!
Come on you dazzlers, you casters of spells,
Unbreakable, radiant, strong, unique,
Throw out your colours, your imperfect colours,
You twinkle, you sparkle, you S H I N E : :
^ Series title and verse inspired by Pink Floyd's 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond : ^^ Diamond has a wide bandgap of 5.5 eV corresponding to the deep ultraviolet wavelength of 225 nanometers. This means pure diamond should transmit visible light and appear as a clear colorless crystal. Colors in diamond originate from lattice defects and impurities. (source: Wikipedia) : ^^^ In reference to Pink Floyd's album 'Dark side of the Moon'